National Petrochemical & Refiners Association Becomes American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

January 25, 2012
WASHINGTON – The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) today changed its name to the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) at an event where speakers said U.S. petroleum refiners and petrochemical manufacturers can create jobs, strengthen America’s economic and national security, and continue serving consumers for many decades.

“This trade association has been around for 110 years, serving our nation and the American people,” said AFPM Chairman James Mahoney, executive vice president of operations excellence and compliance for Koch Industries. “We believe our new name better describes who we are and what we do…. Our members have been able to stay in business all these years – and will stay in business for many, many decades to come – because American consumers continue to choose our products in the free market.”

“An America without domestic fuel and petrochemical manufacturing would be a nation facing higher consumer costs – not just for fuels, but for the thousands of products made from petrochemicals,” said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. “Without American fuel and petrochemical manufacturers, our nation would have a higher trade deficit and higher unemployment. Governments at all levels would lose billions of dollars in tax revenue that’s now paid by our members and their workers.”

“It’s unfortunate that today the Obama administration and some in Congress have embraced an anti-fossil fuels policy,” Drevna added. “This policy goes against the best interests of American consumers, American workers and America’s national security. The latest example of this policy is President Obama’s recent unfortunate decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” which would carry oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Gary Adams, chief advisor-chemicals for IHS Chemical told guests at the AFPM launch event in Washington that hydraulic fracturing – which is freeing vast amounts of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids trapped in shale deposits – is enabling American petrochemical manufacturers to produce more petrochemicals at lower costs and hire more workers.

“Our potential is clear,” Adams said. “The more we develop our shale oil and gas reserves to generate fuel, the more attractive we become as a manufacturer of petrochemical products for our citizens, creating supply security and sustainable jobs for America.”

“The ultimate outcome is the welcome investment in new U.S.-based petrochemical production facilities located near our growing source of hydrocarbon raw materials – but close to the heart of domestic markets and efficient logistics,” Adams said. “These investments will create jobs all along this value chain and begin to reverse the growing tendency for our finished goods production and related jobs to move offshore.”

Energy Policy Research Foundation (EPRINC) President Lucian Pugliaresi, who also spoke at the AFPM event, said that “rising production of domestic unconventional oil and gas production, alongside steadily growing Canadian oil sands shipments to American refiners, provides the U.S. economy with the potential for a sustained renaissance in the production of refined petroleum products.”

“The American downstream renaissance is not guaranteed. A range of existing and proposed environmental regulations and proposed changes to the tax code are the largest threat to the competitiveness of the U.S. refining industry,” Pugliaresi added, pointing out that U.S. refiners had to spend $112 billion to comply with environmental regulations between 1990 and 2008. “A long list of pending and proposed regulations offer an enormous challenge to the future of the industry, and how policy makers and the industry adapt to this challenge will be a critical factor in whether the U.S. economy realizes the full range of security and economic benefits from expanded production of petroleum products.” 

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