Eventual deregulation of natural gas in the mid 1980s created the free-market conditions that spawned the age of unconventional oil and gas. The voices that opposed deregulation back then were wrong, just as they are wrong today in calling for new controls on natural gas.
Every credible independent study – including by IHS, our conference host – projects no significant increase in the price of natural gas from LNG exports. That’s because LNG exports would stimulate increased production from this country’s vast resource base.
The point is this: Protectionism and price controls defy economic logic, defy historical evidence, and undermine prosperity and progress here and abroad. Free markets and free trade are extraordinary engines that are proven to stimulate investment, create jobs, and build closer ties among nations.
ConclusionLet me conclude these remarks with a challenge for our industry. Modern chemistry provides the basic building blocks of civilization. Our innovation and products help people – all over the world – live lives that are safer, healthier and more prosperous than at any point in human history. As we look to the future, we must do more than embrace the business opportunities that the new age of unconventional oil and natural gas presents. We need to communicate to consumers and government leaders about the potential and promise ahead. We must communicate the indispensable role of the chemical industry and how sustainability underpins everything we do. Beyond that, we must remind the public that free markets and sustainability are, in fact, inextricably tied together. For we know firsthand that free markets unleash human ingenuity, and that the result is greater efficiency, a stronger economy, and better environmental protection. Simply put, it falls to us to tell the extraordinary story of modern chemistry, our contributions to a sustainable future, and how free markets and free trade bring people and nations together to build a better world.