SPI Statement on Senate Committee Passage of Domenici-Bingaman Energy Bill

March 10, 2006

Tracy Cullen
(202) 974-5282

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2006) – A bipartisan bill (S. 2253) that would require the Secretary of the Interior to offer the 181 Area of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing won passage from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on March 8 with a 16–5 vote. The bill was offered by Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) and fellow New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman (D).

SPI President William R. Carteaux issued the following statement:

“SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association strongly supports actions taken by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday to address the natural gas crisis that is impacting U.S. manufacturers, including the plastics industry. The Committee’s passage of S. 2253, a bill to open Lease Sale 181 in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and natural gas drilling, is a good first step toward addressing the supply-demand conundrum that, at least in part, has caused natural gas prices to skyrocket.

“Enormous natural gas reserves lie in the section of the Gulf of Mexico that this legislation addresses, and it can be efficiently obtained with environmentally-safe technologies while also taking advantage of existing infrastructure in the region to deliver the gas to the marketplace. SPI commends Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Ranking Democrat Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) for offering the bill and the 14 other members of the committee who voted in support of it.

“Natural gas is an integral component in the plastics manufacturing process because it is used both as an energy source and a feedstock. The price of natural gas has soared 700 percent since 2002, and the 20 percent increase in material costs our industry has experienced over that time period coincides with the spike in energy prices.

“SPI strongly urges the full Senate to pass S. 2253 as soon as possible in order to increase domestic natural gas supplies and begin to lower energy costs. We also encourage Congress to enact additional legislation that would open other parts of the Outer Continental Shelf to energy supply development.”

Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly one million American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at www.plasticsindustry.org and www.inthehopper.org.

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. "Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."

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