Column: New pipelines would boost state

December 3, 2017

By John Dulmes, executive director of the Michigan Chemistry Council.

It’s pretty common to see misconceptions around current issues for Michigan and our economy. There might be no better example than the discussion of natural gas.

The recent news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the opening of a major section of the Rover Pipeline should be welcome across the Midwest. In conjunction with the Nexus Pipeline also under construction, this new infrastructure will deliver significant amounts of natural gas, on which Michigan’s economy relies heavily.

Yet often people question this and other new energy projects by expressing a preference for renewable energy like wind and solar. Michigan’s manufacturers, however, understand that natural gas and renewables both play an important role in our state’s economy and our energy future.

Many people don’t know that natural gas is used for more than producing power and heating our homes, but that it is an essential ingredient — a “feedstock” — for the production of everyday materials through chemistry. As some in our business put it, natural gas is to the chemical manufacturing industry as flour is to bakers

You might be standing on or wearing a product right now that was made with elements of natural gas, such as nylon for carpets and clothing, and rubber for sneakers. You certainly eat foods grown with fertilizers manufactured with natural gas. The plastics used in automobiles and numerous household products are other great examples.

So how about renewable energy? The chemical manufacturing industry produces the main components...

Read entire article on The Detriot News.


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