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July 24, 2012
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News for American Chemistry

Top Story 
  • Republicans call for bipartisan reform of chemical regulations
    The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plans a markup Wednesday of legislation updating the Toxic Substances Control Act. But Republican lawmakers and industry groups are calling for a bipartisan deal before advancing the bill, which addresses federal oversight of flame retardants and other chemicals. "ACC and our members continue to be actively engaged with Congress and EPA" to move a TSCA update "and have provided numerous and extensive suggestions on how to improve the legislation," American Chemistry Council spokesman Scott Jensen said. "Unfortunately, none of these suggestions are reflected in the bill currently before Congress." Politico Pro (subscription required) (7/23), Politico Pro (subscription required) (7/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Policy Watch 
  • Chemical Activity Barometer holds steady for July
    The American Chemistry Council reported flat activity in the chemical sector for July after three consecutive months of declines. The Chemical Activity Barometer for July was 88.5, unchanged from June. "The data continues to suggest that broader U.S. economic growth in the second half of 2012 will be weak, while the CAB also suggests a slowing of exports during the rest of the year," said Kevin Swift, the council's chief economist. Reuters (7/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Some claims against fracking are unfounded, researchers say
    Some claims from opponents of hydraulic fracturing are unfounded, researchers said. There is no data to support claims that fracking led to a rise in breast cancer rates in an area in Texas where heavy drilling occurred, and groundwater pollution concerns aren't supported by monitoring data. "The debate is becoming very emotional. And basically not using science" on either side, said Duke University professor Avner Vengosh. Google/The Associated Press (7/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Research & Innovation 
  • Evonik, BioAmber strike deal on succinic-acid-based chemicals
    Evonik Industries' catalysts unit and BioAmber have reached an agreement to co-develop technologies for producing several industrial chemicals from biobased succinic acid. Such chemicals involve paint, adhesive and other polymer production applications. "Chemicals from renewable feedstock for our daily life products become increasingly important as replacements for crude oil based products. The manufacturing of renewable chemicals very often entails biotechnological steps and catalytic conversion steps," said Wilfried Eul, Evonik senior vice president and head of the company's catalysts unit. Chemical Week (subscription required) (7/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Venue components at London Olympics meant to be used again
    Recyclable building components have been used for some venues at the 2012 London Olympic Games so that they can be used in different buildings later, according to this article. For example, the top half of the 2012 Olympic stadium is temporary and it, along with 55,000 seats, can be taken down after the event. The 12,000 seats in the basketball stadium are reusable, and its roof is PVC membrane attached to scaffolding, which allows the venue to be taken down and its materials to be reused. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Rendezvous blog (7/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Leadership & Management 
  • Herd mentality? The only prescription is more bell cows
    To help your front-line workers develop, it helps to think like a Texas rancher, says John Baldoni. Focus on finding your herd's "bell cows" -- the natural leaders with the potential to lead their peers -- and on helping them develop their innate skills, Baldoni advises. "Find the bell cow and you can find the whole herd," he explains. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (7/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Leaders hold the key to a more ethical business culture
    Business leaders who want to root out unethical practices need to start at the very top of their organization, experts say. People find it easier to rationalize their unethical behavior when leaders have failed to communicate values and consequences. "If the moral conclusion you come to is exactly what would be in your own self-interest, it's worth checking again," says University of Michigan professor David Mayer. CNNMoney/Fortune (7/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Featured Content 

ACC News 
  • Congress must pass H.R. 6082 to meet rising energy demand
    Proposed Bill Would Expand Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Supplies
    The American Chemistry Council issued the following statement in advance of a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 6082, a bill that would expand access to oil and natural gas supplies in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and replace a more limited plan developed by the Department of the Interior (DOI):

    "Congress should pass H.R. 6082 to ensure that U.S. natural gas markets are well supplied for years to come. America's manufacturing base is witnessing an unprecedented renaissance, thanks in part to the chemical industry's ability to leverage new, abundant and affordable supplies of domestic natural gas. The full impact of this revitalization will not be realized without open access to offshore sources of natural gas." Read ACC's full statement here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • American Chemistry Council releases June 2012 U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index
    According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) slipped by 0.1% in June, following a downwardly revised 0.5% decline in May. Chemical production fell in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Southeast and West Coast regions and was flat in the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

    Though overall U.S. chemical production activity declined in June, individual components measured by the index were mixed. Declines in production of plastic resins, fertilizers, adhesives, organic chemicals and pharmaceuticals were offset by gains in the output of inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, consumer products, pesticides, coatings and synthetic rubber. Read more on the June 2012 U.S. CPRI. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration."
--Ansel Adams,
American photographer and environmentalist

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