ACC: House bill on EPA advisory boards would increase scientific discourse | <a href="" target="_blank">Read more from ACC on federal chemical assessments</a> | Asia is a major market for olefins, specialty chemicals
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May 10, 2013
ACC SmartBrief
News for American Chemistry

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Senate committee vote on EPA nominee is delayed
Republicans in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted a vote Thursday on Environmental Protection Agency nominee Gina McCarthy. "The new nominee to be EPA Administrator has been extremely unresponsive with the information we requested," said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. "We're not asking to amend any bedrock environmental laws. We're asking for access to the scientific data and reasoning behind the justification for expensive new rules and regulations that continue to cause high unemployment." The Washington Post (5/9), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (5/9)
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Policy Watch
ACC: House bill on EPA advisory boards would increase scientific discourse
A House bill to increase industry and public input on the Environmental Protection Agency's scientific advisory boards is intended to mitigate overregulation, House Republicans say. Richard Becker of the American Chemistry Council notes it will "help improve the science discourse" as members of the public often offer alternative analyses that differ from those in the EPA's draft scientific documents. They may also have different perspectives on dealing with very technical issues, he added. Chemical & Engineering News (subscription required) (5/6)
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Asia is a major market for olefins, specialty chemicals
Asia is the center of growth in olefins demand and continues to be the biggest specialty-chemicals consumer in the world, experts said at the 2013 Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference in Taiwan. Last year, specialty chemicals made up 15% of global chemical sales, and demand is expected to increase 3.7% per year for the next five years. Chemical Week (subscription required) (5/9), Chemical Week (subscription required) (5/10)
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Asian producers react to U.S.-driven changes in petrochemical landscape:
Asian petrochemical producers, including those of China, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, are preparing for the effects of the U.S. shale natural gas boom. The changing industry landscape "will completely [replace] the current concept of integrated refinery and petrochemical complexes to secure optimum feedstock supply," said Preston Chen of Taiwan's Petrochemical Industry Association. Chemical Week (5/10)
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Exec: Other countries face challenges in replicating U.S. shale boom
The shale natural gas boom in North America is unlikely to be replicated in other countries in the near future, said Chip Schuppert, LNG marketing manager at ConocoPhillips. Other countries "don't have all the pipeline infrastructure in place, the skilled workforce that's very global and that will go to where the work is and the service industry that's so competitive," said Schuppert. Rigzone (5/8)
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Study: Small DEHP levels are not harmful when ingested
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is not harmful when ingested through food at small levels, according to a study by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. The majority of consumers fall into the small-intake category and quickly eliminate the phthalate and its metabolites with no health risks, according to this article. (France) (5/9)
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Research & Innovation
Scientists develop eco-friendly process for metal production
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with an environmentally friendly and more affordable method of producing steels and other metals. "For the first time, it shows that earth abundant and affordable metals, and alloys in particular, could be used as an anode in high temperature electrolysis to generate oxygen," said co-author Antoine Allanore. Royal Society of Chemistry/Chemistry World (5/9)
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Researchers find possible cause of graphene defects
Graphene is most often prepared by thermally reducing graphite oxide. But the resulting graphene often has defects, which could be due to gaseous organic byproducts, this article says. "It has been commonly believed that the only gaseous products of graphite oxide exfoliation are water, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. But this belief was based on only a few studies which never looked for anything more complex," said Martin Pumera of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Royal Society of Chemistry/Chemistry World (5/9)
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Leadership & Management
A leader's guide to staying in touch with employees
There are many ways to get an employee's opinion, whether it's in person, through surveys, in open meetings or by less formal means, say 10 leaders at startups. What's important is what you do with the information. "Don't just acknowledge the feedback -- let it guide your company to better results," said Nick Friedman of College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (5/8)
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8 ways to stop being so average
Too many companies and bosses are willing to settle for mediocrity, but it doesn't have to be that way, writes Art Petty. Oftentimes, simply demonstrating the will to excel can make a big difference. "In a world where mediocre is the norm, your extraordinary effort to help, serve, lead, please, thank, teach, manage, fix and engage will all be noticed," Petty writes. (5/6)
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ACC News
17 ACC member companies win Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Awards
American Chemistry Council members reduced energy use by 10.6 trillion BTUs in 2012, enough to power all the homes in a city the size of Bangor, Maine, for one year. They also made significant strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency improvements at their plants, operating and business units, and companies. In recognition of their commitment to and achievement in energy efficiency, ACC presented 66 Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Awards to 17 member companies. Ten of the winners were deemed programs of "Exceptional Merit." Read more on the Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Awards.
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Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress."
-- Nicholas Murray Butler,
American diplomat and educator
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