15 governors write to Obama to poke holes in legality, feasibility of EPA emissions rule | Braskem partners with Michelin, Amyris for isoprene project | EU cites need for agreement on U.S. energy exports soon for TTIP deal
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September 10, 2014
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Editorial: Chemical firms succeed at self-regulation under Responsible Care
Chemical companies that participate in the Responsible Care and Responsible Distribution initiatives improve their chances of spotting safety issues before they lead to a larger problem, this editorial says. The chemical industry "is largely comprised of reputable companies who go to great lengths to operate safely and responsibly," it adds. Greater awareness of, and participation in, the initiatives would improve safety practices, so the American Chemistry Council and other groups recently held workshops to reach out to additional companies. Charleston Daily Mail (W.Va.) (9/10)
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Exploiting Disruption in the Chemical Industry
In North America, the shale gas revolution is driving a boom in the industry as companies invest in new plants to take advantage of cheaper feedstock and lower energy costs. But this boom is more than another turn in the business cycle. It represents a rapid and fundamental shift for the industry.
Read the Accenture report.
Policy Watch
15 governors write to Obama to poke holes in legality, feasibility of EPA emissions rule
Governors of 15 states have written to President Barack Obama, questioning the legality of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed emissions rule for power plants. Legality issues aside, the rule "poses numerous practical problems for state compliance," the governors wrote. EENews.net (subscription required) (9/10)
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Braskem partners with Michelin, Amyris for isoprene project
Braskem has joined Michelin and Amyris' research project on renewable sources for isoprene. The collaborative project aims to use plant sugars from Brazilian sugarcane or cellulosic feedstocks. Braskem will help Michelin and Amyris develop a technology to use the sugars, these reports say. TireBusiness.com (free registration) (9/9), Chemical Week (subscription required) (9/9)
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EU cites need for agreement on U.S. energy exports soon for TTIP deal
The European Union is pushing the Obama administration to commit to stopping restrictions on U.S. energy exports under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. So far, the U.S. has not agreed to include a separate energy chapter in the deal. However, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said that such a chapter is needed and that the U.S. and EU must agree on its provisions soon. Politico Pro (subscription required) (9/9)
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TSCA reform can promote innovation, confidence in safety
An updated Toxic Substances Control Act that still allows use of generic names in disclosures would address intellectual property concerns and bolster consumer confidence, writes William Allmond, vice president of government and public relations for the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates. Generic names safeguard manufacturers' investments and don't interfere with the safety and health data the Environmental Protection Agency uses for regulation, he writes. The Hill/Congress blog (9/9)
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House passes bill to prevent EPA rulemaking on Clean Water Act
The House of Representatives voted 262-152 to pass a bill blocking an Environmental Protection Agency proposed rule related to the Clean Water Act. The rule would determine which bodies of water fall under EPA authority under the act. The House bill would also require the EPA administrator and Army Corps of Engineers to cooperate with local officials on policy recommendations. The Hill/Floor Action blog (9/9)
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Gas trade group introduces information-sharing, analysis system
The American Gas Association on Tuesday rolled out a platform that allows natural gas companies to share information about cyber and physical threats, analytics and other technologies. "The [Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center] is tailored to address the distinct operational needs of the downstream natural gas sector and provides the technological sophistication and coordination necessary to meet the ever-changing threats of the 21st century," Dave McCurdy, president of the trade group, said in a statement. The Hill (9/9)
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Petition seeks review of cooling water intake rule
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been petitioned to review the Environmental Protection Agency's cooling water intake regulation. Such regulation has posed "significant operational and compliance challenges," said the Utility Water Act Group. The petition was filed jointly by UWAG and Entergy. Bloomberg BNA (free content) (9/9)
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WHO, EFSA to meet on setting tolerable human exposure levels for chemicals
The World Health Organization and the European Food Safety Authority will hold a December meeting on the threshold of toxicological concern approach to setting tolerable human exposure levels for chemicals. The Dec. 2 meeting in Brussels will also address whether the approach can be altered to consider the probable effects of low-dose mixtures. ChemicalWatch.com (free content) (9/9)
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Other News
Research & Innovation
Leveraging microlithography to make nanoscale biosensors
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, working with Nanoflex, report they have developed a nanoelectrode array system using conventional microlithography systems. This method promises to produce nanoscale biosensors on a volume basis with low manufacturing costs, according to the research team. The Guardian (London)/SmallWorld NanoTech blog (9/9)
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Leadership & Management
Is it time to change the way you think?
Good leaders know that their perspective on a given situation or problem isn't the only one, argue authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal. To avoid falling into "cognitive ruts," they argue, understand that there are multiple ways to frame difficult situations, but you're likely using only one of them. Leadership Now/Leading Blog (9/4)
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If your employees are idiots, you're the one to blame
Leaders who think poorly of employees seldom stop to consider that they're the ones who hired them, Steve Keating writes. Either they made a terrible hiring decision, or they aren't taking responsibility for training and development. "When you accept 100% responsibility for the success of the people you've hired you'll no longer be so quick to dismiss them with a 'they're an idiot' flick of your tongue," he writes. LeadToday blog (9/7)
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Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful."
-- John Wooden,
American basketball coach
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The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of the American Chemistry Council.
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