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Even in a business that deals with big numbers, $100 billion makes one sit up and take notice. That $100 billion figure is the amount that the U.S. chemical industry estimates is the total investment linked to domestic natural gas produced from shale regions such as the Marcellus.

At last week’s North American summit, President Obama testified to the many benefits that have accrued to Mexico, Canada and the U.S. as a consequence of lowering trade barriers through the North American Free Trade Agreement. And the president made clear that much of last week’s summit focused on ways to reduce any continuing trade frictions.


The president and his senior advisors would be wise to remember that the American heartland produces more than just food for the world. It also produces increasing volumes of energy products like oil and natural gas.

The significant recent increase in U.S. oil production represents by far the largest addition to world oil supplies over the last few years from any nation on the planet.