Report: Inexpensive natural gas gives edge to U.S. plastics industry

A new report says the nation's shale gas fields have given the United States a competitive advantage in the plastics industry, helping to spur $130 billion in new capital investments, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the report by the American Chemistry Council found that inexpensive supplies of natural gas are tipping the favor of the plastics industry toward the United States because plastics producers in North America primarily use natural gas as a feedstock, while other parts of the world use oil. The council said it is tracking billions of dollars in investments in new manufacturing capacity tied to that price advantage, including nearly $25 billion in the production of polyethylene. For more, read the full story. The American Chemistry Council report can be found here.