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Dow Chemical CEO: Energy Growth a 'Game Changer'

Javier E. David | Special to CNBC.com
Thursday, 24 Jan 2013 | 12:12 PM ET
Why Countries Must Compete: Dow CEO
Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical president, chairman & CEO, discusses how businesses can invest, innovate and prosper among growing global competition.

The U.S. energy complex including the growth of natural-gas drilling is "a game changer" that could easily contribute to global economic growth and job opportunities, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris told CNBC on Thursday.

In a wide-ranging conversation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the chief executive outlined a bullish case for the broad energy complex, including the controversial process of extracting natural gas, also known as fracking.

Although environmentalists oppose the practice, Liveris called alternative energy development "a bull case for the world" in spite of the environmental concerns. "I'm bullish," said the Dow CEO, who is also co-chair of the WEF.

(Read more: Davos 2013)

"I think it's a game changer and I think it's the story of global economic recovery if handled right," he said. "Frankly the beneficiaries of that will be the U.S. consumer and U.S. jobs."

As President Barack Obama embarks on a second term, Liveris encouraged him to work toward marrying energy reform with climate change, which he called a "big topic."

"If I were president I would go after" both climate change and energy reform, Liveris said, "which is a win-win." "Less carbon intensity and more jobs seem to go well politically."

(Read more: Special Report: Whose Winning the Natural Gas Game?)

Liveris is also co-chair of this year's forum and he said his interactions suggest optimism in Europe. "It's a relative positive so I don't want you jumping to the bull case," he said. "People are feeling much better about a European bottom and the potential signs of a Europe that's above zero percent growth," he said.

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