The facility is part of Dow Chemical’s $4 billion plan to expand production of ethylene and propylene, products of shale gas extracted via fracking methods.
The company estimated the Texas project would employ up to 4,800 construction workers. Liveris also said that the plant would create 3,000 to 4,000 new jobs, as well as 35,000 indirect jobs.
“We’re still short of being the America we can be,” he said. “But we’re on our way, thankfully, due to the American oil and gas industry giving us cheap and abundant energy.”
Natural gas is so abundant, in fact, that the United States now has a 100-year supply, Liveris noted.
Commodity prices have seen a steady decline over the past year, falling from the $5 MBTU levels to below $2.
Natural gas prices dipped 2.5 percent for the day, trading at $1.90 per million BTUs for May delivery — a level Liveris called “artificially low” and suggested they would trend back to the $4 to $5 range.
“The United States could become an investment economy quickly here if we handle our policy environment — especially around natural gas — smartly,” Liveris said.
Energy, regulatory, tax and education policies, he argued, would help the industry and manufacturing on a broader scale.