SOCMA Energy Policy
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) is the leading trade association representing the specialty batch and custom chemical industry. Our membership includes a diverse array of different types of companies, of which more than 80 percent are small- and medium-sized businesses. The distinctive feature of our industry sector is the production of a wide range of specialty chemicals, with a highly varying production mix. SOCMA advocates for flexibility in regulations and policies so members can achieve compliance and improved performance while maintaining efficiency and productivity.
SOCMA recognizes that a comprehensive national energy policy can play a significant role in supporting the U.S. manufacturing sector while simultaneously reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil and offering environmental benefits.
Considering the nature of our specific industry, with its diverse production runs, SOCMA endorses a comprehensive energy policy mix which promotes the use of cleaner fuels and energy sources. The specialty batch chemical industry typically produces its products in batches in multiple step processes. These products and processes /process mix often change regularly. For the stability and future growth of this specialized component of the broader manufacturing sector, it is imperative that any national energy policy meshes well with the fundamental characteristics and structure of our industry.
In particular, given the abundant natural gas resources in the United States, and the reduced greenhouse gas emissions that would occur compared to other energy sources, SOCMA believes the use and production of natural gas should be encouraged. Already, many SOCMA members rely on natural-gas-fired boilers in their facilities. Looking to the future, SOCMA members need to be able to rely on a cheap, abundant energy source for use in process gas use and power generation in order to be able to compete in the global economy effectively. Accordingly, SOCMA endorses policies which promote the development of natural gas as an energy source, including the use of new technology to access and extract natural gas from reserves in a safe and sustainable manner.
More broadly, SOCMA supports policies that encourage a mix of clean renewable resources, but opposes mandating any specific technologies.
Finally SOCMA is very supportive of measures that can be taken to improve energy efficiency. We recognize that energy savings directly benefit member companies’ financials, and therefore our members are incentivized to try to maximize those savings. SOCMA’s performance improvement program, ChemStewards, reflects this support. Launched in 2005, ChemStewards® requires members to develop and implement an environmental, health, safety and security management system. These management systems programs provide the foundation for further steps that both improve environmental performance and make businesses more efficient.
SOCMA appreciates that cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation measures help reduce energy costs, and simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SOCMA supports any tax credits which are targeted and improving energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities, processes, and buildings, as well as efforts to support R&D designed to increase efficiency. SOCMA also supports measures that are specifically designed to promote energy efficiency at smaller and medium-sized facilities.
Given the diversity of our membership, SOCMA believes federal policies or programs need to be flexible, so businesses of all sizes can participate effectively, or at least not be inadvertently disadvantaged due to business size, or variable production. Furthermore, businesses should receive credit for having already implemented energy efficiency measures, including the use of energy audits.
SOCMA Board of Governors approved on December 5, 2011.