Dow Chemical boss urges policy-makers to support consumers, not gas exporters

Free gas marketeers are content to “kill” Australian manufacturing and other sectors, and to allow to country to become dependant on resource exports, according to Dow Chemical CEO and chairman Andrew Liveris.

Darwin-born Liveris, addressing a UBS Global Leaders Insights forum on Sky Business and speaking on behalf of a large consumer, Dow, argued that the neither the United States or Australia had a gas policy, and spoke in favour of what he called a “measured” approach to exports.

“All we're doing as a large consumer in the country in the United States is being, if you like, a representative of those consumers and saying, just a second, don't approve 20 terminals, don't export 50-90 per cent of this away immediately, let's have a measured approach,” he told the forum.

Liveris, who also sits on US president Barack Obama’s Manufacturing Council, stated that every market had the prices of its contracts tied to oil prices, the alternative to gas, and that oil hadn’t been trade in a free market since the formation of OPEC in the 1970s. He advised Australian policy-makers on both sides of politics to consider the unintended consequences of unrestricted exports.

“And so to kill Australian manufacturing, to make the Australian domestic consumer pay a world oil price equivalent in the domestic Australian economy is basically saying, I'm going to be a resource exporter and let my other sectors suffer,” he said.

“If that's what the country wants do it consciously. Don't let oil and gas companies dictate what the answer should be. That's the only thing I'm saying and I'm saying that as an Australian.”


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