Andrew Liveris, the CEO and chairman of Dow Chemical Company, has criticised the cost of gas prices in Australia and highlighted the benefits of cheap gas to manufacturers in the US.
The Australian-born Liveris, speaking to the ABC’s Inside Business, said that cheap shale gas was “a gift from heaven” to energy intensive manufacturers like Dow. He said cheap energy had assisted what was “nothing short of a renaissance” in American manufacturing.
“$4 billion of investment and the creation of literally thousands of jobs, the preservation of 50,000 jobs, [and] the creation of 5,000 or 6,000 more jobs,” said Liveris to Inside Business, when speaking of the effects of cheap gas.
Australian gas users pay more than double the price in the United States.
Liveris said that a “lucky country mentality” was behind Australia’s failure to properly address gas use.
“We've done it with mining, we've done it with agriculture and here we are, we want to do it with natural gas, in fact we are doing it with natural gas,” he said.
“It's less about reservation and more about creating a domestic sector through a policy framework. So I believe it's time Australia got its act together and looked at how to create a domestic gas sector.”
Liveris used a National Press Club address in October to call for Australia to use its gas supply more effectively.
Western Australia has a domestic gas reservation policy. The federal government has ruled out the national adoption of such a policy.