Nucor Corp. head urges more gas drilling

March 28, 2006 at 1:07 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 28 (UPI) -- The head of a big U.S. steel company says it is imperative that Washington allow more drilling for natural gas.

"Now I don't expect our government to guarantee us low natural gas prices," said Dan DiMicco of North Carolina's Nucor Corp. "I do expect that our government will not withhold natural gas supply that they control.

He said that Nucor's margins have been pressed by foreign competitors who have access to far less expensive natural gas.

He urged Congress to pass legislation to allow more production of natural gas from the Outer Continental Shelf, including legislation on the OCS Lease 181 bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

DiMicco also asked Congress to expedite liquid natural gas site approvals and he called on the administration to provide more resources "to cut the backlog in permits" on onshore areas already approved for drilling.

"We ... were urged to use clean burning natural gas to heat our homes and generate our electricity, thereby increasing demand for gas (more than 27 percent) but were denied the opportunity to increase the supply here at home or by bringing in liquefied natural gas from overseas."

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