Bauer Business Focus

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Barbara Shook | August 29, 2014

Published on August 27, 2014

On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation about Houston’s current petrochemical boom with Houston Public Media News 88.7 Business Reporter Andrew Schneider.


Barbara Shook is a senior reporter at large and analyst for the Energy Intelligence Group.

Barbara Shook, senior reporter at large and analyst for the Energy Intelligence Group, stopped by Bauer Business Focus this week to discuss Houston’s latest boom in the petrochemical industry.

Shook aligns the industry’s recent success with the 1950’s boom, which introduced new no-flare laws. This new abundance of natural gas and natural liquid gas that was no longer going up in the flares had a large hand in creating today’s petrochemical industry.

“The only thing I can compare it to is what happened in the 1950’s, when the first big expansion in petrochemicals occurred. At that time the no-flaring laws were going into effect in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, in all the big oil and gas producing states,” Shook said. “[The natural gas] just went up in smoke, and finally the engineers in the industry who had conservation leanings prevailed.”

The education of state officials and regulators is important in keeping up the industry, Shook said, as they need to make sure that the resources are managed well and citizen’s rights are protected.

“Too many people are running for positions in different agencies that are just using them for springboards or higher office, as opposed to wanting to serve the state of Texas and it’s probably true in some other states as well,” Shook added. “They need to actually care about the industry that a given industry regulates.”

Click here to hear the full interview.

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