LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany — The sprawling chemical plant in this city along the Rhine River has been a jewel of Germany’s manufacturing-led economy for more than a century. But the plunging price of natural gas in the United States has European companies setting sail across the Atlantic to stay competitive.
German chemicals giant BASF, which operates the plant here, has announced plans for wide-ranging expansion in the United States, where natural gas prices have fallen to a quarter of those in Europe, largely because of American innovations in unlocking shale gas.
Residents of Mayflower, Arkansas found pools of crude filling their lawns this weekend, raising questions about the safety of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Steve Mufson, author of “Keystone XL: Down the Line,” joins us to discuss.
Cheap natural gas lures E.U. to U.S. shores
Among those most affected are energy-intensive industries such as steel and chemicals, because they use natural gas as a raw material and power source. With Europe lagging in energy production, manufacturers on the continent warn that a chain reaction could shift more and more investment to U.S. shores.View Article