WASHINGTON - NPCA has joined forces with a number of industries that have been adversely affected by the steep rise in natural gas prices. The Consumer Alliance for Energy Security (CAES) is a broad-based coalition of consumers, industrial and institutional energy users committed to alleviating the current U.S. energy crisis by pushing for greater access to the supply of domestic energy on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

CAES supports proposals pending in Congress that provide greater access to America's energy supply on the OCS and is building on a successful track record to expand CAES to include like-minded individuals and organizations who understand the need to address the current imbalance between supply and demand of domestic natural gas.

The high price of natural gas affects the coatings industry in a direct way. Not only does the high cost of natural gas equate to higher plant-heating expenses, but natural gas is a key feedstock for many raw materials used in coatings, such as vinyl acetate monomer. Gas is also a key input in chemical manufacturing requiring high levels of energy in its production processes. As a result, high gas prices can impact the prices coatings manufacturers ultimately pay for many of their raw material inputs.

For additional information on CAES, visit www.secureourenergy.com or contact NPCA's Allen Irish at 202/462.6272 or airish@paint.org.