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Dow CEO: 'True Energy Crisis' Forces Price Hike

Chemical giant raising prices by up to 20 percent to offset soaring energy and raw materials costs, blaming lawmakers in Washington for the nation’s ‘true energy crisis.’

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) -- Dow Chemical Co. said Wednesday it's raising product prices by up to 20 percent to offset the soaring cost of energy and raw materials, and is blaming lawmakers in Washington for the nation's ''true energy crisis.''

The Midland-based chemical giant said the increases take effect Sunday and will be based on a product's exposure to those cost increases. Dow said it spent $8 billion on energy and hydrocarbon-based feedstock, or raw materials, in 2002 and that could climb fourfold to $32 billion this year.

''For years, Washington has failed to address the issue of rising energy costs and, as a result, the country now faces a true energy crisis, one that is causing serious harm to America's manufacturing sector and all consumers of energy,'' Chairman and Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said in a statement.

''The government's failure to develop a comprehensive energy policy is causing U.S. industry to lose ground when it comes to global competitiveness, and our own domestic markets are now starting to see demand destruction throughout the U.S.''

Liveris said the increases are straining its businesses and ''forcing difficult discussions with customers.''

Dow Chemical makes a broad range of chemical, plastic and agricultural products that are sold in 160 countries.

The company last month reported a 3 percent drop in quarterly earnings. At the time, Dow said it considered it a strong showing in the face of a 42 percent jump in feedstock and energy costs.

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