DAVID GREENE, HOST:
NPR's business news starts with a new, multibillion-dollar chemical plant.
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GREENE: Exxon Mobil plans to build a huge chemical facility in Baytown, Texas. It reverses a company statement last year that said it has no plans for new chemical factories in the United States. According to Reuters, decades-low natural gas prices made the move too enticing to pass over. Natural gas is a key fuel in chemical production. By using its own natural gas, Exxon Mobil can run a chemical plant relatively cheaply.
The proposed plant would produce ethylene, which is used to make plastics. Construction could begin next March if the Environmental Protection Agency approves the plans. The new plant would add 350 full-time positions at the company's Baytown operation, and 10,000 temporary jobs during the construction.
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