MIDLAND, Mich. Dow Chemical Co. will raise product prices by up to 20 percent almost immediately to offset the soaring cost of energy and raw materials, and the CEO of the chemical giant lashed out Washington on Wednesday for failing to develop a sound energy policy.
The price increases take effect Sunday and will be based on a product's exposure to exorbitant costs. 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 soaring costs for Dow are "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.
Dow shares rose 21 cents to $40.44 in early trading.