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The Effects of the Texas Deep Freeze on the Petroleum Feedstocks



  • Texas is the largest producer of energy in the U.S., and it is a mostly deregulated, market-based system.
  • It is the only lower-48 state disconnected from the national power grid with the intention of avoiding federal regulations.
  • Texas cannot send power to another state; nor can it receive power from others.
  • The majority of Texas power is generated by natural gas-fired power plants.
  • Many power plants in the southern United States are not enclosed inside a building, with boilers and turbines exposed to the elements. This is by design. Leaving  key power plant infrastructure outside prevents excessive heat build-up during warmer periods but vulnerable in cold weather.
  • Feb 13-17, 2021, URI caused the whole state to experience record cold, preceded by ice storms, which were followed by snow.  Central Texas, for example, recorded the coldest temperatures in more than three decades and the most snow – about 6 inches – in more than seven decades.
  • Ice storms caused tree limbs to fall onto distribution lines, causing power outages.  Wind turbines were taken offline due to icing of their blades. Distribution of natural gas to power plants was shut-off or curtailed when key components in the gas system froze up.  Even a nuclear plant had a cold-weather-related failure.
  • The extreme cold caused a huge spike in demand for heat at the same time the power supply was collapsing.
  • The historic storm crippled the state’s power grid, causing widespread rolling blackouts to avoid a total meltdown of the power supply.
  • Petrochemical plants were given one hour to shut-down causing hard stops which damaged pipes, fittings, and pumps.
  • Trucks were stranded on the highways.  Their cargo, if not freeze thaw stable, froze solid.
  • Even 30 days later, some Gulf Coast plants are still assessing the damage and have not started production.
  • The petrochemical industry is a complex chain of interconnected chemistries.  Many complexes require a sequential start up.

Courtesy of Henkel Adhesives


EMA Launches a New Website Design

July 30, 2020, Alexandria, VA – EMA has launched a redesign of their website, www.envelope.org.  The site now features a cleaner and more contemporary design.  The redesign includes aesthetic enhancements to provide a more engaging user experience and enhanced navigation to help visitors easily find the information needed.

EMA’s online presence includes EMA, GEA and the EMA Foundation.  The site fully integrates with EMA’s membership and event management system, which includes the membership database, the ability to purchase training materials and to register for events.  Members will also have access to a robust database of presentations and reports from the EMA, GEA and Foundation library.  Members will also be able to connect with one another via a link to their online engagement platform, EMA Connect.

In addition, visitors will be able to access membership applications and view listings of manufacturers and suppliers, frequently asked questions, envelope sizes, envelope shipments and sales, and other industry related information.

“I am excited to debut the newly designed website.  I think our members will appreciate the clean, modern design.  Through this relaunch, EMA strives as an industry leader to deliver consistent, relevant news and resources our members can use daily” said Kim Moses, Senior Director of Education, Meetings & Membership.

EMA redesigned the website to provide 24-hour access to information on activities and news around the industry. For more information, please contact Traci Brooks at 703-739-2200 or tbrooks@envelope.org.


EMA’s 2019 U.S. Mailing Industry Report Reinforces Economic Powerhouse of Mailing Industry; 7.3 Million Jobs and $1.58 Trillion in Sales Reinforces Strength of Industry in a Digital Era

January 28, 2020, Alexandria, VA – The EMA Foundation’s Institute for Postal Studies has released EMA’s 2019 U.S. Mailing Industry Economic Job Study which reveals that the overall impact of the U.S. Mailing Industry remains strong. The study determined that approximately 7.3 million jobs and $1.58 trillion in sales revenue were associated with the U.S. Mailing Industry in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. This includes employment at the U.S. Postal Service and the broader business industry like printers, publishers, packaging delivery companies and paper manufacturers that rely on USPS as a supply chain partner. The U.S. Mailing Industry is the backbone of the American economy. Therefore, significant postal reforms are needed to ensure a viable U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and U.S. Mailing Industry. Ensuring predictable and affordable postage rates for mailers is a critical component of postal reform. This rate stability will encourage advertisers and businesses to use the mail, which is an effective tool for their return on investment, and to drive much needed postage revenues for USPS.

Key report findings include:

  • The U.S. Mailing Industry’s 7.3 million jobs represent 4.6% of the nation’s total civilian labor force.
  • The U.S. Mailing Industry’s $1.58 trillion in sales revenue to the U.S. economy in 2018 accounted for 4.3% of U.S. total output of $37.1 trillion.
  • The U.S. Mailing Industry grew in revenue by $123.4 billion (9.5% gain) despite losing 209,288jobs (2.8% loss) during that same time period due to economic recovery and more packaged products being delivered through the mail stream.

Mailing industry revenue growth, combined with declining employment, points to growing industry productivity. “We are excited to release this report because it reinforces yet again how important the broader Mailing Industry is to the U.S. economy. Policies that have a dramatic influence on the USPS impact many workers. Over 5.8 million jobs or over 80% of mail industry jobs depend on the delivery infrastructure at which the USPS is the center.” says Cheryl Chapman, chairman of the EMA Foundation’s Institute for Postal Studies and product manager of International Paper Company. Peter Johnson, PhD, Principal, emergentMeasures Research, co-author of the study stated that “this study should surprise all who those who assume that digital is the only economic efficient media. With our study showing a jump in total sector revenues combined with a marked trimming of employment, the U.S. Mailing Industry is becoming a more efficient contributor to total U.S. output with each passing year.”This study analyzes the most recent information collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Occupation Employment Statistics program on employment by occupation and industry, the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and the Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Affairs. Jobs and economic activity associated with the Mailing Industry are grouped into three categories:

  1. Public and private sector companies that create mail, deliver mail and parcels, and provide retail delivery services
  2. Companies that send and receive mail & parcels as part of their everyday business operations
  3. Companies that sell products using mail advertising or use the Mailing Industry to deliver their products

The study is available on the EMA Foundation’s website at www.envelope.org or you can contact the Foundation office at 703-739-2200 or Maynard Benjamin, President and CEO at mhbenjamin@envelope.org. EMA is the world’s largest association devoted exclusively to the envelope manufacturing and paper-based communications industry.

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The EMA Foundation for Paper-Based Communications supports the paper-based communications industry by designing and implementing a key research and education agenda for companies in the envelope industry and the customers they serve.

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