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Worried about 2014? We asked the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council, a group of chief executives who meet annually, to tell us what development outside their control might significantly affect their businesses in 2014. We got responses from 33 CEOs, from some of the world’s biggest companies. They were worried about many things, as those at the top tend to be, but here’s five things many had in common.

Keeping Energy Costs Under Control

Nicholas Akins, CEO of American Electric Power: “The Environmental Protection Agency already has put in place regulations that will result in the planned closure or conversion of nearly 20 percent of the nation’s coal-fueled generating capacity in the next few years, and that’s before they address greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA is expected to propose new greenhouse gas limits for existing power plants in June, and how those regulations are developed will have significant implications for power prices and electricity reliability”.

Mark Costa, CEO of Eastman Chemical: His big concern? “Maintaining stable natural gas prices in the US. A way to help ensure that stability is to update the existing public interest criteria to establish objective, comprehensive standards for reviewing and approval of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export applications. This issue is very important to companies like Eastman who are energy-intensive. The Department of Energy is moving forward with approving applications in the pipeline to non-free trade agreement countries, without establishing appropriate legal standards for what is in the “public interest”. This approval process should give due consideration to domestic natural gas consumers, particularly US manufacturers.”

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