The NAM Board Meeting: Energy on the Mind….

By September 28, 2005Energy

At the Small and Medium Manufacturers’ meeting yesterday morning, it was clear that energy was on everyone’s mind. The post-Katrina groundswell for new sources is really growing out there, believe it. A few things that came out of the meeting, all of which regular blog readers know well, but which bear repeating:

— France gets over 80% of its energy from nuclear power. For us, it’s more like 25%. There is a growing consensus that we need to be moving in this direction. If the so-called “Greens” of France can accept it there, they need to accept it here as well. As one manufacturer said, we can no longer be held hostage in this country by a small band of environmentalists with no plan, only obstruction.

— The US coal reserves exceed in BTU’s all of the world’s oil reserves.

— We are the only country in the world with such strictly limited access to its natural resources.

— With prices soaring, we need to be finding new sources of energy, including in ANWR, a place the size of South Carolina. Drilling will occur in a place the size of Dulles Airport.

If you want to know what’s on people’s minds outside the Beltway, the folks who are driving the economy, this is it. The three top issues in the “flash” survey of these 40 or so manufacturers: Energy, health care and finding skilled workers.