As we mentioned last week, we released the results of our survey of some 10,000 small and medium manufacturers on energy and as you know, it ain’t pretty. Almost two-thirds of respondents said that they would have to resort to job cuts, wage freezes or benefits cuts as a result of soaring energy costs. We are paying the highest prices in the world for natural gas while 420 trillion cubic feet of it sits in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), almost all subject to a federal moratorium. We remain the only country in the world that limits access to its own natural resources.
To kick off this week, we wanted to give you a few verbatim comments from the men and women — small manufacturers all, struggling to compete — who filled out the survey. As usual, our manufacturers say it better than we can:
“This is a double hit. We pay more for the energy we use as well as a surcharge on the items we buy.”
“We will pay the cost as long as we can, then close the company down.”
“The cost of oil and natural gas has increased our price of material by as much as 93.1 percent since March 1, 2004.”
“Growth initiatives [are] on hold. Conservation and downsizing has taken priority. Planning for future growth is secondary.”
“Gas and electricity has doubled in the past two years. Due to competition overseas I cannot pass the added cost to customers; so I must cut jobs and reduce pay to those that are left.”
“In my opinion, the net result will be our inability to compete nationally with overseas markets. More manufacturing will leave the U.S. It is becoming closer to “critical mass” now. If more manufacturing in U.S. is lost, we may never be able to recover.”
These manufacturers are on the front lines. They are the best, most competitive manufacturers in the world, trying valiantly to compete — all the while paying the world’s highest legal costs, the world’s highest environmental compliance costs and the world’s highest natural gas prices. Congress can fix it all if they want to.
Please click here to weigh in with your Member of Congress and tell them to do something about increasing domestic production of energy — in ANWR and the OCS — to begin to level off these choking prices before it’s too late.
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