Energy Bill: Neither Independence Nor Security

By December 6, 2007Energy

The NAM today sent a “Key Vote” letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, telling House members that the conference report on H.R. 6, the Energy Security and Independence Act, is bad legislation and votes on it would be used to judge their records on manufacturing issues.

Here’s the substance of the letter, signed by Jay Timmons, Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Relations:

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest industrial trade association representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states, urges you to oppose the conference report to H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act.

NAM members support energy policies that: 1) expand domestic supplies; and 2) lower costs for U.S. consumers and for U.S. manufacturers, which use one-third of our nation’s energy. Access to competitively priced energy helps U.S. companies compete in the global economy and preserves high-paying jobs here at home.

H.R. 6 fails to meet those key tests.

If enacted, the bill would result in higher energy costs, fewer energy supplies, a weakened domestic energy industry and more job losses for U.S. factory workers.

U.S. manufacturers already face a 31.7 percent cost disadvantage when compared to our major trading partners. By increasing the cost of energy, this bill would drive the cost disadvantage even higher, putting quality American jobs at risk.

The NAM strongly opposes provisions in the bill that would:

  • Increase taxes on energy producers, including limiting or ending the Sec. 199 deduction and changing depreciation rules for the geological and geophysical costs incurred in energy exploration. This will directly add to the costs to energy production, discourage new domestic oil and natural gas production and make domestic energy investments less competitive economically with foreign opportunities.
  • Create a mandatory 15 percent federal renewable portfolio standard. This provision will directly add to the cost of electricity for manufacturers and consumers by mandating a renewable standard in regions of the country that do not have adequate resources to comply. In effect, it would translate into a new tax on electricity, passed on to U.S. manufacturers and consumers.
  • While we are pleased with the energy efficiency initiatives in the bill, we are strongly concerned about the absence of any meaningful provisions to expand domestic energy supplies. The NAM remains committed to proposals that enhance U.S. energy security through increased production of all types of energy, improved conservation and efficiency, more research on technology and alternative energy, increased access to domestic sources with continued environmental protections, and improved distribution.

    Correction: It’s not a conference report. Conferees never met. The House is voting a measure with amendments, as we understand it.

    Join the discussion One Comment

    • Mark says:

      Costs of manufacturing aren’t really going to matter all that much if we push the environment so far out of alignment that we cannot grow anything reliably, have water shortages and flooding in different parts of the country. Start shopping around for some photovoltaic panels, boys! If you need fire, try for renewable (solar-based) hydrogen: you can store it, make electricity with, and burn it, if you like.

      Let’s get the United Corporations of America (formerly the United States of America) out of third world energy and start using first world energy. That would be renewable energy, used efficiently.

      The sun is the primary source of energy for the entire planet. Oil and coal are even solar- energy, stored as carbon. When you burn these, you start changing the atmosphere back to a carbon-rich one (again), which stromatolytes originally replaced with oxygen a few billion years ago- do we really want to go there, again? Probably not. So, try to use your brain(s) and look at the larger picture for once, instead of your little accounting notebook. What good are all of these wonderful products if we are all scurrying around looking for a glass of clean water?

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