For Manufacturing, Jobs, a New Approach on Climate and Energy

I’m going to be looking for other means of addressing this problem. Cap and trade was one way to skin the cat.

President Barack Obama, White House news conference, Nov. 3

John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, excerpts from conference call with reporters, Nov. 3, his response to a question from a BNA reporter about climate legislation and regulation in the wake of the 2010 elections:

I think and would expect the Republican majority in the House to be more aggressive in asserting congressional prerogative to make the policy in these areas and not simply accept the idea that in the 1970s it was ceded over to the EPA before some of these issues were even publically being discussed.

So I think the [Sen. Jay] Rockefeller proposal on the two-year funding pause for the endangerment regulations has much stronger support today than it would have had when it failed in the Senate.

Audio of Engler’s full answer to the question here. News coverage included:

Responding to a question from a Washington Post reporter, Engler said:

There is certainly more that can be done. Manufacturing, we look at it from our standpoint, we use a third of the electricity, we want to be energy efficient. We want to be able to take and have affordable energy so we can manufacturer here, and we want to be able to manage a transition to whatever the future holds over a long period of time.

All the data is pretty clear that under any program, any strategies, the next 20 to 30 years are still going to be dominated by fossil fuels, that half our power comes from coal, 20 percent from nuclear, 20 percent from natural gas. Looking at that, you’d say, we better get started on the nuclear program, because there are plants that will have to be decommissioned. We know that’s a clean, non-carbon fuel. That’s a good one, and that program’s been stuck.

We know that gas is a positive contributor, yet there are people targeting shale gas development despite the fact that’s helped us virtually triple our gas resources. We want to get that going.

Also …

[The] sort of over the top regulatory and even in some cases legislative overkill, you know, those are going to be reviewed, and I think they’re going to have a hard time passing any kind of a cost-benefit analysis when you look at the environment.

There may well be, as we’ve argued, better places to make the investment that get you a better payoff in terms of the environment, and at the same time, are useful in terms of creating jobs – not exporting jobs out of the country the way some of the punitive measures would have done.

Engler’s full answer is here as an .mp3 file.

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