This morning Senator Vitter (R-LA) and Congressman Bishop (R-UT) will introduce the Energy Production and Project Delivery Act of 2013. This legislation focuses on increased access to resources on federal lands and streamlining the regulatory process. The NAM supports this legislation and applauds its objectives. Manufacturers, which use one -third of our nation’s energy, need access to competitively priced energy in order for us to compete in the global economy and preserves high paying jobs in the United States.
Increasing access to domestic sources of reliable energy, both onshore and offshore, is essential to the long-term health of American manufacturing. For the first time in decades we have an advantage in energy costs and it is vital that we maintain that advantage if we are to remain competitive. While investments in new energy sources and efforts to boost efficiency gains play critical roles in meeting our nation’s future energy demands we cannot ignore the vital need to develop and utilize our domestic sources of energy.
Further, we can ill afford to place critical resources off limits and it is important that we open up additional areas in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). This would allow for greater exploration and responsible development of promising areas offshore and in the Arctic – all of which could substantially lower our nation’s energy vulnerability with minimal environmental impact. A study by Wood Mackenzie Energy Consulting concludes that policies encouraging domestic oil/gas exploration could add 1.1 million jobs by 2020 and 4 million barrels’ of oil and natural gas per day.
The revenue sharing provisions in this legislation will provide the offshore producing states would provide states with an additional $3 billion a year in revenues. All of this paid for by increased production and additional leases.
Regulatory streamlining continues to be a top priority for manufacturers. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is in desperate need of streamlining as it environmental and judicial review process can take years to complete. There are hundreds of projects from pipelines to power plants to manufacturing facilities that are being held up by an overly burdensome federal regulatory process. For example, this legislation would require EPA to do a complete economic analysis of the impact of regulations on employment under the Clean Air Act. It also would expedite the permitting of the Keystone XL Pipeline which has been under regulatory review since 2008.
We hope that the Senate will seriously consider this legislation and begin the legislative process quickly. Manufacturers are a vital part of our nation’s economy and affordable domestic energy supplies are vital to manufactures.
Chip Yost is assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.