Friday, the Department of Interior announced it would develop new guidelines for development of coal resources on federal lands. Included in the announcement was a moratorium on new leases of coal on these federal lands until a new environmental impact study is completed. These studies take years, and Secretary Sally Jewell said the moratorium on new leases will be in place until the study is complete.
“Manufacturers need reliable energy sources and a robust energy mix, and this new plan from the president erodes our energy future. As the leading industry in cutting climate-related emissions, we understand and face the challenge, but manufacturers need to remain competitive in today’s global economy. The American energy boom has been beneficial to manufacturers, but this action by the administration will diminish that advantage.” – Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers
As users of one-third of the nation’s energy, manufacturers need a robust energy strategy that looks at all forms of energy, conventional and unconventional, to ensure an affordable and reliable supply. A key to our increasing global competitiveness, in addition to continuing growth in productivity, is reliable and affordable energy. Coal still provides nearly 40 percent of our electricity and gives manufacturers an advantage in a local economy. Also concerning in this announcement is the failure to examine the costs to manufacturing and the millions of supply-chain jobs directly and indirectly impacted by such a sweeping action.
Key concerns of manufacturers:
- A vague pledge to incorporate the flawed “social cost of carbon” computation into mine leasing.
- This move could artificially inflate electricity prices if royalty rates and leasing costs increase.
- Manufacturers and the more than 12 million men and women who work in American manufacturing gain a great deal of value from reliable and affordable energy.
- Adding to manufacturing costs through increased regulatory costs, and backdoor energy taxes, hurts the economy and does little to further the president’s goal of addressing income inequality.
Manufacturers will continue to fight for an inclusive energy policy from this administration and our next to ensure our ability to compete.