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Ross Eisenberg

NAM Key-Votes Congressional Resolution of Disapproval on Methane Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse issued the following key-vote letter in support of H. J. Res. 36, providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Bureau of Land Management relating to waste prevention, production subject to royalties and resource conservation.

KVL H.J.Res 36

 

Manufacturers Support Rollback of RMP Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers strongly support Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) Disapproval Petition under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act (RMP rule). The National Association of Manufacturers has long expressed concerns over the EPA’s proposed and, ultimately, final approach in this rule, which will create significant additional burdens without any safety benefits. The EPA’s RMP rule will overlap and conflict with other federal programs designed to promote safety and security, meaning that the EPA’s proposal will be duplicative and add regulatory burdens for manufacturers—and likely inconsistencies—with no additional benefits. In addition, the disclosure requirements raise concerns related to sensitive business and security data, which could actually threaten facility security.

Manufacturers support the CRA Disapproval Petition offered by Rep. Mullin and look forward to working with him, the other cosponsors and the rest of Congress to ensure this legislation makes it to the president’s desk for his signature.

 

 

The Other Side of the Story That You Didn’t Hear

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

I was struck by The New York Times article on Okla. Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, and the settlement of a long-simmering Arkansas poultry runoff case. I encourage you to take a look at a very different side of the story and its impact here.

It’s fascinating to see the nature of the criticism being leveled against Mr. Pruitt by environmental groups, former EPA administrators and other opponentsand here’s why: he doesn’t view the EPA’s role, and his potential role as administrator, the same way they do. He’s different. And they don’t like it.

But shouldn’t he be different? Shouldn’t he represent change from the status quo? Voters just elected Donald Trump president, in large part, because he pledged to be a disruptor, to dramatically change the way the federal government interacts withwell, everyone. The EPA is no exception. Read More

EPA Midterm Review of Fuel Economy Standards the Latest Example of Why Change Is Needed

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Until recently, the automobile industry’s work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on fuel economy standards had been a great example of how a federal agency and a regulated industry can put politics aside and work together toward a common goal.

Today, the EPA chose to make it political.

The agency jammed through a midnight regulation locking in fuel economy standards for automobiles 14 months before it was supposed to actually complete the rule, relying instead on outdated data. The agency also drastically cut short the opportunity for meaningful public comment and technical review, giving stakeholders less than 30 days from publication in the Federal Register. The EPA also appears to have skipped federal oversight or review by the Office of Management and Budget and excluded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been issuing joint fuel economy rules with the EPA since the late 2000s.

The fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules were supposed to be a shining example of how the EPA, other federal agencies, states and the industry can work together to drive environmental progress, technological innovation and economic growth. While more work was, and is, needed to fully realize that vision, the EPA had a chance to ride off into the sunset having built the framework for a collaborative model that could have lasted several more administrations. Instead, it chose politics.

A lot will be made in the coming weeks about the transition to new leadership at the EPA. The NAM released a seven-figure, multistate paid advertising campaign to support the nomination of Okla. Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator. When manufacturers and others note their optimism at the prospect of more balance, better process and more reasonable outcomes, it’s actions like today’s by the EPA that motivate a lot of those feelings.

Manufacturers Hopeful Pruitt Will Bring Balanced Environmental Approach

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers have routinely found themselves at odds with the outgoing Obama administrationeven in these last few daysbecause it continues to hammer us with regulations that lack critical balance. Just in the past two weeks, the administration seems determined to push the limits of the presidents regulatory power: a massive stream buffer regulation that effectively bans coal‎ mining, followed by a legally tenuous decision to indefinitely ban offshore oil and gas leasing in Alaska and the Atlantic and lastly a chemical storage regulation that imposes major costs but would not actually solve the problem (a Texas fertilizer plant explosion) it was designed to prevent. When these are layered on top of massive, billion-dollar regulations like the Clean Power Plan, Waters of the United States, ozone, PM 2.5, Boiler MACT and Utility MACT, the picture comes clearly into focus: the Obama administration is capping eight solid years of overregulation with a final backbreaking few weeks of the worst of the worst.

‎Throughout, manufacturers have been confronted with regulations where costs greatly exceeded their benefits, a government picking winners and losers in terms of energy sources, caused mass closings of power plants in the Rust Belt and across the southern United States and forced manufacturers to divert capital to environmental compliance that should have been used instead to innovate and create new products.

Well, we are now hopeful this is about to change.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently cheered the announcement of Oklahoma Attorney General (AG) Scott Pruitt for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said AG Pruitt’s nomination made him “hopeful the next administration will strike the right balance between environmental stewardship and economic growth.”‎

Our Competing to Win white papers for environment and energy lay out a bold agenda for the new EPA administrator and call on that person to issue policies that protect health, safety and jobs. We call for regulations—on air, water, waste and chemicals and even greenhouse gases—but we want them to be done better and in a more balanced way. ‎

We are confident AG Pruitt will bring balance to the EPA regulatory agenda. Manufacturers have stood side-by-side with AG Pruitt as we challenged the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Waters of the United States regulation and 2015 ozone standard. In all three cases, manufacturers asked for regulations we could live with—and when we didn’t get them, we were forced to sue. AG Pruitt did the same for the citizens of Oklahoma.

We encourage the Senate to move swiftly in confirming his nomination so this important agenda can begin on day one.

The environment has improved dramatically over the past 40 years. And we believe the EPA plays an important role in preserving the environment by supporting clear, smart regulations that encourage responsible use of our natural resources while keeping energy prices low—not at the cost of the economy, like we have seen over the past eight years.

It’s a winwin for manufacturers and the communities they support. We look forward to working with AG Pruitt on day one to achieve this.

 

Manufacturers Look to New Administration for Relief from Latest EPA Midnight Regulation

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

On December  21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final update to the Risk Management Program, a regulation that deals with on-site storage of chemicals at manufacturing facilities. Manufacturers support measures that ensure chemicals are stored safely. However, todays update would add burdensome and often duplicative requirements on manufacturers, including new compliance hurdles that will disproportionately hurt small rural businesses, while doing little, if anything, to improve safety.  Read More

Let’s Work Smarter, Harder and Together to Protect the Environment

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is releasing in-depth Competing to Win policy papers to equip Congress and the Trump administration with blueprints for delivering on manufacturers’ priorities. Today’s release is the seventh in the series and focuses on the environment. For more on the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition, follow @ShopfloorNAM.

Voters asked for change in 2016, and they are going to get it. Environmental policy is no exception, as the president-elect and congressional leaders have pledged to shift course on many of the regulations put in place by the outgoing administration. We’re going to have to wait until January 20 to see how they will do it, but I think it’s safe to say the Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the U.S. regulation and many of the Environmental Protection Agencys most hotly-contested policies are due for a revamp.

One of the most frequent questions I am getting from manufacturers and their employees is what the scope of these regulatory rollbacks will be and what they will mean for overall environmental protection and manufacturers’ strong commitment to sustainability. We’ve made no secret of our distaste for the growing regulatory burden on manufacturers; the average manufacturer spends $10,497 per employee just to comply with environmental regulations, and small manufacturers spend double that amount. But we also want to improve the environment, economic performance and the social well-being of the employees, communities, customers and consumers we serve. We just want to do it in a way that fosters innovations instead of the overly prescriptive regulations that have created roadblocks and uncertainty in recent years. Regulation done wrong actually harms how rapidly we can achieve our environmental goals.

The NAM is excited to share with President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders Competing to Win: Sustainability and the Environment, the NAM’s aggressive plan of action to improve the environment for all.

This is, perhaps, a different paper than you might have been expecting from us. We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with the Obama administration on how best to confront climate change, protect air and water, limit waste, conserve resources and protect biodiversity. But let me be abundantly clear: manufacturers are absolutely committed to confronting climate issues, protecting air and water, limiting waste, conserving resources and protecting biodiversity. We’ve been doing it for decades and getting results. It’s in our DNA. And we want the federal government to work with us, not against us, to drive a more sustainable future for the United States and the world.

  • This plan sets forth concrete steps manufacturers hope our leaders will take to foster new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global climate change, so manufacturers can be the solution here and around the world.
  • Our plan sets forth recommendations to strengthen stewardship of water resources and foster local, state and federal cooperation.
  • Finally, our plan sets forth proposals to create more balanced, effective regulations and modernize outdated environmental laws to better address 21st-century environmental challenges.

Now is the time to think big, and that’s what we’re doing—as part of our ongoing effort to be the solution. The election did not make our environmental challenges disappear, and we’re not about to pretend that it did. Manufacturers have embraced sustainability because it’s good business and it’s the right thing to do. We’re confident our leaders in Washington will agree.

To view the blueprint, click here.

This blog is part of the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.

Manufacturers’ Story of Promise: Energy

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is releasing in-depth Competing to Win policy papers to equip Congress and the Trump administration with blueprints for delivering on manufacturers’ priorities. Today’s release is the third in the series and focuses on energy. For more on the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition, follow @ShopfloorNAM.

The landscape on energy seems to change faster than we change presidents. When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, manufacturers were largely at a competitive disadvantage on energy versus their foreign counterparts. Today, the script has flipped. The United States now has a mix of energy resources and innovative technologies unmatched by any other nation in the world, and manufacturers enjoy a distinct competitive advantage.

President-elect Donald Trump will enter office in January facing a host of challenging policy issues on day one, and energy is no exception. But this isn’t a story of struggle; it’s a story of promise. For too long, Washington policies have failed to keep pace with our energy renaissance. As a result, the energy advantage manufacturers enjoy has happened in spite of Washington, not because of it. That dynamic desperately needs to change.

So the NAM has delivered to President-elect Trump and his transition team a comprehensive set of recommendations that, if enacted, will maintain and widen the competitive advantage manufacturers enjoy on energy. Manufacturers’ recommendations will spur investments from existing manufacturers and attract new ones, creating jobs and fueling economic growth in the United States.

The NAM’s Competing to Win: Energy in Focus plan is a roadmap of sensible energy policies that we hope the new president and Congress will embrace.

The plan provides concrete steps leaders can take to ensure that adequate energy resources from all sources are developed in the United States, which include the following:

  • Promote continued research, development and deployment of new technologies that improve energy efficiency;
  • Reduce regulatory barriers for energy production, transport and use and limit the “permitting paralysis” that stymies new energy infrastructure projects; and
  • Provide for a reliable electric grid that ensures manufacturers can access energy when they need it, even as policies and markets change.

The Obama administration has presided over our energy revolution and deserves some credit. That said, it has always felt like we were leaving so much on the table. Access to energy thrived on private lands but was artificially limited on federal lands. Energy infrastructure projects were left in limbo by an administration that seemed unwilling or unable to make a decision. Approvals were granted then revoked. New technologies were embraced one day and ignored the next.

Together, we can turn a good story on energy into a truly great one. Manufacturers are ready and willing to work with the new president and Congress to maximize our energy advantage. It’s time to hit go.

To view the blueprint, click here.

This blog is part of the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.

President-Elect Trump Acknowledges Energy Infrastructure Powers Our Lives

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

 

In the latest sign that President-elect Donald Trump remains committed to making the investments needed to improve the nation’s infrastructure, this week he signaled his support for the Dakota Access pipeline.

As we have previously noted, the NAM supports the $3.8 billion pipeline project, which is more than 90 percent completed and awaiting a final easement approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A final easement for the project has been withheld by the Obama administration, delaying the project’s completion.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) released a statement applauding the news. He said, in part, that “It is important to know that the new administration will work to help us grow and diversify our energy economy and build the energy infrastructure necessary to move it from where it is produced to where it is needed. The result will be more jobs, a more vibrant economy and affordable energy for the American people.”

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is pleased that the new administration continues to provide early evidence it is behind energy development and construction of private-investment projects like the Dakota Access pipeline.

Americans rely on energy infrastructure to safely transport the energy that powers our lives daily. This includes not only to our homes, communities and businesses but also supports key industries like manufacturing. And while manufacturers have benefited greatly over the past few years from access to affordable energy, we need to further invest in infrastructure projects that will help us deliver quality goods to our customers.

In a letter sent shortly after the presidential election, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons talked about the need to invest in infrastructure and applauded the administration’s commitment to it. Timmons wrote, in part, that we have “a tremendous opportunity before us to rebuild our infrastructure, spur economic growth and accelerate job creation as a result. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you, your transition team and your administration to put a serious, bold plan into action.”

NAM Supports New Administration’s Infrastructure Promise in “Building to Win”

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

On his list of putting America first, President-elect Donald Trump has prioritized rebuilding America’s infrastructure.  From roads and bridges to pipelines and ports, America has an opportunity to come together to rebuild the nation and grow the economy through these critical investments.

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons recognized the president-elect’s strong commitment to making policies that will jumpstart our economy and highlighted this in a letter to the incoming president saying:

“You outlined during the campaign and made very clear in your victory speech that we have a tremendous opportunity before us to rebuild our infrastructure, spur economic growth and accelerate job creation as a result. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you, your transition team and your administration to put a serious, bold plan into action.”

The letter highlights the NAM’s latest initiative called “Building to Win.” The hallmark of this effort is a comprehensive blueprint that recommends policy solutions to some of the nation’s greatest infrastructure challenges and also highlights some funding and financing options to make the investments American workers and businesses need.

America’s aging infrastructure is one of the greatest obstacles challenging the nation. The lack of modernization is a threat to security, safety and growth throughout our communities. For instance, aging pipelines and bottlenecks in energy transportation deny families fair access to affordable, reliable energy. However, by creating, developing and maintaining the pipeline network communities deserve, Americans are able to lower their energy costs and allocate those resources toward other needs.

Fair access to energy isn’t the only reason action is required. The NAM’s “Building to Win” blueprint also advocates a more streamlined and transparent regulatory process for infrastructure projects. Action is needed if the United States is to save itself from the cumbersome regulatory process that surrounds infrastructure projects. Currently, bureaucratic red tape is slowing down the modernization that will spur economic growth through community investments, new tax revenue and job creation.

As the NAM letter to the president-elect states: “We believe that a strong bipartisan program to fix our ailing infrastructure will be a significant step to help bring our country back together.”

With the shared goal of improving America’s infrastructure, the NAM will work with Congress and the new administration to overcome our infrastructure challenges to allow the economy and our communities to continue to grow.