Energy

Cost Consideration: Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Michigan v. EPA

Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in Michigan v. EPA, to resolve whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must consider costs when deciding whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

It’s surprising that an agency would not consider costs when deciding how to regulate. We could make cars safer by requiring that they be made like tanks. We could reduce hospital infections by requiring hazmat-style protective equipment.  But alternatives like these are usually not appropriate. It is more reasonable to approach every regulation by weighing its unique costs and benefits. (continue reading…)

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Blunt-Thune Carbon Tax Amendment Reminder of Potential Negative Impacts of a Carbon Tax

As part of the Senate’s consideration of the FY 2016 budget, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and John Thune (R-SD) will offer an amendment opposing the future leveling of a carbon tax on U.S. manufacturers and businesses. The NAM has long warned of the potential negative impacts of an ill-conceived carbon tax program, particularly as other major emitting nations do not face similar cost burdens. Unilateral regulations or additional costs to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will only hurt U.S. manufacturers while accomplishing little, if anything, in the way of global emission reductions.

In 2013, the NAM released an economic study conducted by nonpartisan NERA Economic Consulting, looking at two carbon tax scenarios: one levied at $20 per ton increasing at 4 percent, and the other designed to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80 percent—an emission reduction level targeted in past legislative proposals. NERA found that any revenue raised by a carbon tax would be far outweighed by the negative impacts to the overall economy. (continue reading…)

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Local Governments Weigh In on Proposed Ozone Standards

The outcry over the EPA’s proposed ground-level ozone standards continues with representatives of the nation’s mayors, counties, cities and regions adding their voices to the debate in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy this week.

In the letter dated March 17, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and National Association of Regional Councils, detail the impact the most expensive rule in U.S. history will have on local governments.  These four organizations collectively represent 19,000 cites and mayors, 3,069 counties and over 500 regional councils. (continue reading…)

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Concerns Pour in As Ozone Comment Period Draws to a Close

The close of the EPA’s public comment period on its proposed revision to ground-level ozone standards has brought with it a flurry of activity, as lawmakers and leaders across party lines and at all levels of government voice their frustration with the rule.

And with the most expensive rule in American history waiting in the wings, it’s no surprise that elected officials are eager to urge the EPA to show restraint as they consider a shift from the current standard of 75 parts per billion to 65 – 70 parts per billion. (continue reading…)

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Reintroduced Energy Efficiency Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support

Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced their energy efficiency legislation Wednesday, joined by 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The NAM has strongly supported this legislation in its previous versions, and will continue to push for passage of this common sense, bipartisan energy efficiency measure that would create jobs by saving energy in industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2015 is similar to last year’s version, and sponsors say it will create 190,000 jobs, save $16.2 billion annually and reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 22 million cars. The bill helps to strength national building codes, establishes a Tenant Star program that encourages commercial tenants to be more energy efficient, establishes the Supply Star pilot program to encourage the manufacturing supply chain to become more energy efficient, encourages the federal government to be more energy efficient as they purchase new technology, and requires the federal government to better measure energy performance. (continue reading…)

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Veto Override Falls Short in Senate, Manufacturers Hope For Action

Today, the Senate voted to override President Obama’s veto of a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and even though this vote did not receive the 2/3rds approval needed to pass (failed by a vote of 62-37), it shows a dedication from Senate leadership to this important infrastructure project. This project would create tens of thousands of new jobs, opportunities for working men and women and energy abundance here in the United States. (continue reading…)

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Offshore Drilling Plan Misses the Mark

Today the Department of Interior (DOI) released their “Draft Strategy for Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing.” The draft proposal, developed by DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is the administration’s blueprint for offshore oil and gas leasing for the years 2017-2022. This plan will not only determine what areas will or will not be available for leasing for the next 8 years, but also will effect American energy production long after this Administration leaves office. (continue reading…)

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EPA Issues Final Rule on Coal Ash

On December 19, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule regulating Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), better known as coal ash. In doing so the EPA complied with a January 29, 2014 court order tor release a final rule.

While the NAM is pleased that the EPA, once again, made the determination that CCR should be treated as a non-hazardous material and regulated under subsection D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), manufacturers continue to have concerns about other parts of this rule that deal with disposal, impoundments and landfilling of coal ash and their impact on the electric power generation sector. (continue reading…)

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No-Grow-Zone: Manufacturers Feel the Impact of Costliest Regulation Ever – Part 3

The Growing Trend of Unattainable Regulations

The Clean Air Act has been a successful environmental statute. Air quality has improved across the United States and our economy has continued to grow. Using ozone and ozone precursor emissions as an example, since 1990:

  • Highway vehicle NOX emissions are down 48 percent and VOC emissions are down 30 percent, while an additional 60 million vehicles have been added to U.S. roadways over the same time period.
  •  Manufacturers’ NOX emissions are down 52 percent and our VOC emissions have been reduced by 70 percent, while our value added to the economy has more than doubled.
  • As a country, ozone levels are down nearly 25 percent and our economy has grown by 43 percent. (continue reading…)
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Shale Gas Continues to Benefit Manufacturing

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report released today found that U.S. natural gas production could bring an annual cost savings of $22.3 billion by 2030 for U.S. manufacturers and up to $34.1 billion by 2040. And in addition will create 930,000 natural gas driven manufacturing jobs by 2030, 1.41 million by 2040. The NAM and American Chemistry Council contributed to PwC’s report.

A similar study released in 2011 had projected one million manufacturing jobs would be created by 2025 due to the uptick in shale gas exploration and recovery, and could mean more than $11 billion in cost savings to manufacturers. With some of those jobs having been created in the last three years since that study, the new projections show that there will be even larger gains in shale gas driven manufacturing jobs, as well as even greater costs savings. (continue reading…)

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