Tag: Ed Markey

House Votes Would Promote Energy Policy for U.S. Jobs, Competitiveness

The National Association of Manufacturers this afternoon sent a “Key Vote” letter to the U.S. House of Representatives calling for specific votes on three amendments to H.R. 1, the continuing resolution, that would promote a jobs- and growth-oriented energy policy. The premise:

Manufacturers support energy policies that: 1) expand domestic supplies; and 2) lower costs for U.S. consumers and for manufacturers, which use one-third of our nation’s energy. Access to competitively priced energy helps U.S. companies compete in the global economy and preserves high-paying jobs here at home.

The NAM urges a vote for two amendments:

  • OCS Exploration. Amendment 251 sponsored by Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA-1) would prevent delays in approving plans/permits for energy exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).The Department of Interior’s (DOI) permitting requirements have effectively brought drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico to a halt, creating a de facto moratorium.
  • Coal Ash Regulations. Amendment 217 sponsored by Congressman David McKinley (R-WV-1) would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward with plans that would classify coal combustion residuals (CCRs) or coal ash as a hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste will trigger an increase in disposal expenses for coal-fired power plants and other coal ash generators, likely resulting in higher energy costs for manufacturers.

The NAM urges a no vote on one amendment:

Punitive Taxes on U.S. Energy Producers. Amendment 213 sponsored by Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA-7) would impose roughly $50 billion in tax increases on major oil and gas companies by: repealing the Section 199 domestic manufacturing tax credit for these companies; prohibiting their use of last-in, first-out (LIFO) accounting methods; changing the tax treatment of dual capacity taxpayers; and more.

The NAM strongly opposes discriminatory tax policies, especially when they single out a particular type of business or industry sector. Tax increases on the oil and gas industry will lead to increased fuel costs for American manufacturers and consumers. Raising the price of fuel for manufacturers and the broader business community will further stifle their ability to expand and create jobs.

NAM “key votes” are used to determine a member of Congress’ record on manufacturing-related legislation.

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Marcellus Shale: Safe Technology, Needed Energy, Good Jobs

The Washington Examiner today takes note of the kneejerk reaction against development of the Marcellus Shale’s natural gas resources, made possible through hydrofracturing technology. From “Another enviro scare aimed at oil, gas“:

Back in December, Rep. Markey had good things to say about developing the Marcellus Shale gas: “[Natural] gas is going to do very well in the future, and the discoveries from the Marcellus Shale all the way through Barnett, that is all the way from New York down to Texas, are going to be big source of new electrical generation.”
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A Good Discussion of Energy Policy, and a Call for a ‘Reset’

The American Petroleum Institute and Newsweek magazine sponsored a panel discussion Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol, “Climate and Energy Policy: Moving?” Moderated by Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, the forum proved a good opportunity to hear from policymakers — Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) — as well as Jack Gerard, head of the API.

The transcript of the discussion has now been posted here. We especially appreciated Jack’s calm and fact-filled presentation on the economic importance of the energy industry and the potential harm that would come from passing cap-and-trade legislation. In responding to Rep. Markey defense of Waxman-Markey, Gerard argued:

The Chairman identified his bill as market-oriented. We believe it’s anything but. In fact, that bill has already picked the winners and the losers. Unfortunately, those who consume fuels in this country like gas, diesel, et cetera, are the clear losers. We’re held accountable, responsible for 44 percent of all emissions and given 2 percent of the allowances.

Who do you think is going to bear the cost of the bill at the end of the day? And that’s why the vast majority of all economic analyses point out that we’re probably close to 2 million jobs being lost in this country as a result of the bill. We don’t believe it’s market-oriented at all.

Secondarily, consumer-focused. Same point. If you’re imposing tremendous burden on the consumers, where you’re driving their gasoline price, estimates based on EIA data, governmental data, will drive it close to $5 a gallon in the current marketplace. We believe that’s excessive and it hurts consumers.

Last point, job creator. …Every major economic analysis of the House-passed bill shows job destruction. Some are as high as multi-millions. We don’t think this bill is a job creator. We believe it’s far from it, and we believe that’s one of the key reasons why we really need to reset. Look at all the great ideas that many have, including the Chairman, and come back with a new start to get us someplace with an energy policy and a climate policy that can be integrated and work for the United States.

The one odd point about the 90-minute discussion is no one raised the issue of Climategate, that is, the documents from the Climatic Research Unit of East Anglia University that show a politicization and manipulation of research used to promote cap-and-trade legislation. Seems like an important element in a policy debate. But then, the major media have also been less than diligent in tackling the scandal.

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Rep. Ed Markey Praising Development of Marcellus Shale

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, and a sponsor of the House-passed cap-and-trade legislation, participated in a good public discussion yesterday at the Capitol sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute and Newsweek magazine.

Given the astonishing expansion of natural gas  in the United States thanks to hydrofracturing and directional drilling making shale deposits accessible, it was encouraging to hear Chairman Markey’s comments in support of its development.

Rep. Ed Markey: Ninety percent of all new electrical capacity in America since 1990 has been natural gas, and it’s going to continue on that way as a base load with the new mandates for renewable electricity in the states having a higher percentage increasingly coming from that source. But natural gas is going to do very well in the future, and the discoveries from the Marcellus Shale all the way through Barnett, that is all the way from New York down to Texas, are going to be big source of new electrical generation.

Howard Fineman, Newsweek: As a native of Pittsburgh, I’m really excited about the Marcellus Shale. I’m hoping maybe there’s some under my relative’s land. (laughter)

Here’s the sound clip.

That was just one exchange in a solid 90-minute program. API’s Jack Gerard was especially effective in detailing the many problems with the cap-and-trade legislation, starting with its destruction of jobs. He said it was time for “a reset” in Congress on climate legislation, a sound sentiment.

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House Global Warming Committee and ‘The State of Climate Science’

Chairman Ed Markey of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming has just announced a committee hearing for next Wednesday, “State of Climate Science.” Given recent news, the terms “degraded” and “discredited” come to mind when describing it state, but Rep. Markey’s announcement indicates no interest in the controversy over the hacked communications from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia — documents that demonstrate bad faith and bad science from the researchers. From Markey’s news release:

With the international climate change talks in Copenhagen fast approaching, there is real urgency to reach diplomatic consensus on a planetary solution. In a hearing next week, Chairman Edward J. Markey and the Select Committee will explore with climate scientists from the Obama administration the urgent, consensus view on our planetary problem: that global warming is real, and the science indicates that it is getting worse.

The past decade has been the hottest in recorded history, with all of the years since 2001 being in the top 10 hottest on record, according to NASA. This summer, the world’s oceans were the warmest in NOAA’s 130 years of record-keeping. Meanwhile, global heat-trapping pollution continues to rise.

Chairman Markey made it a cause celebre when one temp employee of a lobbying firm faked advocacy letters to Congress on energy and global warming, devoting a hearing to the deceit and using it to criticize the coal industry. So one limited case of a single bad actor warranted such a dedicated inquiry. But documented, repeated debasement of science used to affect public policy gets nothing?

In a thorough report, Declan McCullagh of CBS News finds computer experts shocked at how shoddy the data and computer coding reaction really were.  Megan McCardle, blogging at The Atlantic, summarizes in a post, “The Real Problem with the Climate Science Emails“:

Sexing up a graph is at best a misdemeanor. But a Declan McCullough story suggests a more disturbing possibility: the CRU’s main computer model may be, to put it bluntly, complete rubbish. . . . That is a big problem. The IPCC report, which is the most widely relied upon in policy circles, uses this model to estimate the costs of global warming. If those costs are unreliable, then any cost-benefit analysis is totally worthless. Obviously, this also casts their reluctance to conform with FOI requests in a slightly different light.

Yes, indeed, that’s quite a state climate science has found itself in. It’s certainly worth examination at a congressional hearing, and McCullough’s report was headlined, “Congress May Probe Leaked Global Warming E-Mails.” He writes that Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) are interested in hearings, but no mention of Rep. Markey. 

(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, who continues to offer many informative links on the scandal.)
 

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Waxman-Markey Grandiosity

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA):

This bill has the ambition of the Moon landing, the moral imperative of the Civil Rights Act, and the scope of the Clean Air Act all wrapped up in one.

If the sponsor does say so himself.

Page H7675 of The Congressional Record, June 26, 2009.

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Waxman-Markey, Context in the Voting Records

Three hours of debate on H.R. 2454 started at 12:46 p.m. The bill has been introduced on the floor by its sponsors, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Both describes the legislation as a “jobs bill.”

Rep. Waxman’s record on NAM-designated key votes:

  • 110th Congress, 2007-2008: 30 percent
  • 109th Congress, 2005-2006: 4 percent
  • 108th Congress, 2003-2004: 14 percent
  • 107th Congress, 2001-2002: 5 percent
  • 106th Congress, 1999-2000: 17 percent

Rep. Markey’s record on NAM-designated key votes

  • 110th Congress, 2007-2008: 20 percent
  • 109th Congress, 2005-2006: 4 percent
  • 108th Congress, 2003-2004: 0 percent
  • 107th Congress, 2001-2002: 0 percent
  • 106th Congress, 1999-2000: 4 percent

 

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No Cap on Congressional Overreach

As always, insightful commentary from Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal today looking at the excesses of Congress, in this case on global warming and cap-and-trade. In “Global Warming Overreach,” Strassel describes the resistence of House Democrats, Blue Dogs and others from energy and manufacturing states, to the coastalists, Chairmen Waxman and Markey.

Cap and trade was already going to be a brawl, but the two upped the ante by including tougher targets and restrictions. If that weren’t enough, they rolled in every other item on the green wish list: a renewable electricity standard; a low-carbon fuel standard; a broader renewable fuels policy; new efficiency standards. Any one of these is a monumental fight on its own. Put together they risk an intra-party committee mutiny.

The political risks are great for the Administration and Congressional Democrats, both.

The Obama team is aware it has trouble, which explains last week’s well-timed Environmental Protection Agency “finding” that carbon is a danger. The administration is now using this as a stick to beat Congress to act, arguing that if it doesn’t the EPA will. (Reality: Any EPA actions will be tied up in court for years.) It also helps explain EPA’s Monday analysis claiming the legislation won’t cost all that much. (Reality: The agency could only make this claim by assuming an endless recession.)

The real risk to the president is that his bill goes down at the hands of his own party — with nary a Republican to blame. Whether Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Waxman considered this as they crafted their gem is unclear. But the overreach has made it a possibility now.

Meanwhile, Chairman Waxman continues to work on a cap-and-trade bill based on sound science political favors. From The Examiner, “To get votes, Waxman offers cap-and-trade breaks.”

P.S. The Journal also editorializes, “Reckless ‘Endangerment‘”: “President Obama’s global warming agenda has been losing support in Congress, but why let an irritant like democratic consent interfere with saving the world? So last Friday the Environmental Protection Agency decided to put a gun to the head of Congress and play cap-and-trade roulette with the U.S. economy.”

And with the American people, too.

P.P.S. Both Strassel and the editorialists evoke the more balanced approach of former House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-MI). NAM President John Engler also talked about Dingell’s perspective on cap-and-trade during an interview this week on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. See transcript.

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We First Had to Destroy the Jobs to Save Them

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), two House committee chairmen, unveiled what they are calling their “discussion draft” on cap-and-trade legislation, that is, the energy tax and rationing bill.

They are certainly on message, the “jobs” message, that is. From the news release, “Chairmen Waxman, Markey Release Discussion Draft Of New Clean Energy Legislation“:

“This legislation will create millions of clean energy jobs, put America on the path to energy independence, and cut global warming pollution.” said Chairman Waxman. “Our goal is to strengthen our economy by making America the world leader in new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.”

“This legislation will create clean energy jobs that can’t be shipped overseas, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and make America the global leader in energy technology. We will create jobs by the millions, save money by the billions, and unleash energy investment by the trillions,” said Chairman Markey, who held many hearings on the major issues in the bill. “Chairman Waxman and I will work with our colleagues to ensure that we are protecting American consumers and that our clean energy future helps all parts of the country.”

Hurricane Katrina created lots of jobs, too, albeit having first destroyed tens of thousands of them.

As for creating jobs — which we’re assuming includes jobs in the private sector — are the two chairmen persuasive bearers of the message? Rep. Markey was elected to Congress in 1976. Rep. Waxman was first elected in 1974 (although that date is not in his official bio). Sixty-six years of Congress between them.

More details on the legislation…

  • American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 Discussion Draft Full Text
  • American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 Discussion Draft Summary
  • For commentary from the free-market, pro-economic growth side of the debate, we recommend the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s experts. Myron Ebell mentions jobs, too:

    Representatives Waxman and Markey’s draft bill would raise energy prices through the roof and hurt poorer Americans the most.  It would destroy tens of millions of good-paying jobs.  Beyond these enormous economic costs, Waxman-Markey would put big government in charge of how much energy people can use.  It would be the biggest government intervention in people’s lives since the Second World War, which was the last time people had to have rationing coupons in order to buy a gallon of gas.

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    DOT Did Do That Daylight Saving Time Study

    The 2005 Energy Policy Act included a provision requiring a study of the energy savings from extending Daylight Saving Time, the extra four weeks of DST pushed through by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). (See Section 110, PL 109-05858. We’ve put the provision’s language in the extended entry below.)

    Missing its deadline by more than 10 months, the Department of Transportation finally, quietly issued the report last October. Any news about the findings disappeared in the middle of the election season. Here it is: Impact of Extended Daylight Saving Time on National Energy Consumption.” The key findings:

     The total electricity savings of Extended Daylight Saving Time were about 1.3 Tera Watt-hour (TWh). This corresponds to 0.5 percent per each day of Extended Daylight Saving Time, or 0.03 percent of electricity consumption over the year. In reference, the total 2007 electricity consumption in the United States was 3,900 TWh.
    • In terms of national primary energy consumption, the electricity savings translate to a reduction of 17 Trillion Btu (TBtu) over the spring and fall Extended Daylight Saving Time periods, or roughly 0.02 percent of total U.S. energy consumption during 2007 of 101,000 TBtu.
    • During Extended Daylight Saving Time, electricity savings generally occurred over a three- to five-hour period in the evening with small increases in usage during the early-morning hours. On a daily percentage basis, electricity savings were slightly greater during the March (spring) extension of Extended Daylight Saving Time than the November (fall) extension. On a regional basis, some southern portions of the United States exhibited slightly smaller impacts of Extended Daylight Saving Time on energy savings compared to the northern regions, a result possibly due to a small, offsetting increase in household air conditioning usage.
    • Changes in national traffic volume and motor gasoline consumption for passenger vehicles in 2007 were determined to be statistically insignificant and therefore, could not be attributed to Extended Daylight Saving Time.

    Our concern is that these results will empower/enable/encourage the economic meddlers to continue their Deus ex machining of the economy. Rep. Markey might even try to promote an outlandish, expensive cap-and-trade program to restructure America’s economy and society.

    That said, the study looks sound enough to this layman. The analysts examined real-world patterns and made some reasonable assumptions. They also followed the statute’s very limited scope for the study, i.e., no cost-benefit analysis. The exceptions are important:

    [This] study did not include an economic analysis of EDST, which compares the relative costs and outcomes, such as cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness. Section 110 of EPAct 2005 directed the Department of Energy to focus only on the impact of EDST on “energy consumption in the United States.” (42 U.S.C. 260a note)

    Finally, this study did not analyze any non-energy impacts that might result from EDST, as the focus of Section 110 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is only on energy consumption. Potential non-energy impacts include children traveling to school during darkness, traffic accident rates, crime rates, electronics changeover to new EDST dates, airline schedule changes, and agricultural work scheduling.

    One of the most powerful arguments against extended Daylight Saving Time is “My children will have to go to school in the dark.” That issue remains unexamined, as does whether more people died in car accidents thanks to government changing the clocks.

    Congressman Markey and his cosponsor, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) were delighted with the belated DOT report.

    “This is one of the few times in life when we can actually prove the old adage that time is money,” said Markey. “Government analysis has proven that extra sunshine provides more than just smiles. Daylight Saving Time not only saves consumers money, but also curbs the nation’s energy consumption, while reducing carbon emissions that lead to global warming.”

    According to the law, now that the report has been released Congress can vote to reverse the change. Doubtful. But think how much more energy eight weeks could save!

    (continue reading…)

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