This week Ecolab released its 2014 Corporate Sustainability Report highlighting the company’s commitment to making the world cleaner, safer and healthier while protecting people and vital resources. A world renowned company in promoting sustainability, in 2014 alone, Ecolab was named to the FTSE4Good Index, The Civic 50, CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens, Newsweek’s Green Rankings and Ethisphere Institute’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. (continue reading…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
“I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover. With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time.” –President Obama, September 02, 2011
With the unemployment rate hovering above 9% and in the early stages of his reelection campaign, in September 2011, President Obama told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop its work on a new ozone regulation – a regulation that by the administration’s own estimate would have cost industry and consumers as much as $90 billion per year. Now, just two and a half years later, the administration is once again considering a new ozone regulation, and again the costs to manufacturers and the economy could reach never-before-seen levels.
While we are still months away from the release of a proposed ozone rule, the rulemaking process is very much underway – EPA has developed its draft documents, its science advisors have met and environmental advocacy groups are in court seeking to expedite the whole process. Meanwhile, manufacturers are becoming uncomfortably reacquainted with the concept of the administration levying a regulation that makes expansion in many, if not most, parts of the country difficult at best and in some cases impossible.
With so much at stake for manufacturers, the NAM is committed to being involved at every stage of the ozone review and rulemaking process to ensure the administration gets it right. We will work with elected and appointed officials at all levels of government and educate the general public about the regulation, the steady and consistent air quality improvements that have been made over the last 30 years and the improvements that will continue to take place based on laws already on the books. But we will also work to ensure the public understands the consequences of the administration going too far by proposing unattainable standards and how with the right policies we can have both a clean environment and a strong manufacturing economy.
Below is a video the NAM developed that provides some background information on EPA’s review of a new ozone regulation and what’s at stake for manufacturers and the economy.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-LA), joined by ten Democratic senators, sent a letter to President Obama on April 10 pleading with the Administration to commit to a timeline for a final decision on Keystone XL. At well over five years since the application was first received, the Administration has been criticized for repeatedly delaying the process. The 11 senators agreed with critics, calling the process “exhaustive in its time, breadth, and scope. It has already taken much longer than anyone can reasonably justify.”
Sen. Landrieu and her colleagues asked the President to require Secretary of State John Kerry to make a decision on Keystone XL. The project is currently subject to 90-days of public and inter-agency comment, which is set to expire in early May. The 11 senators asked the President set a deadline for the State Department to make its determination within 15 days of the end of the comment period, and for the President to commit to making a decision no later than May 31, 2014.
Given the final environmental impact statement came to effectively the same conclusion as all previous reviews of the project, these Senators urge the President to action. Yet the Administration refuses to commit to any firm timeline to make a decision on permit that is long overdue. The NAM has repeatedly called for approval of Keystone XL, a strong component of an “all of the above” energy strategy. Today we can add these 11 senators to the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe Keystone XL should be approved.
The benefit to manufacturing from the U.S. energy boom is undeniable. In September, the NAM participated in a study that found the unconventional oil and gas value chain could support 3.9 million jobs by 2025. The study cautioned that with the wrong policies in place, much of this economic potential could be lost.
Today, the White House released a strategy document that contemplates new “policy tools” for the oil and gas sector.
As the suppliers of goods to service this sector and the beneficiaries of the low-cost energy it produces, manufacturers encourage the administration to work with industry to build on the progress that has already been made in lowering emissions as opposed to issuing additional, inflexible regulations.