Tag: Energy

New NAM Video Explains Impact of Ozone Regulations

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.

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Democrats Ask for Action on Keystone XL while White House Offers No Clear Deadline

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.

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White House Releases Methane Strategy Document

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.

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Manufacturers Push for Regulatory Reform

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer recently co-authored an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, emphasizing the direct impact federal regulations have on local energy prices, consumers, and manufacturers.

Though these policy discussions take place on the national level, Timmons and Hamer note the implications are often most felt on the local level.  According to the authors, “Arizona manufacturing has rebounded to levels beyond pre-recession output. Thanks to hard work and smart investments, manufacturers in the state now employ almost 6 percent of Arizona’s workforce. But those gains could be put at risk by misguided federal energy policies.”

RegReform EventAs manufacturing continues to grow jobs and expand nationwide, the NAM has made a concerted effort, partnering with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), to advance common sense regulatory reform. A month ago on Capitol Hill, the NAM co-sponsored a “State of U.S. Regulations” event with the NFIB, during which both groups announced they “will utilize the full weight of their grassroots networks in an effort to engage with Congress and the Administration on the need for regulatory improvements.”

Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the NAM, said of the partnership, “This will be a strong and effective partnership because manufacturers and small businesses face a disproportionate burden of all regulatory costs. While manufacturers recognize the need for regulation, the scope and complexity of rules have made it harder to do business and compete in recent years. This is a trend that simply cannot continue and is easily solved with common-sense reforms. We can achieve a streamlined regulatory process with increased accountability and transparency that will protect businesses, manufacturers and consumers.”

The event, which coincided with Congressional debate on regulatory reform, included a keynote address by U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Whip, and opening remarks from Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the NAM, and Dan Danner, President and CEO of NFIB. Following the opening remarks, a panel of policy experts, which included former Governor George Allen (R-VA) and former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), discussed the complications within the federal regulatory system, noting how complexities create unintended consequences for manufacturers and small business.

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LNG exports take center stage in House, Senate

Today, both the House and Senate will hold committee hearings relating to liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Both hearings will focus on not only the economic impact but also the increasingly-relevant geopolitical aspects of exporting energy. The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing will focus on a specific piece of legislation: H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act. H.R. 6 would provide expedited processing of all new LNG export applications to the Department of Energy (DOE), and would approve all applications pending in the DOE’s queue as of March 6, 2014.

Like any major infrastructure project, LNG export terminals must run the gauntlet of a long, drawn-out permitting process. One of the earliest steps in the permitting process, a license from DOE, has become a regulatory choke point for LNG exports. Some applicants have been waiting years for a decision, with no end in sight. At DOE’s current pace, some of the applications in the queue could be waiting until 2016 or later before they can move to the next step in the process.  While the national interest determination requirement by DOE isn’t itself a problem–we support a process that is open, transparent and objective–the way it’s been carried out is creating a major barrier to free trade and open markets in the area of LNG exports. It also may be running afoul of our international obligations: a recent report by former World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body Chairman James Bacchus, who is testifying before the House today, concluded that the delay by the DOE to issue licenses to export LNG to foreign countries likely constitutes, in and of itself, a violation of our international obligations under the WTO. (He reached the same conclusion for coal export permitting delays.) As the United States leads the world in enforcing global commitments to prevent export restrictions, such as those that China has placed on raw materials and rare earths to the detriment of U.S. industry and workers, we should not ourselves be in violation of those same commitments.

The NAM was founded over 100 years ago to promote open markets and free trade for American manufacturers. In the context of all exports, including those of energy, the NAM fundamentally supports open markets and promotes exports of all products. We believe the market, if allowed to work, will provide equilibrium.  For the past year, we’ve called on DOE to speed up its licensing process to provide applicants an up-or-down decision as expeditiously as possible. In recent weeks, the editorial boards of the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and others have called for similar action.

As part of our commitment to exports and free trade, the NAM supports H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act. H.R. 6 would put the United States in compliance with its own international obligations under the WTO, and would and help bolster U.S. efforts to eliminate other countries’ export restrictions. H.R. 6 does not impact the economic, environmental or safety studies that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other agencies are required to conduct, nor does it remove any other regulatory requirement. It would promote the development of infrastructure to allow the export of a product–a principle that manufacturers support.

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Increased LNG Exports Benefit Manufacturers and the United States

Increasing LNG exports will benefit manufacturers, their workers and the entire American economy. Arguments by opponents to free trade like Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) that energy exports would do otherwise have been disproven in studies by every credible economist in the country. Again and again, experts find that granting licenses to export LNG would result in a net economic gain, including the official study done by the Department of Energy.

Just last week, NERA Economic Consulting, the firm that performed the analysis for the Department of Energy, updated its original study with the most current data available. It found that “LNG exports provide net economic benefits in all the scenarios investigated, and the greater the level of exports, the greater the benefits.” NERA concluded, “There is no support for the concern that LNG exports, even in the unlimited export case, will obstruct a chemicals or manufacturing renaissance in the United States.”

We are, indeed, in the midst of a manufacturing comeback, fueled by our abundant energy resources. Exporting LNG is a critical part of this comeback, with each $10 billion export facility creating manufacturing jobs across the supply chain during construction and operation. In addition, experts have found not only will we have enough natural gas at stable prices to fuel domestic manufacturing while also supporting LNG exports, but we will also still come out on top.

Furthermore, Sen. Markey’s proposal to restrict U.S. exports is contrary to the international rules that the United States helped establish some 40 years ago. Export restrictions, like those on LNG, are prohibited by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and according to a recent report by former WTO Appellate Body Chairman James Bacchus, these delays and restrictions may be running afoul of our treaty obligations.

A New York Times editorial recently made a strong point about the importance of energy in fostering the United States’ national security. We are deeply concerned about recent events overseas as manufacturers have employees across the globe, including in Eastern Europe. We are working closely with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to safeguard manufacturing employees and manufacturers’ investments around the world.

Getting our energy policy right is not just a domestic imperative, but it also has important national security implications. Like the New York Times and many policymakers on Capitol Hill, the NAM believes that it is in our national interest—and in the interest of our allies—that the United States immediately accelerates the review process of pending LNG export terminal applications. With an expedited review, the Administration would send a strong signal to the Russian Federation, our NATO allies, our trading partners and the rest of the world that energy exports matter and are a critical tool of American foreign policy.

Aric Newhouse is Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations for the National Association of Manufacturers.

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Manufacturers Submit Keystone Comments to State Department

Today, the NAM submitted comments on behalf of manufacturers to the Department of State regarding the National Interest Determination for the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline. In the comments, the NAM notes manufacturers’ strong belief that the project should be approved: “based upon the totality of the evidence in the record, the Keystone XL Pipeline is clearly in the national interest and should receive a Presidential Permit as rapidly as possible.”

Manufacturers aren’t alone when it comes to Keystone. Recently, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons joined Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) President Terry O’Sullivan in calling for approval of the pipeline. LIUNA represents nearly 500 local union chapters in the United States and Canada, and according to O’Sullivan, “the Washington politics behind the delay of the Keystone XL pipeline are of little concern to those seeking the dignity of a good, high-paying job.”

Business leaders from sectors across the U.S. economy also recently sent a letter to President Obama noting that “we are at an inflection point in our economic recovery. Whether economic growth will remain modest or pick up speed will depend on maintaining investor confidence and strengthening America’s competitiveness. The decision on Keystone XL will affect both.” And just today, a new poll released by Washington Post and ABC showed that over 65 percent of the American public say the project should be approved.

The NAM concluded by highlighting the major impact that approval of the project would have: “Manufacturers are poised to move forward and lead this country’s economic recovery. Infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline will play an important role in getting our economy on track. When projects of this magnitude are undertaken, the economic impacts are substantial, invigorating a supply chain of companies of all sizes and all manufacturing sectors throughout the country. It is time to move forward and build. Manufacturers call on the Department of State to find that Keystone XL is in the national interest and promptly issue a Presidential Permit so that the project may commence construction.”

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Manufacturers Urge Administration to Include Energy Exports in 2014 Trade Agenda

This week, the Obama Administration released its annual Trade Policy Agenda that highlighted the importance of trade and investment in promoting economic growth in the United States.  This year’s report focused substantial attention on the Administration’s efforts to “open markets for U.S. exports and ensure a level playing field for U.S. producers and workers to compete,” including through seeking new Trade Promotion Authority legislation and negotiating substantial market-opening agreements in the Asia Pacific and with Europe that have the potential to eliminate major barriers to U.S. exports and set in place strong standards of key issues from intellectual property to investment and transparency. Manufacturers’ welcome these initiatives and are working with the Administration to secure successful outcomes that will grow manufacturers’ opportunities around the globe.

Missing from this extensive report on 2014 priorities and 2013 activities, however, is any focus on a growing area of American export strength – the export of our energy resources including coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG).  America’s energy renaissance has changed the equation for manufacturers big and small, providing greater access to our nation’s manufacturers to affordable energy supplies.  America’s abundance of energy resources is also an important export opportunity – but for the fact that the United States is putting its own restrictions on energy exports through slow approval and permitting processes that are limiting U.S. exports of LNG and coal.  Those restrictions are out of line with America’s economic interests and, as detailed in a recent NAM-commissioned report by former WTO Appellate Body Chairman James Bacchus, out of line with the United States’ own international obligations in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

From the Constitutional ban on export taxes to the President’s 2014 Trade Policy Agenda, the value of exports to America is clear. Exports of energy and other goods support American jobs and economic growth. In the case of energy, exports also play a vital role in promoting broader global goals. Manufacturers continue to urge the Administration to stand up for exports – all exports including those from our energy sector – to advance America’s economic and broader interests.

Manufacturers are pleased to see legislation introduced this Congress that would expedite processing of our LNG exports. Such legislation would put America’s actions in line with its international obligations and advance America’s exports and economic interests.

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House to Vote on Bill to Improve EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations

This week, the House will vote on H.R. 3826, the “Electricity Security and Affordability Act.” The NAM strongly supports this bill, which I testified in support of back in November, and which the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, a coalition of roughly 100 business and labor organizations, recently showed ts support for. H.R. 3826 would would place some reasonable limits on EPA’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations and get us back to an all-of-the-above energy strategy.

Recently, the EPA proposed a GHG regulation for new power plants that would greatly limit the sources of energy available to power U.S. manufacturing. The first of several coming GHG regulations, this rule would effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States by requiring them to be equipped with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) systems. While CCS is a very promising technology, it is too expensive and is not in use at a single commercial-scale power plant in the country. To remain competitive in a global economy, manufacturers need an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy to ensure they have access to affordable and reliable energy.

If the EPA continues down this regulatory path, it will lead to even greater uncertainty and costs for U.S. manufacturers as we wait for the next similar regulations. It’s time for the EPA to consider a more reasonable path forward. H.R. 3826 would do that by drawing some clear lines around what EPA can and cannot do as it crafts these regulations.

To help ensure manufacturers have continued access to safe, reliable and low-cost energy, click here to contact your Representative and ask them to support H.R. 3826.

Click here to Take Action Now!

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Keystone Suppliers Pen Op-Ed

The Keystone XL pipeline represents a lifeline for American workers and the U.S. economy, and the longer we wait for approval, the longer the creation of thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs for American workers is put on hold. That was the message from NAM Members Albert Huber of Patterson Pump Company and Peter Bowe of Ellicott Dredges in a recent op-ed.

The op-ed, published by Forbes Magazine, is just one of numerous calls from across the country for the President to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Manufacturers know what is at stake with this project, which is why the NAM has joined over 165 CEO’s and one of the country’s largest labor unions in calling for approval.

NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg also recently addressed this issue at a panel hosted by Politico, saying “it’s time for the President to keep his promise to cut red tape and approve this job-creating infrastructure project.”

The first permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline was submitted to the State Department on September 19, 2008—nearly five and a half years ago.

 

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