As the incoming Trump administration prepares to reform and roll back many misguided federal regulations, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has released a new study revealing the sheer number of business and operational hurdles that manufacturers face on a daily basis as a result of the nation’s current regulatory structure. Read More
A recent study released by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) examined how new technology has impacted the surge of natural gas production in the United States and made U.S. manufacturing more competitive in the global marketplace. It’s great news that abundant energy resources are energizing American manufacturing. But if we don’t modernize our energy infrastructure to fully connect these resources to manufacturers, we will fall short of our full economic potential.
Manufacturers have routinely found themselves at odds with the outgoing Obama administration—even in these last few days—because 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 president’s 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 win–win for manufacturers and the communities they support. We look forward to working with AG Pruitt on day one to achieve this.
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, today’s 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
In what many are describing as a purely political move, the outgoing administration announced a last-minute attempt to block much of America’s access to offshore energy resources. Our nation’s energy policy took a step back today, but manufacturers are ready to take two steps forward with a fresh start in the new year.
Fortunately, this move to increase energy costs for manufacturers and families across our country can be reversed. As the innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and disruptors who are improving lives and transforming the world, manufacturers look forward to working with the next president to fix this misguided move and open opportunity for future generations. Read More
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and its affiliate, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, partnered with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber on Tuesday to host a panel discussion on infrastructure development and investment.
Expanding infrastructure is “great for the economy, great for the workers, middle-class jobs that are secure with benefits and pensions and good retirements, so it’s all good,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) told WKBN News during the “Fueling America’s Future: Accelerating Energy and Transportation Infrastructure” event.
The bipartisan discussion included Rep. Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio’s 13th District, and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), a Republican who represents Ohio’s 6th District. They were joined by Rocco DiGennaro Jr., president of the Western Reserve Building Trades; David Ledonne, vice president for operations in the Utica Shale and Appalachia for MarkWest/MPLX; and moderator Ryan Augsburger, managing director of public policy for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.
“We know based on what we hear from our members that the support for transportation and energy infrastructure comes from all corners of the state,” Augsburger said in kicking off the event for about 100 members of the business and civic community who attended. “It crosses party lines, as you’ll see here today with the congressmen, and it transcends just about every demographic group you can imagine.”
The panel members answered questions from the audience about critical pieces of infrastructure, such as pipelines, roads, bridges, power plants and how investment in them can help bring manufacturing back to Ohio. The speakers conveyed a sense of optimism over plans for development.
DiGennaro explained how 500 of his union members would be working on a natural gas–fired power plant next year and how eager his members are to work on ethane cracker plants as well. Ledonne provided the audience with an overview of how oil and gas development leads to expanded manufacturing as he provided an update on the significant investment Markwest/MPLX has made in the state.
The panelists drove home the point of how critical it is to invest in energy and transportation infrastructure. Rep. Ryan summed up the discussion best during a question-and-answer session:
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 Agency’s 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.
National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the nomination of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as secretary of energy:
“Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Lone Star State’s history of energy development is no exception. As the longest-serving Texas governor, Rick Perry was the state’s chief executive during a transformative energy renaissance, making him uniquely suited to lead the Department of Energy in a Trump–Pence administration.
“As a friend of manufacturing, Gov. Perry understands the need to develop a wide range of energy sources here in the United States. Manufacturers depend on a reliable supply of domestic energy—from oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewables—to build, innovate and create jobs here in America. We are encouraged that President-elect Donald Trump and Gov. Perry share our belief in encouraging the discovery and development of American energy in addition to making smart investments to improve energy efficiency.
“Strengthening manufacturing in America means getting our energy policy right, and President-elect Trump’s nomination of Gov. Perry is a promising first step.”
CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the nomination of ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state:
“President-elect Donald Trump has chosen an expert negotiator to run the business of American diplomacy. A great friend to the NAM, Rex Tillerson has spent his life making deals and getting results; now he can put his incomparable experience, talents and connections to work on behalf of our entire country. Manufacturers are encouraged to see a leader from the manufacturing economy take on the role of America’s chief diplomat, and we are pleased that Rex will bring a business perspective to the State Department.
“Beyond his rockstar business credentials, Rex has been a staunch force for the dignity and opportunity of all citizens and will no doubt work to make our nation and our world a better place. For all of his stellar accomplishments, Rex and his wife Renda are incredibly humble, decent and relatable people of the highest character. I wish them both the best in this important endeavor and much success in the critical work that is ahead for Rex.”
(Left to Right) Timmons, Tillerson and Tenneco Inc. Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Gregg Sherrill. Photo by David Bohrer/NAM
CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090
Following the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, there continues to be headlines and rhetoric advertising the project’s demise. But a number of the United States’ top-tier editorial boards understood that this decision is more than the headlines suggested.
First an editorial out by The Wall Street Journal discussed the exhaustive consultations between the company, native tribes and regulators that resulted in a finding of “no significant impact” and highlighted that the Corps’ decision “has jeopardized its integrity and created a legal quagmire by requiring an exhaustive new environmental impact statement that considers alternative routes.”
Another piece by USA Today touted the importance of the project stating:
“It would be the first major pipeline bringing access to the Bakken oil fields that have been so much a part of America’s energy production renaissance…pipelines fill a vital need for the economy and for America’s energy security and therefore need to be built.”
It also noted how attempts by environmentalists to thwart this project are not the proper way to reach climate change goals, noting that [this decision] “will have little impact on the environment beyond their immediate environs.”
Finally, the most recent article by the The Washington Post’s editorial team, titled “A False Victory at Standing Rock,” recapped the lead-up of activity to the decision and put this recent announcement into perspective echoing USA Today’s sentiments:
“No matter how big the issues activists attached to them, these pipelines, at their core, are nothing more than routine infrastructure projects, thousands of which underpin the U.S. economy. The approval or denial of one or two will do little to cure global oil addiction or right generations of harm to tribal groups.”
This decision and its coverage is a key example of why this debate needs a robust and honest discussion about our nation’s infrastructure. The reality is manufacturers have benefited significantly from access to this clean, safe and affordable energy source. But we need to further invest in our nation’s energy infrastructure projects to deliver natural gas to businesses and communities across the nation to strengthen our advantage in this increasingly competitive market.
It’s time for stakeholders who will truly benefit from these projects to raise their voices and tell our new administration that to have further growth and success, Americans will need infrastructure to ensure that the nation’s ample supply of resources are delivered efficiently, safely and securely to the end users who need it.