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Energy

Timmons: President-Elect Trump Signals an End to the EPA’s Regulatory Assault on Manufacturers

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National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator:

     “Today’s nomination signals that President-elect Donald Trump will end the EPA’s regulatory assault on manufacturers. This is the type of change manufacturers voted for, and we’re hopeful the next administration will strike the right balance between environmental stewardship and economic growth.

           “Manufacturers have helped to usher in a new era of a cleaner and more sustainable environment, and we remain as committed as ever to reducing emissions, improving our energy efficiency, recycling more and reducing waste. As a sector, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent since 2005, while our value added to the economy has increased by 19 percent over the same time period. 

          “We look forward to working with President-elect Trump and Scott Pruitt, once confirmed as administrator, to build on this past success. We believe the EPA can drive continued environmental quality improvements, while reducing overreaching, inflexible federal policies that threaten manufacturing’s competitiveness. Many of the largest and costliest regulations issued over the past several years have come from the EPA.

          “Manufacturing innovation remains the best solution to addressing climate change and most of the environmental challenges facing the country and world.”

CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090

New Battleground State Poll: Overwhelming Bipartisan Support for Energy Infrastructure Investment

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Clear Majority of Voters Say Development of Pipelines, Power Lines Will Spur Job Creation, Boost the Economy

More than 80 percent of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia voters believe public and private investment in infrastructure, including energy infrastructure, would have a positive impact on the economy, according to a new series of surveys released today by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

While news headlines focus on partisan fighting and a divided American electorate, the NAM surveys find a source of common ground: energy infrastructure. Clear majorities in each state support increasing domestic energy production, and more than 80 percent support increased investment in power lines, pipelines, power plants, refineries and railroads, which all play a key role in manufacturing’s competitiveness.

“It’s time to finally make critical investments in our infrastructure that will support domestic energy development,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Americans understand that we have the opportunity to allow projects to move forward that will grow our economy and keep manufacturers of all sizes competitive. It’s not hard to see how modernizing our energy and transportation infrastructure will create good-paying American jobs. Voters clearly recognize this and are demanding action from Washington.”

Investing in energy infrastructure has broad bipartisan support among registered voters in what were key battleground states in the 2016 election:

  • 91% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats indicated they support increasing investment in energy infrastructure.
  • 86% of self-identified environmentalists and 89% of union members also support increased investment.
  • When it comes to expected outcomes from increasing our investment in infrastructure, 61% say it will create good-paying jobs and 64% believe that investing in energy infrastructure will help build a stronger economy.

NAM affiliates in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia lauded the findings as further evidence that infrastructure investment will enhance manufacturing in their states.

“Pennsylvanians understand that to be able to produce energy in Pennsylvania and get it to customers, we need reliable infrastructure,” said David Taylor, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “They also understand that our families and communities will be better off when we invest in that infrastructure—from pipelines, ports and power lines to airports, bridges, roads and waterways. We have a unique, generational opportunity to move the Commonwealth and our nation forward by leveraging our energy resources into much-needed job creation.”

Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, said, “Buckeye State voters overwhelmingly support infrastructure investment because they know it will improve standards of living. From pipeline infrastructure to get Utica Shale resources to market, to locks and dams along the Ohio River, to maritime and transportation infrastructure along Lake Erie, public and private investment in these areas will help get Ohioans working again and revitalize our manufacturing base for years to come.”

Brett Vassey, president and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, commented, “Manufacturing drives Virginia’s economy and directly supports more than 230,000 high-paying jobs across the Commonwealth, so voters recognize the sector’s important role. Given the recent energy infrastructure investment and development projects across the Commonwealth, it’s important to note that more than 80 percent of Virginia voters support these efforts because they realize that they create jobs and strengthen our economy. We look forward to working with the NAM and our partners in Washington to ensure that infrastructure investment and smart regulatory reform efforts remain a high national priority.”

The research was conducted via landline and cell phone from November 28 through December 3, 2016. The sample size for each state was 500 registered voters in 2016. Margin of error = +/- 4.38 per state.

Additional information on the state surveys is available below:

To learn more about manufacturers’ policy priorities and the benefits of infrastructure and energy development, visit www.nam.org/competingtowin.

 

CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090

Timmons: Dakota Access Decision Defies Logic, Science and Sound Policy

By | Communications, Energy, Infrastructure, Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement after President Obama denied the permits necessary to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“This decision defies logic, science and sound policy-decision making, and the consequences can be measured in lost work for manufacturers and those in the manufacturing supply chain. 

“If a project that has involved all relevant stakeholders and followed both the letter and spirit of the law at every step of this approval process can be derailed, what signal does that send to others considering building new energy infrastructure in this country?

“We can only hope that President-elect Trump will stand by his promises to invest aggressively in new infrastructure in America and start by overturning this misguided decision and allow the completion of the pipeline.”

Learn more about how energy infrastructure opens up opportunities here.

CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090

NAM Supports New Administration’s Infrastructure Promise in Building to Win

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

On his list of Putting America First, President-Elect Trump has prioritized rebuilding America’s infrastructure.  From roads and bridges to pipelines and ports, America has an opportunity to come together to rebuild the nation and grow the economy through these critical investments.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons recognized the President-Elect’s strong commitment to making policies that will jumpstart our economy and highlighted this in a letter to the incoming president saying:

“You outlined during the campaign and made very clear in your victory speech that we have a tremendous opportunity before us to rebuild our infrastructure, spur economic growth and accelerate job creation as a result. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you, your transition team and your administration to put a serious, bold plan into action.”

The letter highlights the NAM’s latest initiative called Building to Win. The hallmark of this effort is a comprehensive blueprint that recommends policy solutions to some of the nation’s greatest infrastructure challenges and also highlights some funding and financing options to make the investments American workers and businesses need.

America’s aging infrastructure is one of the greatest obstacles challenging the nation. The lack of modernization is a threat to security, safety, and growth throughout our communities. For instance, aging pipelines and bottlenecks in energy transportation deny families fair access to affordable, reliable energy. However, by creating, developing and maintaining the pipeline network communities deserve, Americans are able to lower their energy costs and allocate those resources toward other needs.

Fair access to energy isn’t the only reason action is required. NAM’s Building to Win blueprint also advocates for a more streamlined and transparent regulatory process for infrastructure projects. Action is needed if the United States is to save itself from the cumbersome regulatory process that surrounds infrastructure projects.  Currently bureaucratic red tape is slowing down the modernization that will spur economic growth through community investments, new tax revenue, and job creation.

As the NAM letter to the President-elect states: “We believe that a strong bipartisan program to fix our ailing infrastructure will be a significant step to help bring our country back together.”

With the shared goal of improving America’s infrastructure, the NAM will work with Congress and the new administration to overcome our infrastructure challenges to allow the economy and our communities to continue to grow.

An Outlook on Infrastructure

By | Energy, Infrastructure, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” Donald Trump said. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”  

There’s reason to be optimistic.  The President-elect made a number of strong campaign promises to the American people, one in particular caught our attention: his commitment to a sizable increase in our country’s infrastructure investment.  Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump proposed spending up to $1 trillion during the next decade to make America’s infrastructure “second to none” and even repeated the promise earlier this month in his victory speech. Members of Congress have also shown a willingness to prioritize America’s infrastructure – in ways that bring greater economic returns than the stimulus plan six years ago.

This commitment is shared by manufacturers across the country.  The NAM’s Building to Win blueprint for the new Administration and Congress estimates that addressing our ten-year funding gap will cost more than one trillion dollars.  Additionally, the new Administration and Congress must improve regulatory and fiscal policies to incentivize increased levels of private investment in modernizing water and energy pipelines, railways and electricity systems. Read More

Manufacturers Deeply Disappointed with Offshore Energy Leasing Ban

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

This afternoon, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued its final plan for oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for the five years between 2017 and 2022. In what can charitably be classified as “politics over policy,” BOEM effectively struck the Arctic OCS from the plan—which already struck the Atlantic OCS in a prior draft—leaving only the Gulf of Mexico available for oil and gas exploration for the foreseeable future.

This was the wrong decision. The future of a strong manufacturing sector is inextricably linked to energy access. The final five-year plan ignores that reality and slams the door on promising opportunities.

Over the past decade, the United States has become the largest oil and natural gas producer in the world, benefitting consumers across the country. New technologies to produce oil and gas are fueling a manufacturing comeback, particularly in energy-intensive sectors, which use these fuels for energy and as feedstock for a wide range of industrial and consumer products.

Our energy renaissance has put millions of Americans to work and created countless new opportunities for manufacturers. Developing additional oil and natural gas resources will create jobs, grow our economy, and increase American energy security. As the innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and disruptors who are improving lives and transforming the world, look forward to working with the next President to fix this misguided five-year plan.

Five Facts about How Energy Connects Us

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From Keystone XL to the most recent Dakota Access, debates over pipelines seem to have sprung up overnight. The pipes that connect us and deliver opportunity used to unite us, but lately the political agenda of a relative few has caused a riff. At a time when our country needs to come together more than ever, it’s dangerous is that much of the debate ignores the facts. Read More

Litigation Over the Clean Power Plan: The Big Picture

By | Energy, Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, Shopfloor Legal, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The entire bench of the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia is hearing nearly four hours of arguments tomorrow in 39 lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan regulation. The challengers represent a broad swath of industries, including mining, transportation, electric utilities, manufacturers and consumers of energy, as well as 27 states.

The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, joined by a manufacturing coalition of more than a dozen other national trade groups, is involved in this case because we are very concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed a set of regulations on electric utility companies that is not authorized by, and contradicts specific provisions of, the Clean Air Act. The rule’s goal is to restructure the power sector by imposing emissions limits that are unachievable without switching fuel inputs. This could undermine the reliability of the electric grid and cause higher energy rates for consumers, including manufacturers in the United States. A ruling in favor of the rule would set the EPA up to impose greenhouse gas regulations on many other sectors of manufacturing.

This case has all the earmarks of a major case that will wind up in the Supreme Court, probably in the fall of 2017. Normally only three judges would hear this first round of arguments, but the appellate court decided to go straight to the full panel of 10 (not counting Chief Judge Garland, who is not participating). This unusual step signals that the judges consider this case extraordinary, and the court has set aside its largest courtroom and two overflow rooms for the large anticipated attendance from litigants and the public.

This regulation is of existential importance for certain sectors and will put substantial upward pressure on energy costs for many manufacturers and other consumers. But beyond raising legal issues of statutory construction, administrative procedure and constitutional compliance, the Clean Power Plan is a prototype for the kind of regulation that tests the limits of the executive branch. Whoever wins the upcoming election, the next administration will have to live within the contours of decisions like the one in this case. The power to regulate comes from the Constitution and the laws enacted in compliance with it, and the courts stand as the final judge on how far that authority goes.

Manufacturers Hope Reason Will Prevail in Latest Pipeline Battle

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

A few months ago, I testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the importance of pipeline infrastructure to manufacturers. What struck me the most about this hearing is that, on an issue that has been so filled with partisanship and vitriol in recent years—see Keystone XL—every single member of the committee that day rose above the talking points and had a thoughtful, productive conversation about the opportunities and challenges confronting new pipelines. There were different points of view on how best to balance economic growth, energy security and public health and safety. However, every member of that panel recognized that, yes, we are going to need more pipelines to meet changing domestic supply and demand for energy.

That’s why I’m shaking my head today as I watch the same tired script unfold over the latest pipeline to begin construction, the Dakota Access Pipeline. Dakota Access will bring crude oil developed in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. The project enjoys the support of a wide range of labor unions, chambers of commerce, agricultural groups and economic development authorities. The project’s sponsors ran the gauntlet and secured every federal, state and local permit needed to begin construction; however, just as construction commenced, the lawsuits began, protests got heated, and now we’re rapidly moving toward another round of political theater over a pipeline project.

Manufacturers support the Dakota Access Pipeline. Dakota Access ensures long-term access to competitively priced oil for industrial uses and as an input good for many manufactured goods, such as petrochemicals, to process gas and transportation fuels and to power operations. Manufacturers also make up the supply chain for the project: between 32 and 37 percent of the cost of constructing an oil pipeline is directly for manufacturing inputs. The major types of manufactured goods used include equipment, line pipe, fittings, coatings and booster stations, including pumps. A report written by IHS Economics for the National Association of Manufacturers in early 2016 estimates that at least 66 different manufacturing subsectors (out of 86 total) benefited from the construction of crude oil pipelines by $10 million or more in 2015. Overall, construction and operation of crude oil pipelines will have meant $7.6 billion to manufacturing in 2015 and 2016 and led to the creation of 28,438 manufacturing jobs in 2016.

 

CrudeInfo

There will always be protesters, and there will always be critics. It wouldn’t be America if there weren’t. Heck, I know a guy who once created a Twitter handle just so he could criticize the TV broadcast of the U.S. Open.

Ultimately, though, it’s the job of the regulators to listen to all the points in support and against and render a decision. That’s what happened here. North Dakota signed off. So did South Dakota. And Iowa. And Illinois. And the Army Corps of Engineers. The government got this one right; now it’s time to start building.

Delays in construction cause idled assembly lines, breached contracts and a domino effect that ripples up and down supply chains, injuring manufacturers every step of the way. We can’t let this happen. Here’s hoping that, much like that day in the Senate a few months ago, we can rise above the politics and let reason prevail.

Manufacturers Disappointed by Tale of Two Kaines

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It has been just over three weeks since Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) became Vice Presidential Candidate Kaine. And in that short amount of time, he has, to the disappointment of manufacturers, changed positions on two of our most important issues: energy and trade.

As a senator, manufacturers could often count on Sen. Kaine to be a reasonable voice on energy and environmental policy issues. On energy exports, he was in line with manufacturers, cosponsoring legislation in 2013 and 2015 to improve the permitting process for liquefied natural gas export terminals—projects that will drive billions of dollars in investments in manufacturing and other industrial sectors. On opening access to oil and gas resources off the Atlantic Coast, Sen. Kaine once again helped lead the charge, cosponsoring legislation in 2013 and again in 2015 directing the Department of Interior to include the Atlantic Coast in its energy lease sales.

Vice Presidential Candidate Kaine, on the other hand, is staking out a starkly different position on energy development. He opposes unlocking oil and gas resources off the Atlantic Coast. This abrupt shift on energy policy raises some red flags for manufacturers, consumers of one-third of the nation’s energy. An NAM study performed by IHS Economics forecasts that over the next decade, total demand for natural gas will increase by 40 percent, driven in large part by increased demand from manufacturers.

On the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we are also seeing a tale of two Kaines. While nothing about the text of the TPP has changed since the 12-country trade deal was signed in February, Sen. Kaine’s position has appeared to shift significantly. In July, he made several positive statements on the TPP, noting that there “was much in it to like,” including upgraded labor, environmental and intellectual property standards. Less than a week later, however, Vice Presidential Candidate Kaine completely disavowed the TPP. Sen. Kaine’s original statements on the TPP, not his newfound opposition, are in line with the type of trade agenda that will grow U.S. manufacturing. The United States is losing in the global competition to open markets, as other countries have negotiated hundreds of trade agreements that exclude and disadvantage manufacturers in the United States. Manufacturers need trade agreements like the TPP to eliminate foreign trade barriers and upgrade foreign standards to level the playing field and boost U.S. competitiveness globally. Standing on the global sidelines just means the United States will fall further and further behind competitors, such as China, Mexico, Germany and others.

If manufacturers are going to continue driving economic growth over the next four years and beyond, we need access to all forms of energy and access to more markets overseas. So we need leaders whose policy positions are more like Sen. Kaine’s than Vice Presidential Candidate Kaine’s.