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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

Manufacturers’ Story of Promise: Energy

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

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 third in the series and focuses on energy. For more on the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition, follow @ShopfloorNAM.

The landscape on energy seems to change faster than we change presidents. When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, manufacturers were largely at a competitive disadvantage on energy versus their foreign counterparts. Today, the script has flipped. The United States now has a mix of energy resources and innovative technologies unmatched by any other nation in the world, and manufacturers enjoy a distinct competitive advantage.

President-elect Donald Trump will enter office in January facing a host of challenging policy issues on day one, and energy is no exception. But this isn’t a story of struggle; it’s a story of promise. For too long, Washington policies have failed to keep pace with our energy renaissance. As a result, the energy advantage manufacturers enjoy has happened in spite of Washington, not because of it. That dynamic desperately needs to change.

So the NAM has delivered to President-elect Trump and his transition team a comprehensive set of recommendations that, if enacted, will maintain and widen the competitive advantage manufacturers enjoy on energy. Manufacturers’ recommendations will spur investments from existing manufacturers and attract new ones, creating jobs and fueling economic growth in the United States.

The NAM’s Competing to Win: Energy in Focus plan is a roadmap of sensible energy policies that we hope the new president and Congress will embrace.

The plan provides concrete steps leaders can take to ensure that adequate energy resources from all sources are developed in the United States, which include the following:

  • Promote continued research, development and deployment of new technologies that improve energy efficiency;
  • Reduce regulatory barriers for energy production, transport and use and limit the “permitting paralysis” that stymies new energy infrastructure projects; and
  • Provide for a reliable electric grid that ensures manufacturers can access energy when they need it, even as policies and markets change.

The Obama administration has presided over our energy revolution and deserves some credit. That said, it has always felt like we were leaving so much on the table. Access to energy thrived on private lands but was artificially limited on federal lands. Energy infrastructure projects were left in limbo by an administration that seemed unwilling or unable to make a decision. Approvals were granted then revoked. New technologies were embraced one day and ignored the next.

Together, we can turn a good story on energy into a truly great one. Manufacturers are ready and willing to work with the new president and Congress to maximize our energy advantage. It’s time to hit go.

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.

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

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

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 Barack 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 Donald 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.

National Association of Manufacturers (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. The NAM’s “Building to Win” blueprint also advocates 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, and 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 10-year funding gap will cost more than $1 trillion. In addition, 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,” the 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, manufacturers look forward to working with the next president to fix this misguided five-year plan.

Five Facts about How Energy Connects Us

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

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 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.