The Senate’s consideration of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, has been stalled for weeks over how best to address the ongoing water challenge in Flint, Mich. Early this week, it appeared an agreement on Flint aid had been reached that would allow S. 2012 to move forward. Unfortunately, just a few hours later, the story broke that the bill is now being held up over an amendment that allows revenues from oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast to be shared by the federal government and the states where the exploration would occur. The NAM supports this amendment and would like to see it get a vote.
At its core, the final budget blueprint released today by the Obama administration represents just another “tax and spend” plan that would increase federal spending while imposing a wide range of tax increases on businesses, making it harder for manufacturers to create jobs and compete in the global economy and do nothing to stimulate much-needed economic growth. Read More
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons traveled to Texas on Thursday for the sixth stop in the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour. With co-host Bell Helicopter’s training facilities in Fort Worth as the backdrop, Timmons delivered a speech focused on shedding light on the perceptions of modern manufacturing as well as calling for action from elected officials and candidates alike to improve our nation’s energy, environment and infrastructure policies as part of the NAM’s detailed “Competing to Win” 2016 platform. Below are some excerpts.
On Access to Energy Resources:
“With our abundance of diverse resources, the United States is uniquely positioned to chart an energy future that raises the standard of living for all Americans. To do so, however, we must utilize every source of affordable, secure energy available. This will mean expediting the permitting process for onshore and offshore energy exploration, opening more federal lands to responsible development, building new pipelines and energy delivery infrastructure and removing regulatory barriers that hamper energy projects of all types. It will also mean maintaining and improving our power grid and ensuring manufacturers can access energy from all sources when they need it, even as we work for cleaner air and lower emissions.”
On Environmental Regulations:
“Too often, our environmental agenda works at cross-purposes with these goals. Two recent examples come to mind. Together they will add a serious weight to our economy, on top of the $330 billion our environmental regulations already cost. The first is the EPA’s new greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, which could, in many areas of the country, raise electricity costs for consumers and manufacturers and compromise energy reliability.
“That’s why the NAM filed hundreds of pages of comments with the EPA on how to better craft this regulation, and why we have asked the EPA to go back to the drawing board and fix this rule before moving forward. We have also asked the Supreme Court for an implementation delay until the many lawsuits challenging the rule have been resolved.
“The second troubling action was the creation of an even tighter standard for ozone. Experts say this could be one of the most expensive environmental regulations in history. At a time when air quality is better than it’s been in decades and billions in investments are being made that will further that progress, many jurisdictions could essentially be closed for business under this new rule if Congress or the courts don’t step in to restore some balance. Otherwise, manufacturers will face restrictions on construction, equipment use and more.”
“Those very same standards could affect transportation infrastructure as well. Areas that cannot meet the overly stringent limits could lose federal highway dollars and be forced to sideline needed projects…ones that would ultimately reduce gridlock and result in cleaner air.”
“Clearly our nation needs to stop viewing energy, environment, infrastructure and the economy through separate lenses. They are all interconnected, and our policies must treat them as such.”
Timmons also touched on the United States’ partnership at this year’s Hannover Messe and the work the NAM is doing in partnership with Siemens Software and the U.S. Department of Commerce to rally manufacturers in the United States to participate and demonstrate our global leadership.
“Now, this leadership is already on display across America, as 12 million people are building our future,” Timmons said. “Manufacturers contribute more than $2 trillion to the national GDP. Here in Texas, manufacturers have a total output of more than $230 billion. If manufacturing in the United States were its own country, it would be the ninth-largest economy in the world.”
Prior to his speech, Timmons toured the Bell Helicopter Training Academy. Fun fact: The Bell X-1 was the first to break the speed of sound!
Timmons and the team then traveled to Lockheed Martin for a systems demonstration and tour of the facility, led by Don Kinard, senior technical fellow and one of Lockheed’s lead engineers. Kinard and his team demonstrated laser maps and white technology. Read more about these technologies in Kinard’s guest blog here.
Joint Op-Ed: Choose Leaders Who Would Strengthen Manufacturing
The following op-ed by Jay Timmons and Texas Association of Business State Board Chair Sara Tays ran exclusively in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
With less than a month left until Texas votes in its Super Tuesday primary, only a short time remains to size up the candidates seeking to lead our country.
For those who care about the U.S. economy and believe in American exceptionalism, there is only one choice: Vote for candidates who will strengthen manufacturing in the United States.
The U.S. is a nation of makers and doers. When manufacturing succeeds, America succeeds.
In Texas, manufacturers add more than $230 billion to the state economy and employ more than 860,000 people.
Manufacturing has the largest multiplier effect of any industry. A dollar invested in manufacturing adds $1.40 in economic activity.
Manufacturers are helping the United States remain the world’s economic leader. But we cannot continue to compete and win in the global marketplace without the right policies here at home. Read the full op-ed here.
Social Media Wrap Day 6
Check out the highlights from our social media and don’t forget to follow @shopfloorNAM on Twitter and Shopfloor on Facebook for the latest updates from the road.
Don’t forget Shopfloor is on Instagram. Check out a special Throwback Thursday post from the tour:
One more stop to go! Check back in tomorrow for what’s happening at our final stop in Baltimore, Md. Stay in touch real time by following us on Facebook, Twitter @shopfloorNAM and online at www.nam.org/stateofmfg. Be sure to share your tweets and pics with #stateofmfg and #weareMFG.
Today, the Obama administration announced the details of a request in its upcoming 2017 budget proposal for a $10 fee on every barrel of oil to fund what the administration describes as “a more sustainable transportation system.” The administration is calling it a fee, but let’s be clear about what this really is: a wealth transfer that will ultimately be paid for by manufacturers at their plants and consumers at the pump.
In today’s global economy, U.S. manufacturers must be assured of an adequate supply of competitively priced oil for industrial and commercial use and for transportation fuels. We are, therefore, very concerned with yet another new policy that increases prices—and particularly a fee of this size, which would increase the price of each barrel of oil by more than 30 percent at today’s prices. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that the president’s fee would cost consumers as much as 25 cents per gallon of gasoline.
Manufacturers support improvements to our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and fought hard to get the $305 billion long-term highway reauthorization successfully signed into law this past December. But the president’s oil fee budget proposal would make manufacturers less competitive.
As we continue our State of Manufacturing Tour, the National Association of Manufacturers is transforming the perception of manufacturing. Manufacturing creates opportunity and growth, and we see that with the construction and long-term operation of new pipeline infrastructure. To compete in the global market, manufacturers depend on access to affordable energy. Investing in pipeline infrastructure today will ensure the benefits of reliable energy for America’s manufacturing sector for generations to come.
“With our abundance of diverse resources, the United States is uniquely positioned to chart an energy future that raises the standard of living for all Americans. To do so, however, we must utilize every source of affordable, secure energy available. This will mean expediting the permitting process for onshore and offshore energy exploration, opening more federal lands to responsible development, building new pipelines and energy delivery infrastructure and removing regulatory barriers that hamper energy projects of all types.” – Jay Timmons, NAM President and CEO
Manufacturers across the nation benefit from creating infrastructure that delivers energy resources to market. In addition to creating jobs across the construction and manufacturing supply chain, pipelines also strengthen our nation’s energy security and increase access to affordable energy. Read More
Today, Texas Association of Business President Chris Wallace joined NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons at the Bell Helicopter Training Academy in Fort Worth, Texas, for the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour. Wallace moderated a Q&A forum between Timmons, Siemens Vice President of Aerospace and Defense Strategy David Riemer and Bell Helicopter Executive Vice President of Integrated Operations Gunnar Kleveland. Read More
This week, the Senate is debating S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, on the floor. The bill, introduced by Senate Energy Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and passed by the committee on a decisive 18-4 vote, is expected gain broad support from both sides of the aisle. There is a lot to like in the bill, including a wide range of measures on energy efficiency and improvements to the licensing process for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. The debate on S. 2012 comes on the heels of successful passage of legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by the Senate at the end of 2015. (The House passed a similar TSCA reform bill earlier in the year by a 398-1 vote, and the two bills await a conference.)
For years, Washington earned a well-deserved reputation for gridlock and an inability to solve problems. But these two bills, much like the recent successes on tax, infrastructure and trade, are a sign that the gridlock may be starting to ease. And if that’s the case, there are no shortage of energy and environmental issues that manufacturers would like some real, bipartisan solutions on. We talk about a lot of these in the our “Competing to Win” platform document, unveiled today by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons as he kicked off this year’s State of Manufacturing Tour. Read More
Today, the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action filed a second lawsuit as part of our fight against the EPA’s overreaching regulations on energy. Earlier this year, we filed suit against the portion of the Obama Administration’s “Clean Power Plan” that would impose restrictions on existing power plants. Now, we’re arguing against the regulation on new power plants, which will limit access to new energy sources for manufacturers and for all Americans.
As we’ve noted before on Shopfloor, manufacturers have long demonstrated their commitment to environmental sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since 2005, manufacturers’ annual GHG emissions have fallen by more than 10 percent while our value added to the economy has increased by 26 percent. We are producing more, while emitting less. In addition, manufacturers’ technological innovations and ingenuity have been integral in U.S. annual emissions falling by 700 million tons since 2005, which is a reduction greater than any other nation in the world. Read More
Last Friday, President Obama announced his decision to deny TransCanada Corporation its permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline.
Not only did the President disappoint manufacturers across the country, but he also made a historic mistake. After seven years of waiting for a decision on this permit application, this decision is a clear signal that the United States isn’t open for business for everyone. It also undermines the existing permitting process—one that is supposed to set clear rules of the road for companies to meet to secure approval. The Administration continually raised the bar for approval of Keystone XL, and every time TransCanada met (or exceeded) it, the Administration raised it again. Read More
Tonight, Republican presidential hopefuls will gather in Boulder, Colorado, to discuss their positions on the economy, tax policy, immigration, job creation and a host of other issues.
Although the debate is likely to cover many topics important to manufacturers, one topic critically important to manufacturing growth and potential is environmental and energy policy. Yet, as the debate begins in the heart of Colorado, a state that is a leader in the American energy boom, it is doubtful energy will get the air time it deserves. Read More