From the State of Manufacturing Tour: Texas Association of Business President Highlights Importance of Manufacturing

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2016 State of Manufacturing Social Media Infographics-19

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

Energy Bill, TSCA Reform Show Momentum Building for Congressional Solutions on Energy, Environment

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

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

Manufacturers File Second Suit Against EPA’s Clean Power Plan

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

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

Obama Denies Keystone XL Pipeline, Choosing Politics Over Policy

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 1.31.44 PMLast 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

Top Five Questions on Energy That Will Not Be Asked at the Republican Presidential Debate… But Manufacturers Are Waiting to Hear the Answers  

By | Energy, Shopfloor Economics | No Comments

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

Arctic Lease Cancellation a Cruel Blow to Innovation

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Late Friday afternoon, a time particularly convenient for the announcement of unpopular decisions, the Department of the Interior announced it would cancel oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic and not renew existing leases to Shell or Statoil. The move effectively closes the door to oil and gas exploration in these resource-rich areas.

The immediate sting comes from broken promises, as the Administration has done a full 180 on its prior commitment to develop oil and gas on American soil. But the longer-term pain may come from the stifling impact these new barriers will have on innovation.

The Administration made development of Shell’s existing lease as difficult as humanly possible, and Shell stepped up and was able to drill its wells while keeping the environment safe. The new technologies, processes and techniques developed during the Arctic exploration will be used ‎throughout Shell’s operations around the world to make those wells safer.

That’s how innovation happens: you have to do it and learn from it. Yet, today, it became clear that the Administration would prefer oil and gas exploration not be done at all. It’s become an all-too-familiar theme across energy-producing sectors. And it’s the wrong decision every time.

Friday’s announcement spells danger for development promised by the President off the Atlantic coast and for the 2017-22 leasing plan. It could signal trouble for energy export terminals and that still-yet-to-be-approved pipeline from Canada to the United States you may have heard about once or twice.

Manufacturers hope this Administration or a future one wi‎ll come to see the error made today and reverse course. And we continue to call on this Administration to remove barriers to the development of energy, instead of erecting new ones.

Strong Energy Policy = Strong Manufacturing Policy

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Manufacturers are quick to point out that getting energy policy right is central to America’s competitive advantage within the global marketplace.  That’s why the NAM supports the efforts of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to advance H.R. 8, The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015.

Energy means opportunity. Because manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in this country, we depend on a secure, affordable, reliable mix of energy resources to remain competitive. Our energy renaissance has put millions of Americans to work and is creating countless new opportunities for manufacturers. Read More

The Real Neverending Story

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Flash back to seven years ago, when TransCanada first applied for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Imagine how you were enjoying watching Tina Fey do her first Saturday Night Live skit impersonating Sarah Palin on the Presidential Campaign trail, reading about Blockbuster offering to buy out Circuit City in hopes of improving both their businesses, and getting your first Starbucks loyalty card. Perhaps you were seeing Michael Jackson celebrate his 50th birthday, reading your emails on a brand new iPhone 3G, and watching Britney Spears’ emotional breakdown on the news. Seven years is a long time, and the country has kept growing and evolving, but Keystone XL has continued to wait. Read More

What does “business as usual” even mean anymore?

By | Energy | No Comments

The long road for the Keystone XL Pipeline has been anything but ordinary. The project’s application has been left to collect dust, as of tomorrow, for seven years. To put that into perspective with other infrastructure projects, both the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge took four years to build. Even the Eiffel Tower took only two years, two months and five days; the Empire State, the world’s tallest building for almost 40 years, was done in just one year and 45 days. It’s staggering when you think about the delays this project has been made to endure, especially considering that the current application for Keystone XL is just 875 miles long, a fraction of the 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipeline currently constructed in the United States. It would give us the capability to transport  830,000 barrels of crude oil a day, create over 42,00 jobs, and add 3.4 billion to the U.S. GDP. Construction alone would involve nearly 1,000 companies in 47 states to build this pipeline — injecting $20 billion into our economy. Read More

Embracing the Arctic Challenge

By | Energy | No Comments

What’s happening in the Arctic is big. President Obama’s trip to Alaska underscores that the Arctic will play a huge role in shaping our future. And manufacturers are watching.

While the Arctic holds the promise of abundant and strategic resources, it also has one of the harshest and most complex environments on the planet. The Arctic is still very much a captivating, yet daunting frontier. Read More