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Gov. Perry: Along with Oil, Wind and Nuclear

By | Energy | One Comment

To round out Gov. Perry’s comments Friday about oil prices and domestic energy supply, we note that in addition to oil production, he wants an “an all of the above” approach toward domestic production.

People think about Texas and they think, oh yeah, big oil and gas country. Yeah, we are, and we’re very pleased to be the home to that, but we’re also home to more wind energy produced than any other state in the nation, because we’ve focused on expanding our portfolio. I personally would be very, very positively inclined to expand our nuclear energy ability. I think we have three plants permitted now in Texas, nuclear plants, with three more in some type, some place of the permitting process.

We’re going to need it all. I’m an all of the above energy advocate – with the notable exception of corn-based ethanol, one of the great political scams and economic scams of the 20th Century.

Judging by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s coverage of his comments, the Governor has said similar things about ethanol before: “Also in the interview, Perry talked up other energy sources including wind and nuclear but repeated his disdain for corn-based ethanol.”

The sound file of his comments above is here.

UPDATE (9:30 a.m.): In “Gov. Rick Perry’s dream: Make the federal government as innocuous as possible,” Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post’s Right Turn blog wraps up the Governor’s remarks, putting his philosophical opposition to an overreaching federal government in a political and campaign context.

Circumnetting Manufacturing Policy

By | General, Trade | One Comment

Detroit News, Dec. 20, Detroit automakers join lawsuit over E15 fuel approval“: “The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — the trade association representing Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., and eight other companies — joined the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute in filing a petition today challenging EPA’s decision in mid-October to grant a partial waiver approving the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol for 2007 model year and newer passenger cars and light trucks.”

Cincinnati.com, Dec. 19, “AK Steel chief wants to help revive industry, get U.S. back to making things,” a Q&A with the company president, James L. Wainscott, after a 100-year-old time capsule was recovered on the company’s history: “Wainscott recently addressed the annual meeting of the Ohio Manufacturers Association and laid out his suggestions for improving manufacturing policy and some goals that should be set for the state and the nation with regard to manufacturing.”

Indo-Asian News Service, Dec. 20, “Congress pitches for national manufacturing policy“: “New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) The Congress party Monday urged the centre to formulate a national manufacturing policy to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) to India and boost industrialisation. ‘Congress urges the government to adopt a national manufacturing policy that will raise the share of manufacturing in the economy and absorb a large number of young people who will join the workforce,’ said a draft resolution on economic affairs released at the 83rd Congress plenary here.”

Bloomberg, Dec. 16,House Republicans Urge Regulators to Exempt Manufacturers From Swaps Rules“: “Two U.S. lawmakers who will take leadership roles in the next Congress said regulators must ensure manufacturers and commercial end-users are exempt from margin requirements for the $583 trillion swaps market

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Dec. 16,Minneapolis Fed Forecasts Economic Improvement in the Ninth District for 2011“: “MINNEAPOLIS, December 16, 2010—The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is expecting the mild economic recovery in the Ninth District economy to warm up in 2011. Since the end of the recession in June 2009, economic conditions have slowly improved. Employment levels have recently crept higher, the manufacturing sector is expanding and consumer spending has increased moderately. The Ninth District includes Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.”

Tax Compromise: Signing Ceremony and Manufacturing’s Reaction

By | Economy, Small Business, Taxation | One Comment

From President Obama’s comments at the bill signing ceremony Friday for H.R. 4853, the tax compromise:

This bipartisan effort was prompted by the fact that tax rates for every American were poised to automatically increase on January 1st. If that had come to pass, the average middle-class family would have had to pay an extra $3,000 in taxes next year. That wouldn’t have just been a blow to them — it would have been a blow to our economy just as we’re climbing out of a devastating recession….[snip]

And millions of entrepreneurs who have been waiting to invest in their businesses will receive new tax incentives to help them expand, buy new equipment, or make upgrades — freeing up other money to hire new workers.

Putting more money in the pockets of families most likely to spend it, helping businesses invest and grow — that’s how we’re going to spark demand, spur hiring, and strengthen our economy in the New Year.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who attended Friday’s ceremony and who took the lead in gaining the tax concessions from the President, a Senate floor statement:

I’m pleased to report two pieces of good news out of Congress today. After two years of policies that lacked public support, the tide is beginning to turn.

Today the President will sign a bill that ensures no American gets a tax hike on January 1. Republicans have fought hard for this legislation. Up until last week, most Democrats resisted. But in the end the American people were heard. And that’s a welcome change from the past two years.

The other piece of good news, McConnell said, was Senate Majority Leader Reid’s decision to withdraw the 1,924-page, $1.2 trillion omnibus bill.

The absence of Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi prompted much commentary in the blogosphere, as in the Politico piece, “Pelosi and Reid skip bill signing.” Robert Costa of National Review Online has an informative report on the ceremony, “A Tax Deal, and Rev. Al,” a reference to Al Sharpton’s attendance.

Executive Vice President Jay Timmons of the National Association of Manufacturers issued a statement, “Manufacturers: Tax Relief Will Spur Economic Recovery and Job Growth.”

And coverage/commentary with a manufacturing focus:

We Own the Auto Companies. We Can Make Them Dance, Too

By | Economy, Energy, Regulations | No Comments

From The Des Moines Register, Philip Brasher:

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Tom Harkin said he wants Congress to use a climate bill to force auto companies to make new cars and trucks capable of running on 85 percent ethanol as well as conventional gasoline.

“We own the automobile companies. Why not? I think that will be an easy one,” Harkin said Thursday, referring to the government interests in Chrysler and General Motors.

 (Hat tip: Michael Franc)


This Week on America’s Business Radio

By | General | No Comments

Americas-Business-logo.jpgRep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) is pushing legislation to begin oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to help ease soaring gasoline prices. But Bartlett, who was the first congressman to buy a gas-stingy Toyota Prius, said federal revenue from ANWR oil drilling will be used to develop alternative fuels.

“Well, I always was opposed to drilling in ANWR unless we used the revenues we got from ANWR to invest in alternatives,” says Bartlett, a guest on this week’s “America’s Business with Mike Hambrick” radio program. “We desperately need to develop alternatives and I thought that would provide some leverage to get us going on developing alternatives.”

China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world but is grappling with a huge pollution problem. Smog is so thick in Beijing some observers say it could hamper the performance of athletes at the Olympic Games. Reporter James Fallows, a regular contributor to Atlantic Monthly, will join Mike to talk about what China is doing to clean up its air, soil and water.

Federal tax credits to boost research and development help foster innovation and create jobs. But Congress often lets these credits lapse. Tom Neubig of Ernst & Young, author of a recent report on R&D tax credits, will talk about the huge benefit thee credits give manufacturing.

With gasoline prices so high wouldn’t it be nice if you could make your own fuel at home? Well, now you can. E-Fuel Corp. Chief Executive Officer Thomas Quinn will introduce us to a machine his company makes that lets consumers produce their own ethanol using sugar, yeast and water.

And America’s Business will visit Patriots Technology Training Center in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. President Thurman Jones will talk about his mission to use recreational activities to teach children and teenagers about robotics, science and math. These skills could one day help them in manufacturing careers.

In our regular segments, Renee Giachino of American Justice Partnership gives us the latest on tort reform and commentator Hank Cox recalls “The Way It Was.” And the National Association of Manufacturers President Gov. John Engler will close the program with “The Last Word.”

For more about “America’s Business with Mike Hambrick” and to listen to the program online, please click here. And for video highlights and more, check out www.americasbusiness.org.