Fred Upton Archives - Shopfloor

Circumnetting Energy, Drilling, the EPA, Administrator Jackson

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | No Comments

Washington Post, “EPA chief Lisa Jackson perpetually on Capitol Hill hot seat“:

Republicans say that studies such as one by two manufacturers’ groups projected that 7 million jobs would be lost in the decade beginning in 2020 if their client organizations are forced to pay up to $1 trillion to meet the EPA’s ozone standards, said Alicia Meads, director of energy and resource policy for the National Association of Manufacturers. Meads also cited a study by the Council for Industrial Boiler Owners that said 16,000 jobs would be lost for every $1 billion spent to comply with EPA boiler regulations.

“We consider it an overreach,” Meads said. “This administration has been extremely aggressive in environmental regulations, and it’s very hard for our members to keep up with them.”

Wall Street Journal, “EPA Tangles with New Critic: Labor“:

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration’s environmental agenda, long a target of American business, is beginning to take fire from some of the Democratic Party’s most reliable supporters: Labor unions.

Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants. Their contention: Roughly half a dozen rules expected to roll out within the next two years could put thousands of jobs in jeopardy and damage the party’s 2012 election prospects.

House Energy and Commerce news release, March 8, “Upton, Inhofe Question Process for Reconsidering EPA’s Ozone Standards“: Read More

Reaction to President Obama’s Unsatisfactory Comments on Domestic Energy

By | Energy, General | 39 Comments

Excerpting the reaction to President Obama’s comments on energy prices and domestic energy production on Friday.

Jack Gerard, president and CEO, American Petroleum Institute, “API to White House: Long Term Solutions Require Short Term Leadership:”

Long-term problems call for short-term leadership. Suggesting that we rely on other nations to solve our energy challenges is irresponsible and will not increase our energy security. The Obama administration continues to delay or defer action on developing our domestic resources of oil and natural gas at every turn.

The trend is alarming. The administration has postponed lease sales in offshore areas. It has cancelled lease sales in onshore federal lands. It has extended permitting timelines for current leases and added unnecessary regulatory burdens. It has chosen inaction on essential energy projects that would create jobs, drive economic growth, and boost federal revenues.

The administration is well on its way toward creating higher gasoline prices for Americans.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), “Landrieu Responds to President’s News Conference on Gas Prices“:

I share President Obama’s concern about how the current crisis in Libya and the constriction of supply in the U.S. are causing gas prices to skyrocket.  Unfortunately, this administration still doesn’t seem to understand that the best way to combat rising gasoline prices is to encourage new domestic development and production of oil.  By issuing permits in the Gulf and by opening new areas for development, we can combat the geopolitical events that affect what this country pays at the pump.

The president wants his administration to account for of all the undeveloped leases held by oil and gas companies in the Gulf.  I don’t know how the president expects companies to develop leases in the Gulf when they can’t even get permits to conduct exploratory activities.  Since new regulations went into place last year after the spill, only one new exploration plan has been approved by the BOEM – only one permit in 10 months. By contrast, in March 2010, the month before the Macondo accident, 48 exploratory plans were issued.  The president can’t hold companies accountable for development of leases when they simply can’t get permits to develop them.

Politico, “Bill Clinton: Drilling delays ‘ridiculous’“:

Bush said all the things you’d expect him to say” on oil and gas issues, said Jim Noe, senior vice president at Hercules Offshore and executive director of the pro-drilling Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. But Clinton added, “You’d be surprised to know that I agree with all that,” according to Noe and others in the room.

Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, “Upton Statement in Response to President Obama’s Remarks on Energy and Gasoline Prices“: Read More

A Small Manufacturer Embraces the Opportunities of Trade

By | Taxation, Trade | 2 Comments

Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire in Baltimore, testified on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers today at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, “Made in America: Innovations in Job Creation and Economic Growth.”

His prepared statement covers the wide range of issues facing manufacturing, drawing on the NAM’s Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and Competitiveness. Highlights included his remarks on taxes and regulation, and Drew is always good on trade issues. He speaks from experience on small manufacturers can succeed by competiting in the global marketplace. From his comments:

In today’s global marketplace, manufacturers in Maryland are no longer just competing against Texas companies that compete against Georgia companies. We face competition from around the world. Foreign manufacturers often must comply with fewer regulations and have governments that use every tool at their disposal to give those companies a competitive edge, frequently at the expense of manufacturers in the United States. The solution is to increase access to foreign markets through trade agreements and to ensure the regulatory environment in the U.S does not put manufacturers at a disadvantage.

To do this, manufacturers need an international trade policy that opens global markets, reduces regulatory and tariff barriers and reduces distortions due to currency exchange rates, ownership restrictions and various “national champion strategies.” Congress must enact pending trade agreements, and the Administration must negotiate additional agreements in the Pacific area and elsewhere.

Again, speaking from my own experience, one of Marlin Steel’s core niches is selling custom stainless steel material-handling baskets to Japanese automakers. As we all know, Korean automakers have steadily increased their market share, and I want to sell our custom wire baskets to the Korean automakers as well as the Japanese like we did this week to Mazda. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, if enacted, will help Marlin Steel compete on a level playing field with Korean wire basket suppliers.

Carbon Dioxide is Not a Pollutant

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | One Comment

No matter what the U.S. Supreme Court, the EPA and members of Congress say.

The Washington Post story today, “House GOP readies bill to prohibit EPA from regulating carbon emissions,” quotes the reaction of Rep. Earl Blumenaur (D-OR) to the introduction of the bill: “I am outraged that House Republicans are launching this attack on the most basic law that keeps our air safe to breathe.”

Regulation of carbon dioxide has nothing to do with keeping “our air safe to breathe.” It has to do with the claims of CO2 contributing to anthropogenic global warming.  If you’re going to make the case, make the case.

We had to laugh at the rhetoric, too. Back when we edited an editorial page in Oregon, there were two basic types of letters to the editor. One started with, “I am outraged,” and the other with, “I am appalled.”

Here’s the news release that inflames passions so: “Upton, Whitfield, Inhofe Unveil Energy Tax Prevention Act to Protect America’s Jobs & Families“:

Reps. Upton and Whitfield and Sen. Inhofe are releasing the draft as part of a deliberative process with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to discuss the most effective approach to stop EPA’s cap and trade agenda. The draft legislation is based on the belief that 1) Congress, not EPA bureaucrats, should be in charge of setting America’s climate change policy; and that 2) A 2-year delay of EPA’s cap-and-trade agenda provides no meaningful certainty for job creators, fails to protect jobs, and punts decision-making in Congress on a critically important economic issue past the voters and the election next year.

“The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011” would:

•Stop EPA bureaucrats from making legislative decisions that should be made by Congress;
•Clarify that the Clean Air Act was not written by Congress to address climate change;
•Stop EPA bureaucrats from imposing a backdoor cap-and-trade tax that would make gasoline, electricity, fertilizer, and groceries more expensive for consumers; and
•Protect American jobs and manufacturers from overreaching EPA regulations that hinder our ability to compete with China and other countries.

The Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the draft legislation at 10 a.m. next Wednesday, Feb. 9.

House Hearing Examines President’s New Regulatory Approach

By | Regulations | One Comment

From the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, “Chairmen Upton and Stearns welcome administration’s acknowledgment that federal regulations are harming nation’s economy, stifling our recovery.”

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, January 26, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing entitled The Views of the Administration on Regulatory Reform. Chairman Fred Upton and Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns look forward to discussing the Obama administration’s regulatory executive order and determining its impact on jobs and the economy. Upton and Stearns are especially concerned with the chilling effect unnecessary government mandates are having upon job growth.

The sole witness is Cass R. Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

The Hill (blog), “Republicans to hold oversight hearing on Obama’s regulatory review
The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes, on the hearing as part of the Republicans’ oversight strategy, “In the Dock: Get ready for two years of Obama administration oversight by the House GOP

And, for a more thorough, conservative-minded examination of Cass Sunstein, his writings and his philosophy of government, we recommend The Claremont Review’s recent article, “A Czar is Born.” Post-modernism meets progressivism, author Joseph Postrell argues.

P.S. The Claremont Review has the best illustrations.

Soon-to-be Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) on Obama Administration’s Regulatory Excess

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | One Comment

In an interview last week on the Hugh Hewitt Show, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, detailed the committee’s plans for action and oversight in the first few months of the 112th Congress. The Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive agenda of regulatory excess will be a major area of attention. As Upton said, “From the start, we’ve said we’re not going to let this administration regulate what they’re unable to legislate.”

From the transcript, Chairman-elect Upton:

Lisa Jackson, the administrator of EPA, I think she might have testified one time before our committee the last two years. And we made the point of making sure that we don’t know whether we’re going to have to report to the IRS that she’s going to get free parking as a benefit up here on Capitol Hill, but she’s going to be up here a lot more. She’s going to need to defend what EPA is trying to do.

And I will say this. You know, since I talked to you last, EPA had threatened to do these boiler regulations. You know, this is involving, really, most businesses across the country. And we sent some pretty tough letters over the last four, six weeks. And they backed off on them. So that was a good sign.

And as we look at all these regulations that EPA has got their hands in, we’re going to be looking at all of them. And you might remember that as a matter of the Pledge, something that Kevin McCarthy did really good work on, and most Republicans, including myself, embraced this last fall, one of the planks in that was that we want to examine all of the regulations that impose costs that exceed, I want to say, it was $200 million dollars on businesses across the country.

So we’re going to take that up as an issue, and it’s one of the reasons why we’ve assigned Cliff Stearns to be the chairman of the very important subcommittee on oversight and investigations. And I would imagine that they’re going to, and I saw Cliff yesterday, he’s already got about his next three months of hearings, maybe as many as two a week, and beginning to plan out, and EPA’s going to be a part of that. And John Shimkus, too.

Throughout the wide-ranging interview, Upton is politically punctilious about the central role the Energy and Commerce subcommittees and their chairmen will play. He includes the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as one topic for legislative scrutiny under the newly renamed Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA).

There’s also a brief discussion of John Engler’s move from the National Association of Manufacturers to the Business Roundtable.

Thank you to Hugh Hewitt and his team for producing the transcripts from his show. It’s an extra effort that helps make his show of such valuable for people who follow manufacturing policy.

An Unconstitutional Power Grab that Will Kill Millions of Jobs

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | One Comment

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, take on the Imperial EPA in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “How Congress Can Stop the EPA’s Power Grab“:

On Jan. 2, the Environmental Protection Agency will officially begin regulating the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This move represents an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs—unless Congress steps in.

The gist …

The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright. If Democrats refuse to join Republicans in doing so, then they should at least join a sensible bipartisan compromise to mandate that the EPA delay its regulations until the courts complete their examination of the agency’s endangerment finding and proposed rules.

Like the plaintiffs, we have significant doubt that EPA regulations can survive judicial scrutiny. And the worst of all possible outcomes would be the EPA initiating a regulatory regime that is then struck down by the courts.

The National Association of Manufacturers is actively challenging the EPA’s attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and especially its targeting of specific emitters — power plants and refineries — for which the agency has no statutory authority. A summary of the NAM’s active court proceedings is here.

See also Hugh Hewitt’s blog, “Obama’s EPA and the 2012 Elections.”

The EPA is just one of the Executive Branch agencies attempting to replace Congress as the policymaking branch of government, a power grab that threatens the economy and the U.S. separation of powers. Conn Carroll at the Heritage Foundation reports on other, more recent examples of the aggressive regulatory state in “Big Government Strikes Back,” citing the HHS’s plan to impose federal price controls on health insurance and the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules.

What the Drilling Moratorium Tells Us: Fear Czars Without Portfolio

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | 2 Comments

Funny. We always thought Carol Browner was de facto EPA Administrator. Turns out she’s really the de facto Secretary of Interior.

From Politico, “Interior inspector general: White House skewed drilling-ban report:

The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report.

In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium, according to the IG report obtained by POLITICO.”

As Ed Morrissey points out at Hot Air: “This is no mere academic exercise. Thousands of people lost their jobs because of this supposed instance of sloppy editing, and the delay it created in safe exploration and drilling may impact the region for years, as well as America’s energy independence.”

The IG’s report certainly bolsters the argument for House oversight hearings into the role of Browner and other White House appointees on energy and climate policy issues. Talk show host Hugh Hewitt this week asked Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) about the possibility of subpoenaing Browner and other appointed “czars” for oversight hearings. “You bet,” said Upton, who is seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit. Chris Horner has sharp commentary here, as well.

Upton, Shimkus on Oversight of EPA, Browner, ‘Czars’

By | Energy, General, Global Warming, Health Care, Regulations | 2 Comments

Byron York examines the plans by House Republicans to use their newly acquired committee chairmanships to hold Executive Branch agencies accountable, in particular Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency. The House Energy and Commerce Committee — now headed by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) — is the key player in this oversight, York writes in “GOP watchdogs promise fight over EPA, Obamcare..”

Two of the three Republican House members seeking the chairmanship appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show this week, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan and Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois. The third is Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who as ranking member on the committee has already reached the Republicans’ self-imposed three-term limit for the leadership position; Barton is seeking a waiver.

Hewitt asked both Upton and Shimkus about oversight, not just of the EPA but also the White House advisor, Carol Browner, and “regulatory czars” — powerful officials appointed by the President but not confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Upton: Read More

A Good Discussion of Energy Policy, and a Call for a ‘Reset’

By | Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

The American Petroleum Institute and Newsweek magazine sponsored a panel discussion Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol, “Climate and Energy Policy: Moving?” Moderated by Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, the forum proved a good opportunity to hear from policymakers — Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) — as well as Jack Gerard, head of the API.

The transcript of the discussion has now been posted here. We especially appreciated Jack’s calm and fact-filled presentation on the economic importance of the energy industry and the potential harm that would come from passing cap-and-trade legislation. In responding to Rep. Markey defense of Waxman-Markey, Gerard argued:

The Chairman identified his bill as market-oriented. We believe it’s anything but. In fact, that bill has already picked the winners and the losers. Unfortunately, those who consume fuels in this country like gas, diesel, et cetera, are the clear losers. We’re held accountable, responsible for 44 percent of all emissions and given 2 percent of the allowances.

Who do you think is going to bear the cost of the bill at the end of the day? And that’s why the vast majority of all economic analyses point out that we’re probably close to 2 million jobs being lost in this country as a result of the bill. We don’t believe it’s market-oriented at all.

Secondarily, consumer-focused. Same point. If you’re imposing tremendous burden on the consumers, where you’re driving their gasoline price, estimates based on EIA data, governmental data, will drive it close to $5 a gallon in the current marketplace. We believe that’s excessive and it hurts consumers.

Last point, job creator. …Every major economic analysis of the House-passed bill shows job destruction. Some are as high as multi-millions. We don’t think this bill is a job creator. We believe it’s far from it, and we believe that’s one of the key reasons why we really need to reset. Look at all the great ideas that many have, including the Chairman, and come back with a new start to get us someplace with an energy policy and a climate policy that can be integrated and work for the United States.

The one odd point about the 90-minute discussion is no one raised the issue of Climategate, that is, the documents from the Climatic Research Unit of East Anglia University that show a politicization and manipulation of research used to promote cap-and-trade legislation. Seems like an important element in a policy debate. But then, the major media have also been less than diligent in tackling the scandal.