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GHG Archives - Shopfloor

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

FACT CHECK: EPA’s Legal Footing

By | Energy | No Comments

“I would not recommend, and I am confident that the Administrator would not sign, a final rule that the EPA did not believe was on firm legal footing and worthy of being upheld by the federal courts. In light of that, the effect of the draft bill would be a wholly unnecessary postponement of reductions of harmful air pollution,” said Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) Acting Air Chief Janet McCabe.

The statement above was given in a congressional hearing, while under oath to members of Congress who were debating draft legislation that would restore some regulatory certainty for businesses and state governments by delaying implementation of EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation for the existing power sector until after the inevitable legal challenges are resolved. Read More

Manufacturers Like Caterpillar Leading the Way in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By | General | No Comments

Lost in most of the policy discussions about greenhouse gases (GHG) in Washington, is the fact that the U.S. manufacturers are already leading the world in reducing emissions. Through manufacturing ingenuity and a commitment to environmental stewardship, manufacturers have reduced their annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 10 percent from 2005 levels. Manufacturers have also been integral in helping lower the United States’ total annual carbon emissions by nearly 700 million tons over the same time period–more than any other country in the world. Read More

Administration’s Climate Plan to UN a Reminder of What’s at Stake for Manufacturers

By | Energy | No Comments

The Administration’s submission of its Climate Change Plan to the United Nations today is a reminder of the complex nature of global greenhouse gas (GHG) politics, economics and realities, and what is at stake for the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Manufacturers want a strong international agreement that includes binding commitments from all major emitting nations.

First, as is graphically represented on Page One of the Plan, the United States is already leading the world in reducing GHG emissions. Since 2005, no country has reduced its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than the United States—nearly 700 million tons of C02 or a reduction of close to 12 percent. U.S. manufacturers are leading the way, producing more efficient and lower emitting cars, trucks and machines; creating new and innovative products to increase the energy efficiency of houses, buildings and factors; and unlocking new technologies to generate more power with fewer emissions. Since 2005, carbon emissions from manufacturers and other industrial facilities have fallen by more than 10 percent. This progress will continue, as manufacturers are driven by a commitment to environmental sustainability and recognition that reducing emissions is good for the bottom line—more efficient factories have fewer emissions and lower costs.  Read More

EPA To Hold Listening Sessions on GHG Rule

By | Energy | No Comments

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing regulations for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for existing power plants, the Agency is holding 11 listening sessions in cities across the country. The scheduled date, time and location for each listening session are included below. Additional information can be found on the EPA’s website, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Manufacturers consume one-third of the nation’s energy and are directly impacted by any regulation that increases the cost or reliability of electricity. Additionally, manufacturers stand “next in line” for GHG regulations and the precedents set by the GHG rules for power plants could serve as a model for similar regulations of other sectors. The NAM encourages the EPA to consider the following as they develop GHG rules for existing power plants:

  1. We Need An All Of The Above Energy Strategy: Energy markets are ever changing. The world of energy five years ago looked considerably different than it does today; and the world in five years from now will be different as well. The best way to adjust to changing energy markets while keeping American manufacturing competitive is by having a diverse energy mix, which gives us a wide-variety of options to choose from.
  2. Energy Can Be Our Competitive Advantage: Energy has increasingly become a bright spot for U.S. manufacturing. Regulations that cause the premature retirement of plants in our existing power fleet will increase energy prices for manufacturers and turn a potential competitive advantage to a disadvantage.
  3. Reliability Matters: We already know that because of regulations already on the books, a significant portion of our existing power fleet will retire in the next several years. Manufacturers depend on reliable sources of electricity to operate. Any interruption in the supply of electricity, even if for a very short duration, disrupts the manufacturing process and is incredibly costly. It is critical that the EPA take adequate time to consider the impact GHG regulations will have on grid reliability.
  4. We Cannot Address Climate Change On Our Own: GHGs are global by nature, and any effort to materially reduce emissions will require global commitment and participation.  Led by manufacturers’ innovations in energy development and efficiency, U.S. GHG emissions are as low today as they were in the mid-1990s, this while manufacturing gross output increased 29% during that period. Even more remarkable is that these emissions reductions have taken place while China, the world’s largest emitter, has seen emissions more than double over that same time period. EPA regulations to limit GHG emissions will have little or no impact on climate change if the rest of the world operates without similar restrictions.

 

EPA Listening Sessions:

Atlanta, GA

October 23, 1013
Session 1 – 2:00-5:00 pm EST
Session 2 – 6:00-9:00 pm EST

Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
Bridge Conference Rooms
61 Forsyth St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Register
Point of contact: Dorothy Riddell – (404) 562-8080

Boston, MA

November 4, 2013
10:00 am-3:00pm EST

U.S. EPA New England Offices
Memorial Hall
5 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
Register
Point of contact: Dan Abrams – (617) 918-1067

Chicago, IL

November 8, 2013
9:00 am-4:00 pm CST

U.S. EPA Region 5 Offices
Metcalfe Federal Building
Lake Michigan Room
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
Register
Point of contact: Megan Gavin – (312) 353-5282

Dallas, TX

November 7, 2013
10:00 am-3:00 pm CST

J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
Auditorium – 1st Floor
1515 Young St.
Dallas, TX 75202
Register
Point of contact: Jennah Durant – (214) 665-2287

Denver, CO

October 30, 2013
9:00 am-5:00 pm MST (last 2 hours for call ins)

U.S. EPA Region 8 Offices
1595 Wynkoop St.
Denver, CO 80202
Register
Point of contact: Environmental Information Center – (303) 312-6312

Lenexa, KS

November 4, 2013
4:00-8:00 pm CST

U.S. EPA Region 7 Offices
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Register
Point of contact: Toni Gargas – (913) 551-7193

New York City, NY

October 23, 2013
Session 1 – 9:00 am-12:00 pm EST
Session 2 – 2:00-5:00 pm EST

U.S. EPA Region 2 Offices
Room 27A
290 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
Register
Point of contact: Jennifer May-Reddy – (212) 637-3658

Philadelphia, PA

November 8, 2013
10:00 am-4:00 pm EST

William J. Green, Jr. Federal Building
600 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Register
Point of contact: Pat Egan – (215) 814-3167

San Francisco, CA

November 5, 2013
9:00 am-4:00 pm PST

U.S. EPA Region 9 Offices
75 Hawthorne St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Register
Point of contact: Niloufar Glosson – (415) 972-3684

Seattle, WA

November 7, 2013
3:00-6:00 pm PST

Henry M. Jackson Federal Building
915 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
Register
Point of contact: Caryn Sengupta – (206) 553-1275

Washington, DC

November 7, 2013
9:00 am-8:00 pm EST

U.S. EPA Headquarters
William Jefferson Clinton East
Room 1153 (Map Room)
1201 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460
Register
Point of contact: Angela Hackel – (919) 541-5262

 

Manufacturers Keep a Close Eye on Energy Amendments in Senate Budget

By | Energy | No Comments

Today the Senate is holding votes on a series of amendments to the chamber’s first budget in four years. Several of the amendments on the floor address energy issues. Manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in the United States which makes access to affordable energy essential. Regulations and other policies which drive up costs are extremely concerning for manufacturers.

Senator Roy Blunt has filed an amendment that opposes a carbon tax. Last month the NAM released a study by NERA economic consulting that showed a carbon tax could have a devastating impact on our economy and jobs. Placing unilateral restrictions or prices on U.S. GHG emissions, without similar regulations in operation on other major emitting nations, would disadvantage U.S. manufacturers, impact millions of jobs, and result in higher prices for natural gas, electricity, gasoline and other energy commodities.

Senator Inhofe has filed an amendment that would prevent EPA from implementing costly greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, refineries and other industrial facilities.

Senator Barrasso has an amendment that would protect exports from being blocked by unnecessarily broad environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Expanding NEPA to consider the environmental impact of the cargo could hamper exports of many products, such as cars, tractors, agricultural products, electronics, toys, steel, chemicals, pumps, air conditioners, elevators and airplanes.

Also, Senator Hoeven has an amendment on the floor to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL would create tens of thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs and provide manufacturers with an affordable source of energy. We have continued to urge the Administration to approve the pipeline as soon as possible.

EPA Delays Overreaching and Costly Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | No Comments

Less than a month after the EPA announced a stay on the excessive and burdensome Boiler MACT rule, the EPA confirmed though a spokesman that there will be another delay on a proposed rule placing restrictions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants.

Coverage of the delay:

Manufacturers are pleased to see that various rules containing unrealistic regulations are being delayed and that industry voices are receiving more attention. The announcement of the Boiler MACT stay and the delay of the draft power plant rules show that the EPA is listening to the concerns of job creators on the impact of the regulations they seek to implement.

Although the EPA announced that the final rule is still on schedule to be published in May of 2012, this delay signals a step in the right direction. Rushed and unattainable proposals are unacceptable to the business community and the American people. Additionally, they are counterintuitive to job creation and economic growth.

Consequences of Backing Waxman-Markey: Welcome Rep. Griffiths

By | Energy, General, Global Warming, Miscellaneous | No Comments

Here’s the vote that ended the Congressional career of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), a 14-term House member from the southwestern corner of Virginia.

It’s the 219-212 vote by which the House passed H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, aka Waxman-Markey.

Not to diminish the efforts of the winning candidate, Morgan Griffiths, the majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, who represents the city of Salem and portions of Roanoke County.

At The Wall Street Journal, Kim Strassel comments: “If Mr. Boucher goes down, he likely won’t be the only coal-state Democrat to get ‘BTUed’ in this election.”

Rejecting ‘Energy’ Bills, Congress Made Policy

By | Economy, Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | One Comment

First, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) abandoned plans for Senate action on a major “climate bill” that would restrict the emissions of greenhouse gases. Then, this week he decided against bringing a scaled-back (but still huge) “energy bill” to the floor before the August recess.

For all the accusations about base political motives killing the bills, the reality is that grand and not-so-grand schemes to remake the U.S. economy by raising energy costs are unpopular. Policymakers proved incapable of making all political calculations and compromises needed to pass the legislation.

The Washington Post today considers what’s next in a story, “EPA left to pick up climate change where Congress dropped the debate“:

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon begin regulating greenhouse gases factory by factory, power plant by power plant. That could be unwieldy, expensive and unpopular — even President Obama has said it’s not his preferred solution.

But for now, it’s his only option.

His only option? That’s obviously not true.

The President is in charge of the Executive Branch, and the EPA is part of the Executive Branch. His many options include telling Administrator Lisa Jackson to back off and start over on greenhouse gas regulation. Or, to belatedly recognize that the Executive Branch does not make policy and to defer to the constitutional authority of Congress. The President could decide to redouble his persuading and politicking in an effort to win passage of a good “climate bill” he could sign into law.

But for now, the Administration is relying on the EPA to rewrite the law to apply greenhouse gas regulations only to larger industrial emitters — a discretion that the law, the Clean Air Act, does not allow. The regulatory approach is a disaster, imposing costs, uncertainty and unprecedented federal control over economic activity in this country.
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