We all agree that America’s infrastructure must be updated and brought into the 21st century. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has been leading efforts to build consensus on how to fund, build and deliver infrastructure that will improve manufacturers’ global competitiveness. Today, the NAM—in partner with leading industry and labor groups—released four principles for Congress and the administration to use as they draft an infrastructure bill. The four principles are as follows: Read More
Republicans and Democrats unified today to advance an infrastructure agenda in the 115th Congress. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) began the hearing “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America” by referencing a letter to President Donald Trump from nearly 400 manufacturing, labor, business, construction and policy groups urging for a broad infrastructure bill that addresses all types of infrastructure and includes a solution to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) worked with a broad business coalition to secure support for the effort from national organizations as well as local and state groups from every state in the country.
Committee members heard a united message about the immediate need to upgrade transportation and infrastructure systems to ensure U.S. global competitiveness. Testimony came from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and four NAM members:
- Frederick Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corporation
- David MacLennan, chairman and CEO of Cargill, Incorporated
- Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW of North America
- Mary Andringa, chair of the board of Vermeer Corporation
Andringa shared Vermeer’s Lean journey and the steps taken to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the manufacturing process.
“If ports are clogged, trucks are delayed, power is down or the internet has a lapse, productivity and customer service are impacted,” said Andringa. “This is not just my story. Across the manufacturing sector, transportation logistics matter, and congestion—whether at a port or on a crowded highway—is waste that drives the consumer’s cost up like a hidden tax.”
The NAM will continue to educate new members of the 115th Congress about the central role infrastructure plays on the shop floor and will continue to lead advocacy efforts supporting a 21st-century infrastructure system. In “Building to Win,” the NAM described the immediate need to update our roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, inland waterways, broadband and telecommunications networks, airports and runways, pipelines, energy infrastructure, drinking water and wastewater systems and railways. The blueprint includes solutions, such as possible funding and financing mechanisms, as well as good governance policy reforms, such as streamlining permitting.
While manufacturers were encouraged by President Trump’s campaign promise to rebuild American infrastructure and make it “second to none,” accomplishing this will require continued advocacy and education efforts to gather the bipartisan support to encourage a significant change from the status quo.
This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) petition in the challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States regulation. We have asked the Supreme Court to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, where many suits challenging the WOTUS rule have been consolidated. The panel’s decision conflicts with decisions in similar cases by other federal appeals courts, which concluded that such challenges should be heard at the district court level. The NAM outlined in detail why 33 U.S.C. Section 1369(b) does not allow courts of appeals to hear this challenge. The 6th Circuit’s decision put challengers to the EPA rule in an untenable position—if that court does not actually have jurisdiction to hear the case, any action it takes could thereafter be overturned on appeal, without even considering the merits of the challenge, and we would have to start the case over at the trial court level. This would be a tremendous waste of resources for manufacturers and other parties affected by the rule, the administration and the courts. Delaying review of the jurisdictional question, which must ultimately be resolved in any case, makes no sense, so we are very pleased that the Supreme Court decided today to resolve this issue.
A recent study released by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) examined how new technology has impacted the surge of natural gas production in the United States and made U.S. manufacturing more competitive in the global marketplace. It’s great news that abundant energy resources are energizing American manufacturing. But if we don’t modernize our energy infrastructure to fully connect these resources to manufacturers, we will fall short of our full economic potential.
Following the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, there continues to be headlines and rhetoric advertising the project’s demise. But a number of the United States’ top-tier editorial boards understood that this decision is more than the headlines suggested.
First an editorial out by The Wall Street Journal discussed the exhaustive consultations between the company, native tribes and regulators that resulted in a finding of “no significant impact” and highlighted that the Corps’ decision “has jeopardized its integrity and created a legal quagmire by requiring an exhaustive new environmental impact statement that considers alternative routes.”
Another piece by USA Today touted the importance of the project stating:
“It would be the first major pipeline bringing access to the Bakken oil fields that have been so much a part of America’s energy production renaissance…pipelines fill a vital need for the economy and for America’s energy security and therefore need to be built.”
It also noted how attempts by environmentalists to thwart this project are not the proper way to reach climate change goals, noting that [this decision] “will have little impact on the environment beyond their immediate environs.”
Finally, the most recent article by the The Washington Post’s editorial team, titled “A False Victory at Standing Rock,” recapped the lead-up of activity to the decision and put this recent announcement into perspective echoing USA Today’s sentiments:
“No matter how big the issues activists attached to them, these pipelines, at their core, are nothing more than routine infrastructure projects, thousands of which underpin the U.S. economy. The approval or denial of one or two will do little to cure global oil addiction or right generations of harm to tribal groups.”
This decision and its coverage is a key example of why this debate needs a robust and honest discussion about our nation’s infrastructure. The reality is manufacturers have benefited significantly from access to this clean, safe and affordable energy source. But we need to further invest in our nation’s energy infrastructure projects to deliver natural gas to businesses and communities across the nation to strengthen our advantage in this increasingly competitive market.
It’s time for stakeholders who will truly benefit from these projects to raise their voices and tell our new administration that to have further growth and success, Americans will need infrastructure to ensure that the nation’s ample supply of resources are delivered efficiently, safely and securely to the end users who need it.
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement after final passage of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN):
“There’s no better way to end the 114th Congress than with a long-awaited victory for manufacturers. With WIIN, we can keep our manufactured goods moving on America’s waterways. We can get our products to market more quickly—certainly a win for customers and a win for the men and women who make those products. But now, let’s take it to the next level. The next Congress and new administration should build on this achievement with a bigger, comprehensive plan for infrastructure renewal, as laid out in the NAM’s ‘Building to Win’ infrastructure initiative.
“There is so much more we have to build if we’re going to grow manufacturing and lead in the world economy. Manufacturers are encouraged that President-elect Donald Trump is committed to infrastructure investment, including for our waterways, and has even cited ‘Building to Win’ in his campaign platform. We’re ready to get to work and look forward to the new opportunities in the new year.”
CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090
There’s great news for America’s manufacturing sector: the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency (EIA) has released a new report showing proposed pipeline projects in the Midwest would significantly increase our access to safe, domestic energy.
Increased access to reliable sources of our own energy is essential for manufacturers, to power operations and remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace. The EIA report, which gathered data on infrastructure proposed in Ohio, found the number of state-of-the-art pipelines in various stages of the approval process would increase transport capacity from 10 billion to 17 billion cubic feet per day.
But pipeline projects are not simple construction endeavors; they are high-tech engineering undertakings. Building a new pipeline takes years of review and approval, negotiations with landowners and approvals at all levels of government.
Unfortunately, during these long and complicated approvals, dozens of shovel-ready projects sit in waiting. From wages for construction activity to lower electricity costs for consumers and greater manufacturing in America, the benefits of natural gas access are felt throughout the community. In fact, the National Association of Manufacturers’ recent Energizing Manufacturing study conducted by IHS Global estimates that in 2015 alone, expanded natural gas access meant 1.9 million new jobs and an extra $1,337 in the pockets of the average American family.
Pipelines are the safest possible means of transporting natural gas resources. Americans deserve access to infrastructure that can move energy to manufacturers and other industries that are dependent on it, including low-carbon power plants, agriculture and more. Pipeline construction largely relies on private investment, so the American taxpayer saves money.
Prioritizing public participation and transparency on the front end means we can start building these critical pipeline infrastructure projects in a timely manner. And when we do, regions like western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio win. In fact, investments are already bearing fruits through added tax revenue and patronage at local hotels, restaurants, grocery stories and other tourist attractions. Domestic energy is a benefit we can’t afford to reject.
Clear Majority of Voters Say Development of Pipelines, Power Lines Will Spur Job Creation, Boost the Economy
More than 80 percent of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia voters believe public and private investment in infrastructure, including energy infrastructure, would have a positive impact on the economy, according to a new series of surveys released today by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
While news headlines focus on partisan fighting and a divided American electorate, the NAM surveys find a source of common ground: energy infrastructure. Clear majorities in each state support increasing domestic energy production, and more than 80 percent support increased investment in power lines, pipelines, power plants, refineries and railroads, which all play a key role in manufacturing’s competitiveness.
“It’s time to finally make critical investments in our infrastructure that will support domestic energy development,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Americans understand that we have the opportunity to allow projects to move forward that will grow our economy and keep manufacturers of all sizes competitive. It’s not hard to see how modernizing our energy and transportation infrastructure will create good-paying American jobs. Voters clearly recognize this and are demanding action from Washington.”
Investing in energy infrastructure has broad bipartisan support among registered voters in what were key battleground states in the 2016 election:
- 91% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats indicated they support increasing investment in energy infrastructure.
- 86% of self-identified environmentalists and 89% of union members also support increased investment.
- When it comes to expected outcomes from increasing our investment in infrastructure, 61% say it will create good-paying jobs and 64% believe that investing in energy infrastructure will help build a stronger economy.
NAM affiliates in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia lauded the findings as further evidence that infrastructure investment will enhance manufacturing in their states.
“Pennsylvanians understand that to be able to produce energy in Pennsylvania and get it to customers, we need reliable infrastructure,” said David Taylor, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “They also understand that our families and communities will be better off when we invest in that infrastructure—from pipelines, ports and power lines to airports, bridges, roads and waterways. We have a unique, generational opportunity to move the Commonwealth and our nation forward by leveraging our energy resources into much-needed job creation.”
Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, said, “Buckeye State voters overwhelmingly support infrastructure investment because they know it will improve standards of living. From pipeline infrastructure to get Utica Shale resources to market, to locks and dams along the Ohio River, to maritime and transportation infrastructure along Lake Erie, public and private investment in these areas will help get Ohioans working again and revitalize our manufacturing base for years to come.”
Brett Vassey, president and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, commented, “Manufacturing drives Virginia’s economy and directly supports more than 230,000 high-paying jobs across the Commonwealth, so voters recognize the sector’s important role. Given the recent energy infrastructure investment and development projects across the Commonwealth, it’s important to note that more than 80 percent of Virginia voters support these efforts because they realize that they create jobs and strengthen our economy. We look forward to working with the NAM and our partners in Washington to ensure that infrastructure investment and smart regulatory reform efforts remain a high national priority.”
The research was conducted via landline and cell phone from November 28 through December 3, 2016. The sample size for each state was 500 registered voters in 2016. Margin of error = +/- 4.38 per state.
Additional information on the state surveys is available below:
To learn more about manufacturers’ policy priorities and the benefits of infrastructure and energy development, visit www.nam.org/competingtowin.
CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement after President Barack Obama denied the permits necessary to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“This decision defies logic, science and sound policy decision making, and the consequences can be measured in lost work for manufacturers and those in the manufacturing supply chain.
“If a project that has involved all relevant stakeholders and followed both the letter and spirit of the law at every step of this approval process can be derailed, what signal does that send to others considering building new energy infrastructure in this country?
“We can only hope that President-elect Trump will stand by his promises to invest aggressively in new infrastructure in America and start by overturning this misguided decision and allow the completion of the pipeline.”
Learn more about how energy infrastructure opens up opportunities here.
CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090
On his list of putting America first, President-elect Donald Trump has prioritized rebuilding America’s infrastructure. From roads and bridges to pipelines and ports, America has an opportunity to come together to rebuild the nation and grow the economy through these critical investments.
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons recognized the president-elect’s strong commitment to making policies that will jumpstart our economy and highlighted this in a letter to the incoming president saying:
“You outlined during the campaign and made very clear in your victory speech that we have a tremendous opportunity before us to rebuild our infrastructure, spur economic growth and accelerate job creation as a result. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you, your transition team and your administration to put a serious, bold plan into action.”
The letter highlights the NAM’s latest initiative called “Building to Win.” The hallmark of this effort is a comprehensive blueprint that recommends policy solutions to some of the nation’s greatest infrastructure challenges and also highlights some funding and financing options to make the investments American workers and businesses need.
America’s aging infrastructure is one of the greatest obstacles challenging the nation. The lack of modernization is a threat to security, safety and growth throughout our communities. For instance, aging pipelines and bottlenecks in energy transportation deny families fair access to affordable, reliable energy. However, by creating, developing and maintaining the pipeline network communities deserve, Americans are able to lower their energy costs and allocate those resources toward other needs.
Fair access to energy isn’t the only reason action is required. The NAM’s “Building to Win” blueprint also advocates a more streamlined and transparent regulatory process for infrastructure projects. Action is needed if the United States is to save itself from the cumbersome regulatory process that surrounds infrastructure projects. Currently, bureaucratic red tape is slowing down the modernization that will spur economic growth through community investments, new tax revenue and job creation.
As the NAM letter to the president-elect states: “We believe that a strong bipartisan program to fix our ailing infrastructure will be a significant step to help bring our country back together.”
With the shared goal of improving America’s infrastructure, the NAM will work with Congress and the new administration to overcome our infrastructure challenges to allow the economy and our communities to continue to grow.