Tag: Jay Rockefeller

EPA Regulation: Consumers Also Feel the Higher Energy Costs

Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, appeared in studio Wednesday on WLS’s morning drive-time program in Chicago, the “Don Wade and Roma Show.” A good interview with informed hosts that touched on several items including Illinois’ business climate, U.S. competitiveness, taxes and the pending Senate vote to block EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases.

From the discussion of the latter (audio clip):

Timmons: The NAM is supporting the McConnell bill because it’s very definitive. It says the EPA cannot regulate greenhouse gases, and then Congress can then come back and create a law that would allow them to do that or do it in a way that Congress dictates.

Roma: It had originally been in Congress’ purview, and then the EPA did an end-run around when it ran into balky congressional leaders, right?

Timmons
: Well, that’s exactly right. A couple of years ago there was a bill that was on the House floor to regulate greenhouse gases, and it did pass the House, it stalled in the Senate. So Congress actually said, no, we’re not going to allow the regulation of greenhouse gases. And now you have the EPA saying, well, if Congress isn’t going to do it, we’re going to do it. So, hey, that’s a fun job to have.

Don Wade
: The reason we don’t want the EPA to tighten the screws on regulation on greenhouse gases is that it will increase the cost to manufacturers’ stuff. That stuff then will cost you, the consumer, more. It’s like a tax, only it’s not a tax. It’s a hidden tax.

Timmons: It’s a hidden tax that does raise the costs of all energy inputs into manufacturing. Manufacturing uses 30 percent of all the energy consumed in the United States to create those goods that you’re talking about that consumers buy. So you have one of two things happen. You either raise the costs of goods or manufacturers simply can’t compete, so jobs are lost.

And the other part of this is, it’s not just manufacturing. Somebody says, “Ah, let business pay,” well, this is also the consumer. This is also the retired…these are my retired parents, who are trying to pay their heating and cooling bill. And if you look at gas prices today, I don’t think anybody wants to pay more for energy costs.

WLS has posted audio of the full 12-minute interview here.

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As the Senate Vote Nears on EPA Overregulation…

The National Association of Manufacturers is running TV and radio spots urging Senators to vote for the amendment sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to prevent the attempt of the Environmental Protection Agency to extend its control over the U.S. economy through its regulation of greenhouse gases.

The ads are available at the campaign’s website: www.nonewregs.org.

The NAM just sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging Senators to vote for the McConnell amendment and opposing two alternative amendments that fail to achieve the desired goal: Protecting the U.S. economy, manufacturers and workers from costs of EPA overregulation. The amendments may provide a modicum of political cover, but they simply extend the uncertainty that threatens the U.S. economic recovery.

As NAM President Jay Timmons wrote in a blog post at The Hill, “A choice: Recovery or regulator?“:

Manufacturers have been proved a bright spot during the U.S. recovery, making new investments, hiring thousands of employees every week, and exporting more than other sectors of the economy. Yet uncertainty compels the companies to practice caution, holding off investments until it’s clear just how much control over the economy the EPA will wield.

When Senators vote on the McConnell amendment this week, they will be choosing between a private-sector led recovery and the uncertainty and costs threatened by an unrestrained regulator, the EPA. Manufacturers ask that the Senators embrace the recovery by voting for the McConnell amendment.

More …

(continue reading…)

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Only McConnell Amendment Limits Economic Risk from EPA Regs

The National Association of Manufacturers just distributed a letter to U.S. Senators urging their vote for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s amendment to block the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases. The letter also expresses opposition to two other amendments that threaten to deflect attention from the clear issue facing the U.S. Senate: Whether the EPA should circumvent the policymaking branch of government, Congress, to extend its regulatory authority over carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the detriment of the U.S. economy, manufacturers, and workers.

The NAM letters comes from Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations. Text:

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states, urges your support for legislation that will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources. To that end, the NAM key-voted Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Energy Tax Prevention Act amendment (No. 183) to the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 493).This amendment would stop EPA regulations that are costing jobs and hurting our nation’s economic recovery.
In addition, two other amendments that address GHG regulations were offered to S. 493 by Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) (No. 236) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) (No. 215). While manufacturers appreciate the efforts of Sens. Baucus and Rockefeller, unfortunately, their amendments do not solve many problems associated with the EPA’s GHG regulations and provide little regulatory certainty for our nation’s job creators. (continue reading…)

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Fix the CPSIA Erratabase Before It Harms Commerce, Consumers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is scheduled to take its product safety complaint database online Friday, doing a real disservice to consumers who want accurate information and to companies that will have their reputations harmed by false, inaccurate and even malign reports about their products.

http://www.saferproducts.gov/

CPSC promotes its database

The National Association of Manufacturers this week filed a petition for reconsideration of the final rule implementing the database under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The NAM also requested an extension of the CPSC’s “soft launch” for three months to prevent the database from going “live” before fixing a number of administrative and policy challenges yet to be resolved. (NAM letter.)

We’ve seen many claims that the test phase of the database produced few of the false complaints that the manufacturers and others have been so concerned about. The advocates for the regulatory state at OMB Watch, for example, reported:

Manufacturers and business associations like the National Association of Manufacturers have targeted the database for fear that inaccurate data will be reported by consumers and, as a result, profits could be hurt. In CPSC’s testing of the site during the soft launch, however, “of the 900 complaints that were logged, four were determined to be inaccurate,” according to a March 3 BNA article (subscription required).

Curse you, business owners, for caring about profits!

This isn’t the full story, but even if it were, that’s four wrong complaints that could harm a company or product’s reputation. Multiply the number of complaints tens of thousands of times once the database starts operating, and the 0.44 percent inaccuracy rate starts to look seriously damaging. (We can also speculate about the trial lawyers and “consumer activists” holding back submissions during the trial run, waiting for the database to get up and running before salting it with inflammatory reports.)

Worse, NAM and its members have identified six serious problems with the database that would make it a font of bad information, the erratabase we write about. Consider this one:

Manufacturers, importers or private labelers have indicated that they have received reports of harm identifying an incident as involving their product that did not in fact involve their product, so were materially inaccurate, and advised CPSC of this fact. They have not received return affirmative confirmation that CPSC staff will not post such false claims in the database. CPSC staffers have indicated they may not possess the resources to adequately scrub the database to avoid posting upon such notification. This is contrary to the express direction of Congress that materially inaccurate information with the potential for irreparable reputational harm be vetted prior to posting.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) won passage of an amendment in H.R. 1, the continuing resolution, to block funding for the database until Congress had conducted a thorough review. (See Shopfloor, “CPSC Erratabase and the Interests of Trial Lawyers.“) The amendment has brought Pompeo the expected obloquy from the left, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, issued a news release denouncing it. (continue reading…)

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At the Commerce Committee, Smart Comments on Taxes, Regulations

Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) presided over a quick but informative committee hearing Wednesday, “The Future of American Manufacturing: Maintaining America’s Competitive Edge.” (We judge an hour to be quick by hearing standards; Senators had to go to the floor to vote on the two-week spending bill.) Sen. Rockefeller’s opening statement is here.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Democratic whip, gave a statement, and Commerce Secretary Locke read a statement and answered questions.

Senators’ comments were on a broad range of questions, and informatively so. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) pressed Secretary Locke to reconcile the Administration’s ostensible call for more reasonable regulations with the EPA’s new Boiler MACT rule, which will impose heavy costs on her state’s pulp and paper industry. The Secretary explained that the EPA rule on industrial boilers, in response to a court order, had been scaled back after public comment. In other words, “Could have been worse!”

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) discussed the importance of “lean” manufacturing as a key to global competitiveness. (The context was Boeing’s recent winning of the Air Force contract to build refueling tankers.) It’s not often we hear an elected official speak on “lean,” but it’s definitely an important advance for many U.S. manufacturers.

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) hit the mark with his comments on overregulation and global tax competitiveness. He started by observing: “In Arkansas, the name of the game right now, and really throughout the country, is jobs, jobs, jobs.”

My manufacturers feel like they’re getting killed with regulation, whether it’s Boiler MACT or this or that, just numerous things coming down that are creating so much uncertainty, that the last thing in the world they’re doing is thinking about hiring people. So we have to have some certainty…

Other things like: Lots of manufacturers that are very successful with what they produce, and they’re building manufacturing facilities overseas to service the area there, to keep the transportation costs [down] and then again, having the inability to bring those profits home. And so, in not bringing them home, pretty soon they say, well, we need to spend that money and they start expanding those plants, and before you know it, the decision’s made to actually move over there.

A video clip of the Senator’s comments is on his Facebook page.

We really appreciate a Senator who understands and explains the practical consequences of the U.S. system of global taxation, which discourages repatriation of overseas earnings.

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Testimony and Then Questions About Manufacturing in America

Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) of the Senate Commerce Committee, who is chairing a hearing this morning, “The Future of American Manufacturing: Maintaining America’s Competitive Edge,” said manufacturing will be major theme in his committee this year.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has already spoken, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke just completed his statement as we write. We thank both for mentioning the National Association of Manufacturers.

Here are the prepared statements:

Secretary Locke will be answering questions from the public about his remarks and U.S. manufacturing. From Commerce:

Secretary Locke will be answering questions from Senators during the hearing, but afterwards he wants to hear from you. We invite you to watch the hearing and submit questions about manufacturing via comments on this post, Twitter (use hashtag #LockeChat) and on our Facebook page. As the Secretary’s schedule permits, he’ll answer some of the questions throughout the day.

As a primer, watch the video below. In it U.S. companies from a wide range of industries from health care to plastics talk about why they manufacture their goods in America. The United States offers a highly educated workforce, strong intellectual property protections, and a business climate that supports and encourages innovation. For ET Water, Labcon, Supracor and others, manufacturing in America just makes smart business sense.

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For Manufacturing, Jobs, a New Approach on Climate and Energy

I’m going to be looking for other means of addressing this problem. Cap and trade was one way to skin the cat.

President Barack Obama, White House news conference, Nov. 3

John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, excerpts from conference call with reporters, Nov. 3, his response to a question from a BNA reporter about climate legislation and regulation in the wake of the 2010 elections:

I think and would expect the Republican majority in the House to be more aggressive in asserting congressional prerogative to make the policy in these areas and not simply accept the idea that in the 1970s it was ceded over to the EPA before some of these issues were even publically being discussed.

So I think the [Sen. Jay] Rockefeller proposal on the two-year funding pause for the endangerment regulations has much stronger support today than it would have had when it failed in the Senate.

Audio of Engler’s full answer to the question here. News coverage included:

Responding to a question from a Washington Post reporter, Engler said:

There is certainly more that can be done. Manufacturing, we look at it from our standpoint, we use a third of the electricity, we want to be energy efficient. We want to be able to take and have affordable energy so we can manufacturer here, and we want to be able to manage a transition to whatever the future holds over a long period of time. (continue reading…)

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Rockefeller, Murkowski, Inhofe, Lincoln on S.J.Res. 26

Reaction and debate excerpts on the Senate’s 47-53 vote defeating the motion to proceed to S.J.Res. 26, the resolution disapproving the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) had perhaps the strongest, clearest statement of all. From his release and floor statement, “A VOTE FOR WEST VIRGINIA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE“:

I rise today to lend my support to Senator Murkowski’s Resolution of Disapproval for one simple but enormously important reason: because I believe we must send a strong and urgent message that the fate of our economy, our manufacturing industries, and our workers should never be placed solely in the hands of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

I have long maintained that the Congress, the elected voice of the people – and not the unelected EPA – must decide major economic and energy policy. It is our job – because we represent the people of this country. We are accountable to them.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), sponsor of S.J.Res. 26, issued a statement after the vote, “Public Deserved Vote on EPA Climate Regulations“:

“I had hopes, for the security of our economy, that we would prevail today,” Murkowski said. “But regardless of the outcome, I believe it’s important that every member of the Senate is on the record on whether they think the EPA regulation is the appropriate way to address climate issues.

All Republicans and six Democrats voted in favor of proceeding to consideration of the resolution, but it lost 47-53.

Murkowski, a strong proponent of moving the nation toward a cleaner energy future, said the disapproval resolution would have avoided the coming “economic train wreck” EPA regulation of greenhouse gases is expected to cause.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member on the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, issued a statement, “BIPARTISAN SENATE MAJORITY AGREES TO REIN IN OBAMA EPA ON GLOBAL WARMING“:

No matter how one interprets today’s vote on the Murkowski resolution, one thing is absolutely clear: there is a bipartisan majority in the US Senate that supports either a delay of, or an outright ban on, the Obama EPA’s job-killing global warming agenda.

While I absolutely support overturning the endangerment finding, I also stand ready to work with my colleagues on alternative approaches that would give Congress more time to develop rational energy policies and restrain EPA’s ability to impose backdoor energy taxes on the American people.

The consequences of this issue are far too grave to stand down after today’s vote. EPA’s global warming agenda must be stopped. (continue reading…)

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Well, At Least for Two Years

The Hill reports that some Senate Democrats may attempt to have it both ways on whether the Executive Branch should set climate and energy policy  by supporting a resolution by Sen. Jay Rockefeller that would put a two-year moratorium on EPA regulation of greenhouse gases.

What message does that send? 

  • With this vote, we affirm Congress’ policymaking role in the American system of government. Well, at least for two years .
  • EPA regulation would be disastrous for the economy. Therefore we stand strongly against its destruction of jobs and prosperity. Well, at least for two years.
  • We recognize that EPA regulation is wrong, but important political constituencies demand some sort of action — even if it is EPA command-and-control. We believe this resolution represents a reasonable compromise. Well, at least for two years.

 

Do they not recognize that uncertainty is the enemy of investment, jobs and economic recovery?

George Will’s column today is timely and on point, “Jobs report a nightmare for Obama progressivism.”

Today investors and employers are certain that uncertainties are multiplying.

They are uncertain about when interest rates will rise, and by how much. They do not know how badly the economy will be burdened by the expiration, approximately 200 days from now, of the Bush tax cuts on high earners — aka investors and employers.

They know the costs of ObamaCare will be higher than was advertised, but not how much higher. They do not know the potential costs of cap-and-trade and other energy policies.

They do not know if “card check” — abolition of the right of secret ballot elections in unionization decisions — will pass, or how much the economy will be injured by making unions more muscular.

They do not know how the functioning of the financial sector will be altered and impeded by the many new regulatory rules and agencies created by the financial reform legislation.

Let uncertainty multiply. The recovery is not a priority. Jobs can come later.  The economy will not get well, at least for two years.

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Sen. Rockefeller to Vote for Resolution of EPA Disapproval

From a statement from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV):

I have long maintained that the Congress – not the unelected EPA – must decide major economic and energy policy. EPA regulation will have an enormous impact on the economic security of West Virginia and our energy future.

I intend to vote for Senator Murkowski’s Resolution of Disapproval because I believe we must send a strong message that the fate of West Virginia’s economy, our manufacturing industries, and our workers should not be solely in the hands of EPA.

It is not clear whether this resolution will pass, and the White House issued a statement on Tuesday threatening a veto if it does pass. But my vote is squarely in favor of securing West Virginia’s future.

I introduced my own legislation to suspend EPA action for two years. My bill gives Congress the time it needs to address greenhouse gas emissions in way that will work for West Virginia and the nation. I still believe that is a sound approach and I will continue to press for action.

The White House’s opposition to S.J.Res. 26 was expressed in a Statement of Administration Policy. The SAP throws a bunch of claims at the wall hoping some stick:

S.J. Res. 26 also would undermine the Administration’s efforts to reduce the negative impacts of pollution and the risks associated with environmental catastrophes, like the ongoing BP oil spill. As seen in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental disasters harm families, destroy jobs, and pollute the Nation’s air, land and water. Further, S.J. Res. 26 is contrary to the widely-accepted scientific consensus that GHGs are at increasingly dangerous concentrations and are contributing to the threat of climate change.

S.J.Res. 26 would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, a power play that would allow an Executive Branch agency to set energy and climate policy without the involvement of Congress. That’s what the resolution does.

We can see how the Administration would want to expand its Executive authority at the expense of the policymaking branch of government, Congress, but the “prevent environmental disasters” claim is unserious.

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