Last week, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 263/H.R. 806), legislation to provide much-needed relief and flexibility to manufacturers in implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 ozone rule. The bill offers a balanced approach that ensures continued air-quality improvements, while giving states and manufacturers the flexibility necessary to limit some of the economic growth restrictions that exist under the current regulation. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) key-voted similar legislation in the House during the 114th Congress, which the House passed on June 8, 2016, by a vote of 234–177. Read More
Manufacturers are encouraged today to see leaders on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hold a meaningful hearing on ways to ease the implementation burdens from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 ozone regulation. Manufacturers across the United States have shown that environmental progress and job creation can go hand in hand, but the ozone standards finalized by the administration last fall take us further from that goal. By setting the strictest ozone standards ever at a time when states and manufacturers were still working toward meeting the existing requirements, the administration decided to add another layer of red tape to job creation and economic progress.
The objectives of both bills discussed at today’s hearing—Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) S. 2882, the Senate companion bill to the House-passed H.R. 4775, and S. 2072, a bill offered by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO)—would help ease the burden from the ozone rule, while ensuring our nation’s air quality continues to improve.
At the hearing, Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, which is the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) state allied group in Arizona, spoke to the challenges business and manufacturers in his state face to implement this regulation. Earlier this year, Hamer and NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons coauthored an op-ed highlighting those roadblocks to growth.
Manufacturers encourage Senate leaders to continue working to address these issues and ultimately bring an ozone implementation relief bill to the floor for passage
Manufacturers were encouraged by today’s introduction by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016, a bill that would provide some much-needed relief and flexibility to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 final ozone rule. The Capito-Flake Ozone Implementation Bill is similar to the NAM-supported H.R. 4775 in the House, introduced by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX). Both bills offer a balanced approach that ensures continued air quality improvements, while giving states and manufacturers the flexibility necessary to limit some of the economic growth restrictions that exist under the current regulation.
Since 1980, ozone levels are down nationwide more than 30 percent—and down nearly 20 percent in just the past decade. With new investments coming online utilizing the best and cleanest technologies available, these trends will continue. Unfortunately, while modern manufacturing has evolved into a sleek, technology-driven industry, and air quality has improved vastly, many of our environmental policies, such as the ozone rule, have failed to keep pace. Read More
Manufacturers are encouraged by the statements made by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) regarding the need for relief from the Environmental Protection Agency’s October 2015 ozone standards. The governor made the following statement yesterday:
“So I think it would be a great idea if they suspended the standard. I mean, just with the background [ozone], if you’re not going to be able to conform to a standard like this, you are leaving the risk or the possibility that there will be penalties of one sort or another that come from your lack of compliance. Obviously, no different than any business, states want to have as much predictability as possible, and I think if they suspend the standards, it’s not going to slow us down from continuing to try and make our air cleaner…
You know, we’re a mile high. Air quality issues affect us more directly than they do at lower elevations. So we’re going to keep pushing it, we’re not going to back off, we’re going to continue to improve the air quality in the state every year if I have anything to say about it, but at the same time, those standards, you know, to be punitive when you’re working as hard as you can … to get cleaner air as rapidly as you can, it seems like it’s not the most constructive stance.”
We often say that clean air and a strong economy can go hand-in-hand. Underlying that belief is a recognition that we need the right policies in place to ensure both goals are achieved. Just five months after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its strictest ozone regulation ever, throwing hundreds of counties into noncompliance with the standard, manufacturers are encouraged to see leaders from the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) offer legislation that would restore some much-needed flexibility to this policy.
Since 1980, ozone levels are down nationwide more than 30 percent—and down nearly 20 percent in just the past decade. With new investments coming online utilizing the best and cleanest technologies available, these trends will continue. Modern manufacturing has evolved into a sleek, technology-driven industry, and air quality has improved vastly as a result. But many of our environmental policies, such as the ozone rule, have failed to keep pace.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a strict new ozone regulation that could be one of the most expensive in U.S. history. The economic barriers created by this rule, long warned about by manufacturers, continue grabbing headlines and the attention of lawmakers across the country.
In connection with an EPA two-day workshop in Phoenix on background ozone (ozone originating from natural sources or foreign countries), the NAM, along with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Center for Regulatory Solutions, participated in a press conference call to highlight some of the unique challenges facing businesses in Arizona.
Specifically, participants explained the difficulties created as background ozone accounts for an increasing and disproportionate amount of the ozone causing many states to be in violation and how, in turn, manufacturers are finding it more difficult to make investments in these communities. This call was covered by publications across the state and in Washington, D.C., such as the Deseret News, Cronkite News and the Arizona Republic. Read More
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
Today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a challenge to the EPA’s new ozone standard. In October, the EPA lowered the existing standard to 70ppb, despite high costs and impacts for manufacturers, jobs creators and businesses looking to grow or expand.
NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly said the following about the challenge:
“The EPA’s ozone regulation, which could be one of the most expensive in history, is unworkable and overly burdensome for manufacturers and America’s job creators. Manufacturers across the United States need regulations that provide balance and allow us to be globally competitive. Further, our air quality is improving, and ozone levels are down more than 30 percent since 1980, yet the Administration insists on moving forward with tightening an already stringent standard. The MCLA and the NAM will continue to fight this new standard that inflicts undue pain on the companies that build things in America.”
Tonight, Republican presidential hopefuls will gather in Boulder, Colorado, to discuss their positions on the economy, tax policy, immigration, job creation and a host of other issues.
Although the debate is likely to cover many topics important to manufacturers, one topic critically important to manufacturing growth and potential is environmental and energy policy. Yet, as the debate begins in the heart of Colorado, a state that is a leader in the American energy boom, it is doubtful energy will get the air time it deserves. Read More
Today, the National Association of Manufacturers launched a TV advertising campaign highlighting the costly and unworkable ozone mandates coming out of Washington, D.C.
Not even the nation’s pristine wilderness areas can comply, according to a TV spot hitting the airwaves today in the nation’s capital. Ask yourself: If iconic national parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Zion are found in violation of federal ozone standards, what does that mean for cities and towns where people actually live and work?