Tag: Waxman-Markey

The Labor Day Report: A Message from John Engler

In an open letter introducing the National Association of Manufacturers’ 2009 Labor Day Report, NAM President John Engler warned that a nascent economic recovery could easily be reversed. Below is the text of the John Engler letter, “Policies will determine whether U.S. will experience recovery or reversal,” and the full report is available here.

Labor Day 2009 arrives just as the U.S. economy shows signs of reviving from the deepest, lengthiest and most painful economic downturn since the Great Depression.

With this report, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) documents the harsh conditions that have plagued the U.S. and global economies during this financial crisis and recession. Consumer spending, business investment, housing and exports have dropped more than in any time since WWII. Unemployment has soared.

We naturally focus on the downturn’s impact on the manufacturing sector, which has lost nearly two million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Industrial production has plummeted 16.4 percent during the same period.

Still, the NAM’s 2009 Report is a forward-looking document, one that identifies many reasons why Americans can expect the economy to grow in 2010 and beyond. Whether it’s improvements in the housing market, rising activity in European countries, or new orders for capital goods, indications are that a recovery may be in the early stages.

Most strikingly, the analysis by the NAM’s chief economist, David Huether, finds that over 40 percent of the manufacturing jobs lost during the recession may be regained. There is legitimate concern about the possibility of a “jobless recovery,” but the projections estimate a return of 913,000 manufacturing jobs by 2014 – bringing total manufacturing employment back up to 12.7 million.

So there are grounds for optimism, but even greater grounds for caution – caution by officials at the local, state and especially the federal level. A recovery could stall out or even shift into reverse if Congress and the Administration enact policies that discourage investment, hamper flexibility, or raise the costs of doing business in the United States. Prospects for good jobs, a strong manufacturing sector and a growing economy depend on U.S. global competitiveness. (continue reading…)

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Slippage and Deflection

Bloomberg, “Senate Democrats Push Back Climate Measure Schedule“:

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) — The chief Senate sponsors of a bill aimed at curbing global warming have pushed back its introduction from next week until later in September.

Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts, in an e-mailed statement today, cited Kerry’s hip surgery this month, the death of Senator Edward Kennedy and the debate over health-care legislation as reasons for the delay.

More from The Hill here.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday, asked about climate change legislation responded by talking about something else.

Q Robert, if you put health care aside for a minute, are there bright spots on the legislative calendar that the White House is looking toward? How is the climate change bill going from the White House’s perspective right now? And anything else that you –

MR. GIBBS: I don’t — in all honesty, I haven’t heard an update yet on where energy legislation is in the Senate. Obviously, Christina, I think a very important date coming up in mid-September marking in many ways I think the date that most Americans in their mind begin to see the real impacts and effects of the deteriorating financial crisis with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. I think a major push from this administration and I think from members on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill will be efforts to reform the regulatory mechanisms by which our financial institutions have to operate. I think that will be a very important part of the legislative agenda moving forward in the fall in strong hopes that by the end of the year we have new rules of the road going forward so that something like this doesn’t happen under the same circumstances again.

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The NFIB on Waxman-Markey’s Harm to Small Business

The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s largest advocacy organizatoin for small businesses, has joined the National Association of Manufacturers in sponsoring the comprehensive advertising campaign about Waxman-Markey now under way in 13 states. NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner explains:

We’re very concerned about the impact of the legislation on small businesses. America’s job creators are struggling enough in this economy and don’t need additional burdens. Small business owners are not able to adjust the price of their goods and services quickly enough to match potentially steep energy cost increases without hurting their customer base. The Waxman-Markey bill would significantly raise energy-related costs and lead to considerable job losses.

Here’s the TV spot that focuses on the damage the cap-and-trade regime will do to businesses and workers.

The initial stage of the campaign reaches the public in Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. With the House having already passed H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, AKA Waxman-Markey, the ads encourage the public to communicate with the Senators who will next consider cap-and-trade legislation.

BTW, the ads posted at YouTube are the ones meant for Indiana (and cosponsored by the Indiana Manufacturers Association — thanks!), but they are fundamentally the same spots in the other dozen states.

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CPSIA Update: A Good Letter in the Wall Street Journal

Refusal to Fix Act Hardly Inspires Trust

Congress’s refusal to fix the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act (“Consumer Product Destruction,” Review & Outlook, Aug. 12) is, if possible, even more irresponsible than the original legislation. Intended to protect children from lead paint in Chinese toys, the law has resulted in both huge losses and new regulatory costs on industries ranging from motorcycle and ATV manufacturers to toy makers and retailers. Many of these products pose little or no risk of lead-poisoning to children—or anyone else. Yet faced with a real problem—one it created and which it alone has the power to undo—Congress does nothing.

This should serve as a warning to the rest of us as lawmakers seek to ram through massive climate and health-care legislation. The CPSC shows that the unintended consequences of crisis-driven lawmaking are often worse than the original problem—if it was a problem. Don’t count on Congress to correct its mistakes.

Eric Havill
Branchport, N.Y.

NAM President John Engler made a similar argument in the latest edition of “Industry Today”:

The Obama Administration and Congress have big plans for U.S. manufacturing and the economy this year, offering proposals to restructure health care, promote “green jobs,” and establish a powerful new regulatory regime to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Before any of these proposals as enacted into law, members of Congress should stop, take a deep institutional breath, and ask themselves: “Are we repeating the mistakes of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act?”

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Campaigns, Grassroots, AstroTurf and Blah, Blah, Blah

Advocates of federal regulation, taxation and vilification of carbon dioxide have been raising their outrage to even higher levels than usual, horrified that energy companies and employees, business associations, free-market advocates and citizens have been involved in organizing protests against Waxman-Markey.

It’s fake outrage, though. By pointing fingers at the process of organizing, they’re trying to divert attention from the substance of the citizen activism — that Waxman-Markey will destroy jobs, retard economic growth, and make the United States even more dependent on foreign energy.

After all, if they were sincerely offended by these organizational efforts, they wouldn’t be doing things like hiring “progressive activists” in Arlington, Va., Fargo, N.D., and Bozeman, Mont., at $90 a day to: “Join the historical effort to reform our country’s energy policy. Work to lobby Congress to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Delay is not an option!”

We’re outraged, OUTRAGED! These paid activists are spreading LIES!

Because, after all, delay is actually an option. And so is defeat.

(Hat tip: SayAnythingBlog.)

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Waxman-Markey: Expanding the Government is the First Goal

From The Washington Times, Climate bill would bloat federal agencies:

The House-passed climate change bill, if enacted, would expand the federal government so much that it would take billions of dollars and thousands of new employees to implement.

Now-obscure federal agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would have to become mini-behemoths in order to handle their expanded responsibilities. Congress would have to appropriate billions of dollars for more bureaucrats, much of which is not reflected in the House bill.

“The problem is that there’s a mismatch between the government’s capacity and its mission,” said Darrell M. West, vice president and director of governance studies at the left-leaning Brookings Institution.

House sponsors of the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill were willing to compromise core elements of the legislation — angering environmentalist purists — because the first victory, passage into law, makes all other things possible. The emission goals and percentages are less important than the transfer of private sector decision-making autonomy to government control.

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NAM’s Jay Timmons on Waxman-Markey: Lost Jobs, Growth

On Fox News this morning, a discussion prompted by the NAM/ACCF’s new study, “Economic Impact of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act.

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No, Waxman-Markey is NOT a Jobs Creation Engine

We responded of one line of argument against the NAM/ACCF study — that of slanted assumptions – in a post below, and were going to get to the other criticism, which boils down to: “Look how much the economy grows with Waxman-Markey. It’s great!”

Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has already done the work, though, and done it well, so we’ll just defer to his post at Planet Gore, the global warming/energy blog of National Review Online, “When Opponents Stop Trying.”

[Naturally] Team Soros hails the conclusions, “NAM/ACCF Forecasts 20 Million New Jobs Under American Clean Energy And Security Act”. Implication: it’s some sort of job creator. Here’s their announcement’s lead, with emphases added to highlight the implied claim:

A new analysis of the economic impact of clean energy legislation forecasts powerful job and economic growth through 2030. The analysis of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), commissioned by the right-wing National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), finds that 20 million new jobs will be created in the United States by 2030, even under high-cost assumptions.

The logic, you see, is because it wouldn’t kill EVERY new job between now and then. Ha! It’s a good thing . . . new jobs occur “under this bill”! (Where’s my giggle emoticon? Had it here somewhere . . . )

That was our reaction too. They’re just dismissing the loss of 2.4 million jobs as a little inconvenience, a minor bump, no big deal. Tell that to 2.4 million individuals who aren’t working thanks to Waxman-Markey.

P.S. The Team Soros dig is a reference to the Center for American Progress and its various arms, affiliates and Internet emanations, in this case The Wonk Room at the Think Progress blog. Leftist market manipulator George Soros is a major source of funding for the group.

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Accelerate This Revolution: The Waxman-Markey-Bait-and-Switch

Talking about assumptions being made in studies on the Waxman-Markey bill, the central assumption used perforce in the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation’s analysis released Wednesday was that the American Clean Energy and Security Act‘s provisions are what is at play.

But one of the legislation’s authors concedes that if the law is enacted, he’ll want to return to it to “accelerate this revolution.” Here’s what Rep. Ed Markey said about the emissions limits in the Waxman-Markey legislation at a presentation last week at the JFK School of Government, Harvard.

Markey agreed with several questioners who said the bill’s energy efficiency and carbon reduction efforts should be more aggressive. But he said his work isn’t yet done.

“Yes, you can find deficiencies in the bill,” Markey conceded. “But this won’t be the last time we visit this. And we’ll be able to return to this in five or six years, and then in 10 years, and then in 15 years, to accelerate this revolution so that we’re the global leader.”

From NPR’s affiliate in Boston, WBUR.

There were many members of Congress who voted for H.R. 2454 only after the time for phasing in the carbon emission limits was pushed back. That was the bait. Rep. Markey has laid out plans for the switch.

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Realistic Assumptions About Energy Development

The critiques, dismissals and attacks against the the National Association of Manufacturers’ and ACCF’s study on the economic effects of the Waxman-Markey bill will accuse the analysis of using dodgy assumptions, especially of being too conservative in the amount of alternative energy and nuclear power that will be developed.

Here, for example, from The Vine, the environmental blog of The New Republic (our emphasis):

Technically, NAM is using the same economic forecasting model as the Energy Information Administration, but NAM fed its own, very different assumptions into the model. Not all of those assumptions have been disclosed yet, but the ones that have seem a little dubious. For instance, NAM assumes that, under a climate bill, we’d see just 10 to 25 gigawatts of new nuclear power. But the EIA predicts we’d see that many nukes built without a climate bill, and as much as 95 gigawatts under a carbon cap.

The NAM is working hard to see that more nuclear power is developed, recently joining in the establishment of a coalition to link the workforce and energy policy issues.

Unfortunately, this Washington Times story captures the reality of energy production in the United States today, “Bill requires doubling nuke use,” with this discouraging subhead, “Low-cost solution unlikely, unpopular.”

To satisfy House Democrats’ low-cost solution to global warming, Americans would have to double their reliance on nuclear energy by 2030 – a target the nuclear industry says is unlikely and that many environmentalists and Democrats dislike.

That is the conclusion of a new Energy Information Administration report that looked at the House Democrats’ global warming bill. To produce enough clean energy at a reasonable cost would require construction of dozens of new nuclear power plants, even though no new plant has been built in decades.

The article includes comments from environmental activists:

This thing is completely so buried in the 20th century it isn’t even funny,” said Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, which opposes expanded nuclear power. “To assume that nuclear and carbon sequestration are going to be the low-cost sources of electricity in the future are wrong.”

He said EIA underestimated the ability of wind and solar power to expand quickly and cheaply.

The new National Academies of Science study, “America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation,” examines the role of alternative energies in the U.S. energy future, and is quite positive about their contributions. Still, as the chart on Page 36 shows, the EIA’s estimates for electricity supply in 2030 are as follows (in terms of terrawatt horus):

Coal: 2,800
Petroleum: 55
Natural Gas: 500
Nuclear Power: 920
Hydropower: 300

Renewables combined (wind, solar photovoltaic, concentrating solar power, geothermals, and biopower) are: 233.

Coal: 2,800
Renewable: 233

And remember, solar power and wind are not suitable for baseload power generation. You could quintuple the renewable energy supply estimated by the EIA for 2030 — and that would be a good thing — and it would be still be only a small contributor to the U.S. energy portfolio.

So who’s being realistic?

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