All Posts By

Greg Bertelsen

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Offers Legislative Relief for 2015 Ozone Regulation

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) commitment to addressing the significant challenges created by the 2015 ozone standards is encouraging to manufacturers who continue to grapple with one of the most expensive regulations ever. While the ozone regulation hinders manufacturers across the country, compliance is particularly challenging in western states where, at times, background levels approach or even exceed the federal standards. Sen. Flake’s Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length Act of 2017 (ORDEAL Act) and the Commonsense Legislative Exceptional Events Reform Act (CLEER Act) would take important steps toward addressing these challenges while reducing some of the costliest aspects of the 2015 ozone standards.

Manufacturers support Sen. Flake and others in Congress who continue to work toward commonsense legislative solutions to the 2015 ozone regulation.


Ozone Implementation Relief Bill Introduced in House and Senate

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

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

Energy-Efficiency Bill Introduced in House and Senate to Promote Public–Private Partnerships

By | Energy, Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Yesterday, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Coons (D-DE) as lead sponsors, Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) as original cosponsors and Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the PublicPrivate Partnership Act of 2017, a bill that would encourage the increased use of energy-efficiency tools, services and products in federal facilities. Improving the energy efficiency of federal facilities is a win-win-win. It’s a win for manufacturers who make and supply the equipment; a win for taxpayers who will see their government spend less money on energy bills and directed more toward other public uses; and a win for environmental protection, as greater energy-efficiency deployment often equates to a smaller environmental footprint for buildings and other facilities. Read More

Trump EPA Should Take Hard Look at New Mining Financial Assurance Rule

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Eliminating wasteful and unnecessary regulations has been a cornerstone of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign and transition to the White House. Manufacturers are encouraged by the prospect of a more balanced regulatory approach that streamlines requirements and removes duplicative policies that do not enhance public safety or environmental protection. Read More

Sustainable Transportation: Norfolk Southern

By | Shopfloor Policy, Sustainability | No Comments

Sustainability in manufacturing stretches well beyond the boundaries of a facility or factory. It includes supply chains and the transportation of goods. Norfolk Southern, one of the nation’s premier transportation companies, just released its 2016 Sustainability Report, “What Efficiency Looks Like.”

In it, it details continual improvements in environmental performance, including rolling out new, low-emission locomotives, introducing plug-in engine heating systems at rail yards and updated five-year goals on fuel efficiency.

In economic performance, it returned more than $700 million in dividends to shareholders and supported the location of 61 new industries and 32 industry expansions along its rail lines, representing $4.2 billion in customer investment and more than 6,100 new customer jobs. And in social performance, it recorded a 13 percent decline in employee reportable injuries and helped train more than 4,800 local emergency responders in safe response to potential incidents involving the transport of products regulated as hazardous material.

More information about Norfolk Southern’s sustainability accomplishments can be viewed here.

Senate Committee Discusses Ozone Implementation Relief

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

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 Agencys (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.

Ozone 70 Infographics (700x350)

Manufacturers encourage Senate leaders to continue working to address these issues and ultimately bring an ozone implementation relief bill to the floor for passage

On Ozone, Hickenlooper Gets It

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

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.”

Read More

In Arizona and Across the United States, State and Local Leaders See the Problem

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

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

Manufacturers Concerned with Yet Another Energy-Limiting Regulation

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers are disheartened by yet another regulation that will create additional barriers to accessing critical energy resources. The Bureau of Land Management’s newly proposed rule addressing production of oil and natural gas on federal lands comes at a time when methane emissions are already falling and a suite of other regulations—from ozone, to the Clean Power Plan, to many others—threatens to increase energy costs across the board. Our economy and the companies that make things in it depend on energy—all forms of it—to stay in business, compete globally and add jobs. Manufacturers call on the administration to rethink this rule and instead seek policies that promote a true “all-of-the-above” energy strategy.