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FERC Ruling a Path Forward on Climate

By | Energy, Environment, General | No Comments

Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted 3-1 to authorize theVenture Global Calcasieu Pass project in Cameron Parish, La., a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility. FERC also voted to authorize the accompanying TransCameron pipeline.

The vote was significant because it was preceded by an agreement among three of the four sitting FERC commissioners on how to address greenhouse gas (GHG) and climate impacts in FERC’s analysis of potential LNG projects. The White House Council on Environmental Quality issued guidance in August 2016 on how to consider GHGs in environmental permitting under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); President Trump withdrew this guidance in March 2017 as part of Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”

The NAM supported President Trump’s decision to withdraw the guidance and has pressed for a revised policy that addresses how to evaluate GHG emissions for projects subject to NEPA. FERC’s handling of GHGs on the Venture Global project is a major breakthrough that, carried forward, will provide the certainty manufacturers need for LNG permitting and hopefully other infrastructure projects before the Commission.

Manufacturers are committed to action on climate change. We need reasonable rules of the road that allow us to reduce emissions while remaining competitive. We commend FERC for stepping up and taking a bipartisan approach to this issue, one we hope will provide certainty for future infrastructure permits before the Commission.

CEO Jay Timmons Talks #MFGTour19

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NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons sat down with the staff of the Input, the NAM’s members-only morning newsletter for manufacturing executives, to discuss the NAM’s State of Manufacturing Tour, which began today in Colorado.

Let’s start with the basics. What’s the “NAM State of Manufacturing Tour”? Where are you headed?

It’s our annual roadshow to spotlight the state of our industry and the amazing opportunities in modern manufacturing. We have a workforce crisis, with 4.6 million jobs to fill over the next decade in the industry. So, we need to show people the high-tech, high-paying jobs that are available in manufacturing in order to inspire a new generation of young people to join us.

This year, we’ll be in Colorado, Texas (where I’ll deliver the NAM State of Manufacturing Address), Ohio, Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota, California and Arizona. That’s eight states and 25 cities over two weeks.

What is the focus this year?

I think of it as the next frontier in manufacturing. In other words, as our Manufacturing Leadership Council likes to say, it’s Manufacturing 4.0. It’s the way technology like AI, augmented reality, robotics and 3-D printing is reshaping our industry and empowering people to do more. Manufacturing will always be about people—we aren’t afraid of the future. Indeed, manufacturers are building the future, and by leveraging cutting-edge technology, we can do more, do it more safely and bring more talented people into manufacturing.

We want to share this story as broadly as possible. It’s important. Young people need to hear it and see it. Their parents need to see it, too, as well as policymakers and the press. And this tour reaches out to all of these audiences and engages them in a powerful way.

The NAM has been doing this tour since 2015. What have you, personally, learned about manufacturers from this undertaking?

On these tours, I’ve met people who do so many amazing things—they’re building a better world, with safer cars, brand-new cures and more sustainable food. But what continues to impress me most is how much these people love their jobs. It’s something you really have to witness firsthand to appreciate and one of the reasons I know manufacturing will make a great home for so many young people.

Tell us about a favorite moment from the tour.

It’s honestly hard to choose. But here’s one: last year, we visited Social Imprints, a screen-printing company in San Francisco that hires individuals who were formerly incarcerated and gives them a second chance.

There I met Miguel, whose parents were allowed to come to the U.S. in 1989 from El Salvador because of political oppression. But there was a restriction on the number of their children they could bring here. Miguel and his brother, the youngest in the family, stayed behind with a grandparent but eventually set out to be reunited with the rest of their family. And after being beaten and kidnapped by drug lords in Mexico, they finally made it to the U.S. Now, years later, they are both productive members of society. His siblings are in the medical and manufacturing fields.

Miguel is an example of how immigrants have strengthened our country, and his story is also a stark reminder that we must finally fix our immigration system.

Can readers still sign up to go to a tour event?

Absolutely, yes. Visit CreatorsWanted.org for information on how to attend an event, watch a livestream or join the conversation on social media (#MFGTour19).

Whirlpool Keeps Its Promise, Delivers Sustainability Wins

By | General, Sustainability | No Comments

At Whirlpool Corporation, we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen, both because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s good for business. This year, we furthered our commitment by taking a number of steps to minimize our impact on the environment while also supporting our employees and the communities in which we live and work.

As we advance our global sustainability strategy for the 10th year in a row, we remain a company that prides itself on making positive change to affect people’s lives in meaningful ways. We are committed to going above and beyond the expectations, targets and reports, by making our products in plants that are more efficient and in sourcing materials and energy in ways that make a significant difference in lowering not just our carbon footprint, but also positively impacting our consumers and communities in which they live.

Our focus on conserving our planet’s resources continued this year. We met our 2020 goals for energy and water usage three years early and have set new sustainability goals, which exceed the original U.S. commitments to the Paris climate accord. We also expanded our use of on-site renewable energy, including our wind turbine program in Ohio and solar program in India. We are proud to be one of the largest on-site users of wind energy in the United States. Furthermore, we are committed to manufacturing more water and energy-efficient, high-performing products, helping consumers save money while lessening their impact on the environment.

We will continue to take a science-based approach to setting absolute environmental targets from the 2005 baseline. We invest in on-site renewables, achieving emission reductions and lowering costs and creating more resilient plants. We have achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill in plants in multiple regions. In products, we continue to deliver valuable efficiency while improving the core performance our consumers expect. We are driving sustainability into how we design, build, distribute, sell and care for our products in their use and at the end of their life.

A version of this blog was found in the Whirlpool Corporation 2017 Sustainability Report. To view the full report, click here.

Congress Must Reauthorize CFATS for the Sake of National Security

By | Environment, General, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

The countdown clock has begun for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, as it will sunset on January 18, 2019—unless Congress acts first to reauthorize it. Unfortunately, with Congress set to adjourn in a matter of weeks and a limited number of days remaining on the legislative calendar, manufacturers are becoming increasingly concerned that CFATS will lapse and our nation’s security will be at risk. This is an issue of critical importance to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM): our members operate 2,152 CFATS-regulated facilities spanning a range of major industrial sectors—such as oil and gas refining; chemical production and distribution; mining; agricultural goods and services; and electrical utilities—and they are counting on Congress to act expeditiously and reauthorize this program without delay.

Operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the CFATS program relies on a multitiered risk assessment process to identify and regulate high-risk facilities. DHS ensures that CFATS-regulated sites have appropriate security measures in place to mitigate, prevent and protect against terrorist exploitation. Since its inception in 2007, CFATS was tied to short-term appropriations measures, which prevented Congress from making statutory improvements to the program. However, the four-year congressional authorization of CFATS in 2014 was a pivotal moment for the program’s longevity. Manufacturers were provided with the regulatory certainty needed to make long-term security investments, and it enabled DHS to run the program more effectively. Now is the time to pass a full reauthorization once more for this vital program—and there are multiple different proposals already introduced in both chambers of Congress to do so:

Securing the homeland requires strong partnerships among government at all levels, the private sector and concerned citizens across the country. Action to support these partnerships is needed now. CFATS reauthorization is and should continue to be a bipartisan issue that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle work on together to achieve. Security will remain a top priority for manufacturers, and they are dedicated to protecting their facilities and the communities in which they live and serve. Manufacturers call on Congress to reauthorize the CFATS program without delay for the sake of our nation’s national security.

NAM Backs FERC Nominee McNamee Ahead of Confirmation Hearing

By | General | No Comments

Today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is considering the nomination of Bernard McNamee to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a key independent federal agency that regulates energy infrastructure. With leadership vacancies on the commission causing manufacturers in the United States to miss out on new opportunities to create jobs and grow their business, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sent a letter ahead of the hearing to Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) urging the committee to back McNamee’s nomination. The letter from NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg reads in part:

“The FERC plays a critical role in ensuring Americans can count on the best energy infrastructure in the world. Moving energy safely and efficiently to where it is needed requires a modern and highly interconnected system. Energy infrastructure is delivering opportunity across America, and manufacturers cannot afford to delay progress on new projects. Investments to enhance our energy infrastructure to improve safety, efficiency, affordability, reliability and security are placed in jeopardy when FERC seats are left empty. Robust energy infrastructure creates jobs, improves safety and spurs domestic investment.

“Restoring a full suite of commissioners at FERC is a critical step toward a stronger future, and we ask that you do so as quickly as possible. With each passing day that key independent agencies like FERC have leadership vacancies, manufacturers in the United States are missing out on new business opportunities to the detriment of local economies and American jobs. I urge you to move forward.

“Manufacturers support the swift confirmation of Mr. Bernard L. McNamee to enable the Commission to carry out decisions that support U.S. manufacturers. The nominee is a proven leader with the necessary experience and policy insights to help strengthen American energy infrastructure.”

Click here to read the letter in full.

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