The owner of seven oil-and-gas leases that were recently canceled by the Biden administration is readying for a legal fight, according to POLITICO’s ENERGYWIRE (subscription).
What’s going on: The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority—which bought the leases from the federal government in 2021—“has vowed to pursue legal action against the federal government for the cancellation of the leases spanning 365,000 acres in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
- Last week, the Interior Department announced that it would nullify the leases “based on what the administration called an inadequate National Environmental Policy Act review process.”
- “A willingness to circumvent laws passed by Congress has consequences reaching far beyond ANWR’s boundaries, and will impact future development across this country,” the economic development organization responded in a statement.
Required by law: While canceling the leases appears to fall under Interior’s purview, the agency is obligated by the 2017 tax law to offer two lease sales in ANWR, according to former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, ENERGYWIRE reports.
Why it’s important: ANWR is estimated to hold more than 10 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. Drilling for it would create more than 100,000 jobs while generating hundreds of billions of dollars in new government revenue, according to data from the House Committee on Natural Resources cited in USA Today.
Our take: “The administration should be taking actions that strengthen energy security, not weaken it,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Economic Policy Brandon Farris.
- “The cancellation of the ANWR leases based on the NEPA review process underscores our need to continue to reform our broken permitting system. The NAM continues to push Congress and the administration to develop policies that cut through red tape to develop all energy projects, including renewables, nuclear, oil and gas, hydrogen and more.”
Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.
“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”
In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:
Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.