Energy

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Lawmakers Who Support Manufacturing in America Should Oppose This Reconciliation Bill

Washington, D.C. – Following news of a potential reconciliation agreement among Senate Democrats, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“This proposal is nothing more than a repackaging of the same bad ideas with a new name slapped on it. It is especially harmful because it will undermine manufacturers’ competitiveness at a time when the industry is reeling from supply chain disruptions and record inflation. Manufacturers kept our promises after the 2017 tax reforms, hiring more workers, investing in our communities and raising wages and benefits. Raising taxes now will hurt manufacturers’ ability to keep delivering for our people and mean fewer opportunities for Americans already worried about their financial future.

“Government price controls on pharmaceutical manufacturers are no less destructive. They will weaken our ongoing work to develop lifesaving cures to complex diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and harm our responses to health crises. It’s bad for Americans’ health. It’s wrong for our economy.

“While the language purportedly calls for comprehensive permitting reform to be passed by the end of the fiscal year, there is nothing that prohibits Congress from doing exactly that right now. Any member of Congress who is voting for the bill based solely on that language should not do so and should instead push to have a standalone bill considered.

“Lawmakers who support manufacturing in America should oppose this reconciliation bill. It will make manufacturing less competitive and America economically weaker.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Court’s Decision Affirms EPA’s Authority to Issue Appropriate Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Washington, D.C. – Following the Supreme Court’s 6–3 decision in West Virginia vs. EPA, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers share a deep commitment to protecting our planet and our people, and manufacturing innovation holds the key to solving the generational challenge of climate change. The court’s decision affirms the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to issue appropriate greenhouse gas regulations while providing a reminder that the agency must stay within the guardrails delegated by Congress. As some of the largest electricity consumers and as electricity generators, manufacturers are ready to work with the EPA to deliver innovative and balanced solutions that protect our environment and our competitiveness as it considers next steps.”

Background: Earlier this week, the NAM along with 42 state partners sent President Biden a letter highlighting the importance of affordable, reliable electricity for manufacturers to remain competitive. It signals manufacturers’ eagerness to work with policymakers on the important decisions and planning surrounding the future of the electrical grid and broader energy policy.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Press Releases

Manufacturers Warn Gas Tax Suspension Is a Step Backward

Washington, D.C. – Following the decision by President Biden to instruct Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Our nation achieved historic progress with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but this move is likely to derail its implementation by suddenly disrupting its funding, delaying critical projects that Americans desperately need and that are vital to manufacturers’ competitiveness. Our focus should be on increasing energy production here at home—to make manufacturers more competitive, to bring energy and gasoline prices down and to provide lasting relief for American families. We need the same smart, long-term approach that inspired the infrastructure bill to solve today’s energy challenges.

“Since the beginning of this administration, we have provided specific solutions and recommendations for improving energy security and taking an all-of-the-above approach: restarting and expanding oil and gas leasing on federal lands, prioritizing funding and expediting permitting for traditional and emerging energy options, expanding critical mineral mining and processing, strengthening and diversifying clean energy supply chains, promoting regulatory predictability by refraining from revising air standards until previous ones are met, upholding the infrastructure law’s One Federal Decision policy and more. We would be in a better position now if these and other actions had already been taken, and the need to act has only grown more urgent. Manufacturers will continue doing everything in our power to be part of the solution.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Are Solution For Healthier Environment

Not every societal problem demands a state attorney general investigation

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly issued the following statement in response to California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s announcement of an investigation into fossil fuel and petrochemical industries:

“Not every societal problem demands a state attorney general investigation or adversarial legal process. In fact, anyone who understands the manufacturing sector would know that we are the solution here. Manufacturers are pioneering the technologies, processes and products, including advanced recycling, that are needed to protect our environment, improve sustainability and move toward a circular economy.

“Plastics play a vital role in modern life and improving quality of life. Solutions to waste issues require collaboration with government, consumers and manufacturers. Manufacturers are ready to be collaborative partners with anyone who shares our commitment to a healthier environment.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

New NEPA Rule Misses Larger Point

We Need to Be Focused on a Clear Permitting Strategy

Washington, D.C. – Following today’s National Environmental Policy Act permitting announcement, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“During this time of alarming global turmoil, we must do everything in our power to protect our energy security and increase domestic manufacturing—not only to maintain economic growth and deliver relief to American families but also to ensure we can continue leading the world in supporting the people of Ukraine. Today’s NEPA permitting announcement misses the larger point that we need to be pursuing a clear strategy to harness every possible source of energy here in the United States. Even though the administration kept many of the reforms the NAM had fought for, this does not provide the predictability and streamlined permitting we need. And if the next step in this process is derailed by unrealistic agendas, then America will feel the pain of a weaker economy, diminished national security and slower implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.6 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: America Deserves Long-Term Energy Security

Washington, D.C. – Following President Joe Biden’s order to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and to secure American production of critical materials, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers are encouraged to see President Biden’s continued focus on taming inflation and addressing the energy concerns stoked by Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine and supply chain disruptions around the world.

“Manufacturers strongly support President Biden’s actions to secure American production of critical minerals and materials. This has the potential to be a game-changer, not only for developing clean energy but also for other uses that will help to address the supply chain challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and further compounded by the war in Ukraine. Yesterday, I also met with Commerce Secretary Raimondo, Australian Trade Minister Tehan and leading manufacturers to discuss strategies for supporting critical mineral supply chains. Manufacturers know there is not a quick solution, and we need more of this type of bold, collaborative, long-term leadership to strengthen our energy security.

“The release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve may provide relief at a time when manufacturers and American families are all coping with higher energy prices, but this is only a very temporary fix. It doesn’t deliver the long-term energy security that America deserves—the confidence that comes from producing more energy from all sources here in the United States.

“Manufacturers are pleased to hear the President call for increasing domestic oil and gas production and are counting on him to follow through on his support. However, the ‘use it or lose it’ provision may sound catchy and even be well-intentioned, but it fundamentally misunderstands the way that energy exploration, extraction and production works in reality. It would instead undermine our ability to produce American energy.

“We remain committed to working with the administration and leaders in both parties to help lead America through these ongoing crises—and deliver for the American people.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.57 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers on Petroleum Release: “Today’s Action Is, Unfortunately, Just a Band-Aid”

Washington, D.C. — Following President Joe Biden’s decision to release 50 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Today’s action is, unfortunately, just a band-aid. Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve won’t solve the underlying problems. While we are pleased that President Biden is focusing on the rising cost of fuel, this is not a sustainable solution.

“A true energy strategy would strengthen our energy independence, enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness and alleviate many of the other supply chain challenges facing our nation. Instead of asking OPEC and Russia to fill the void, we should let American energy workers take the lead, setting an example with America’s high standards for protecting workers and the environment. Manufacturers call on the Biden administration to work toward real, longer-term solutions for the good of our families, industry and economy.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.5 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

The NAM Goes to the Supreme Court

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Spring is the season of SCOTUS, when the court releases its most important decisions for the year. This year, the NAM is awaiting decisions on a number of cases in which it participated as an amicus—a “friend of the court”—and has already received one significant victory: a ruling in favor of energy companies on a procedural issue regarding climate lawsuits.

We spoke to two of the NAM’s legal experts—Vice President of Legal and Deputy General Counsel Patrick Hedren and Senior Litigation Counsel Erica Klenicki—to get the overview of this busy season for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action.

Energy victory: The court ruled in favor of the energy companies in a suit brought against them by the city of Baltimore. As Hedren puts it, the case hinged on a “wonky procedural issue,” but the crux was this: where should nationwide issues be litigated, particularly if the federal government played some role?

  • The energy companies and the NAM argued that climate change is just such a nationwide and even global issue and simply cannot be decided by state courts. The nature of the issue makes access to federal courts paramount.
  • SCOTUS’s ruling didn’t address the underlying climate concerns, but it did provide easier access to federal courts for these types of disputes, say Hedren and Klenicki.

Class actions: The NAM is awaiting the Supreme Court’s decisions on several other cases in which it participated, including TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, which deals with a key issue for large manufacturers and other companies: class-action lawsuits.

  • As the NAM’s legal team notes, these cases are often brought by attorneys looking for a payday, even when the vast majority of the “class” in question, though technically affected, was not really injured.
  • That’s what happened in this case. The class included people whom TransUnion mistakenly identified as potential matches for individuals on the Treasury Department’s terror watch list, which could have resulted in denials of loans.
  • Though the lead plaintiff did allegedly suffer harm due to this error, most of the 8,000-plaintiff class were entirely unaware of the error. The company had fixed its mistake before those plaintiffs were harmed.

To put it simply, the rules for class actions are far from clear, say Hedren and Klenicki. The courts often award damages or settlement money to uninjured people who could not have brought a case on their own. And the only winner in this system is the plaintiffs’ bar. That’s why the NAM is asking SCOTUS to clarify the rules for bringing a class action and ensure that trial courts are applying rigorous standards before certifying a class.

Free speech: The NAM is also awaiting the court’s decision on Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra, a case concerning whether the government can force an organization to disclose the identities of its donors. While the NAM doesn’t have donors, it does have a keen interest in keeping its member list confidential. If all such lists had to be released, it would “chill free speech,” say Hedren and Klenicki.

Following suit(s): Lastly, the NAM team is asking the court to hear several other cases during its next term, including:

  • Miller v. CH Robinson Worldwide, Inc. In this case, the plaintiff was injured by a truck belonging to a small company, yet was allowed to sue the freight broker that hired the trucking company, too—despite a federal law that preempts those kinds of suits. The NAM is asking SCOTUS to consider the case so it can put commonsense limitations on liability.
  • City of Oakland, et al. v. Chevron Corp., et al.: This case is very similar to the energy case mentioned above.

The last word: Hedren explains why the NAM’s involvement in our nation’s highest court is so important: “The Supreme Court really values the manufacturing sector’s perspective, in part because bad decisions in a single lower court can have ripple effects across the whole economy. The NAM pays close attention to those cases that might really change—for better or worse—the way the sector operates, or that might open the door for crafty lawyers to abuse the court system. If we’re not out there fighting for better legal policy, we’ll face a legal system increasingly tilted in favor of game-playing and abuse.”

Policy and Legal

It’s Time to Take Methane Seriously

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Methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, is back in the news again, as the Biden administration takes steps to regulate it. As it happens, reducing harmful pollutants like methane is a key priority of the NAM’s work on climate action. We spoke with NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones recently about the NAM’s advocacy on the issue.

The background: Recently, the EPA announced that it would craft regulations on methane, a shift from the previous administration’s refusal to directly regulate it, Reuters reports. The agency will unveil new regulations later this year.

Meanwhile, the Senate passed a resolution that “effectively reinstates” the Obama administration’s standards, according to The New York Times (subscription). The House is expected to consider the resolution soon.

The NAM’s position: “Getting the U.S. methane strategy right is critical for climate action and will set the bar for the rest of the world,” says Jones. “As the EPA moves to write new methane regulations, manufacturers are working with the agency to share our expertise. We support technology-based standards that reward early and aggressive action, while providing the flexibility to promote innovation and ensure we get the most reductions at the lowest cost. That would be a real win–win.”

  • “The balancing act is important here because manufacturers rely on natural gas,” Jones adds. “The richness of this resource has redefined America’s competitive advantages within the global economy, especially within the manufacturing sector. We can’t afford to lose that if we fail to get regulations right.”

The energy mix: “A lot of people also don’t realize how natural gas supports the increasing role renewables are playing, because the sun and wind are intermittent sources of energy,” Jones says. “Natural gas can be ramped up or down quickly, making it the best option for balancing the intermittent nature of many renewables.”

Energy security: Jones adds that methane regulations are essential to long-term U.S. energy security for two reasons: they will help ensure electricity stability by supporting the combination of natural gas and renewables described above, and they will strengthen America’s position as a robust exporter of LNG.

  • “Achieving gold standard status for methane management is now the price of admission to global LNG trade,” Jones explains. “If producers in the U.S. can show they are managing methane responsibly, they will find even more eager buyers.”

The last word: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said, “Climate change is an issue our generation must tackle. Like past generational challenges—world wars, the space race, the COVID-19 response and vaccine development—manufacturers will lead the way and ensure our country emerges stronger. When have Americans ever been timid in the face of difficulty? We look forward to learning more specific details of the administration’s methane strategy, and manufacturers are ready to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to achieve success for our nation and world.”

Read more about the NAM’s climate policy recommendations in The Promise Ahead.

Policy and Legal

NAM Helps Avert Compliance Crisis

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Manufacturers across many sectors were surprised in recent weeks by a ban on products containing a chemical called PIP (3:1), which was slated to go into effect after March 8, 2021. Due to the incredibly short compliance window and because PIP has not been regulated elsewhere in the world, it is a major challenge even to identify its potential presence in supply chains.

The sudden ban could have caused significant disruption in the manufacturing industry and snarled the economic recovery, NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones tells us. Here’s what you need to know.

Why it matters:  While there is no PIP chemical manufacturing in the United States, it can be found in a broad array of components that are used in electronics; robotics and manufacturing equipment; gaskets, clamps, tubes, harnesses, cables and casings; and in many other applications for flame retardant purposes. The ban would have a serious impact on manufacturers in the United States, forcing them to scrutinize every component of their supply chains for PIP, rework manufacturing processes and find new materials in an impossibly short timeframe.

The COVID-19 angle: Many of the products that would be impacted by this rule are being used to conduct research into COVID-19, whether that involves an examination of COVID-19 variants or developing, producing, storing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. If this rule goes forward without being fixed, some of these products could become unavailable at a time when they are needed most.

What we did: The consensus from some experts was that changing the Biden EPA’s approach on this matter was a futile effort. But the NAM pressed forward and asked the EPA to issue a “no action assurance” for downstream manufacturers until the PIP rule can be amended to include a reasonable compliance timeframe. At the same time, the NAM moved forward in court to preserve relief options and to ensure that manufacturers affected by the rule can be made whole.

The results: After the NAM’s intervention, the EPA announced a 180-day “No Action Assurance” and opened a new 60-day comment docket to reexamine the rule. The NAM will continue to work with the EPA to find a reasonable approach that supports manufacturers and upholds critical standards.

The last word: Jones says, “When manufacturers are willing to speak up on challenging issues, we can solve complex problems. I have zero doubt that EPA’s extraordinary action was in response to our work with many NAM members and collaborative solutions-focused advocacy. While we celebrate this important interim victory, it is only a 180-day window of relief and manufacturers need more time.”

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