Environment

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

News

NAM Urges Changes to Climate Disclosures Rule

As the Securities and Exchange Commission considers a prescriptive rule that imposes significant and burdensome climate-related disclosure obligations on public companies, the NAM is pushing back. It is fighting for critical changes that will support manufacturers’ leadership on climate change.

The background: Manufacturers have long been leaders on climate solutions, working to create the technologies and processes needed to combat climate change while also providing material information about their climate-related efforts to investors.

  • But a recent rule proposed by the SEC would mandate that companies, large and small, report reams of complex climate-related information, even when that information may not have any impact on their financial performance or operations.

The rule: The proposed rule, which the SEC released in March, would require qualitative descriptions of companies’ climate-related risks and strategies as well as quantitative reporting of their greenhouse gas emissions and any climate-related impacts on their financial statements.

  • The result would be an unworkable framework that does not align with current practices—imposing an enormous burden on manufacturers across the country.
  • Additional information can be found about the rule here and about the NAM’s engagement with the SEC on climate disclosures here.

The response: The NAM has laid out a series of necessary changes that the SEC must make to reduce the compliance costs and liability risks associated with the rule’s requirements. Our recommendations will align the rule more closely with current climate reporting practices—decreasing burdens on public companies and increasing information utility for investors. Specifically, the NAM is calling on the SEC to:

  • Delay annual GHG emissions reporting, granting manufacturers time to collect and verify data for a midyear report (rather than the proposed February deadline).
  • Strike disclosure of Scope 3 emissions, which requires tracking emissions data through the supply chain. While some manufacturers are already working to understand these emissions, the data collection, estimation and reporting methodologies are still evolving. At a minimum, the SEC should provide more flexibility for companies subject to the Scope 3 requirement.
  • Rescind accounting changes that would require climate impact analyses of companies’ consolidated financial statements on a line-by-line basis.
  • Adjust the climate-related risk disclosures and Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions reporting requirements to make the provisions less prescriptive and more aligned with existing company practices.
  • Fine-tune the guidelines for reporting on climate-related goals to avoid penalizing companies that set ambitious targets.
  • Remove requirements that companies disclose competitively sensitive information about the internal tools they use to understand and plan for climate risks, scenarios and activities.

The last word: “The SEC’s climate rule as written would be harmful for both large and small manufacturers and unhelpful for investors,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain. “The NAM is committed to supporting our members in their efforts to combat climate change and inform investors about this critical work, and the recommendations we’ve offered present an important step toward that goal.”

Watch: NAM President & CEO Jay Timmons joined CNBC to discuss the impact of the proposed rule.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: New Water Permitting Proposal Falls Short of Needed Certainty

Washington, D.C. – Following the introduction of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule, National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones released the following statement:

“The EPA’s new water permitting proposal falls short of providing the certainty that manufacturers in America desperately need from their local, state and federal regulators, and if the EPA doesn’t get the regulations right here, American families will continue to feel the consequences of rising construction costs and delayed infrastructure investments. While we are pleased that this proposal provides some clarity on the scope of reviews and sets timelines to increase predictability, it just doesn’t go far enough to stop activists from abusing what were intended to be important water protections.

“Manufacturers in America have endured red tape and permitting delays for decades, and manufacturers know what happens when the vaguely worded Section 401 is used as an excuse to block critical infrastructure: We lose out on modern manufacturing jobs. By setting clearer guidelines, the EPA could empower manufacturers to invest in our people and communities with confidence and to work with state leaders to protect our water and environment. The NAM will continue working with policymakers to improve this measure so that it can strengthen environmental stewardship while speeding infrastructure investment and expanding manufacturing here in the United States.”

-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

NAM Joins Groups in Applauding Kigali Amendment Progress

Washington, D.C. – In response to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passage of the Kigali Amendment, the National Association of Manufacturers, Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute, American Chemistry Council, The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement:

“The business community applauds the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for its bipartisan vote approving the Kigali Amendment for consideration by the full Senate. This is an important step in ensuring the U.S. joins this global effort while accessing international markets that will grow American jobs. It is a win for the economy, the environment, and U.S. leadership.”

-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

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

Manufacturers: Climate Disclosures Must Be Tailored and Targeted

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of a proposed rule by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on climate disclosures, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers support key disclosures related to publicly traded companies’ climate strategies, as this information can help shareholders make informed decisions. However, broad, sweeping disclosures could be counterproductive—requiring manufacturers to waste time and resources reporting irrelevant information that will not be decision-useful for shareholders. The SEC should focus on requiring disclosure of material information, and the NAM looks forward to working with the SEC to ensure that its proposed climate reporting rule enables smart, company-specific disclosures that are tailored and targeted.

“Manufacturers are proudly leading on climate solutions. After all, it is manufacturers that make the products and technologies needed to face this generational challenge—clean energy, carbon capture, batteries, microgrids, advanced vehicles and more. And through our policy proposal, “The Promise Ahead,” the NAM has offered lawmakers a guide for achieving climate solutions alongside economic growth. Especially at this time of global turbulence and supply chain disruptions, our actions must allow for an all-of-the-above approach to safeguarding America’s energy security.”

-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 Urge Caution on EPA “Good Neighbor” Plan

NAM: While the intent of this proposal is right and one that we share, it could have significant effects on American families

Washington, D.C. – Following the Environmental Protection Agency’s release of its “Good Neighbor” Plan to expand regulation of interstate transport of air emissions that affect downwind states’ ability to attain and maintain National Ambient Air Quality Standards, National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse released the following statement:

“Manufacturers are committed to clean air and healthy communities. We have taken the initiative to operate in cleaner, more sustainable ways, and we are proud of our record. Our ‘Promise Ahead’ proposal offers numerous ideas on how we can continue to improve our environment and address climate change.

“While the intent of this proposal is right and one that we share, it could have significant effects on American families if not thoughtfully implemented. At a time when our supply chains are snarled, inflation is skyrocketing and Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, we must be careful with regulations that could further raise prices on all Americans, slow economic growth and threaten jobs.

“We will work with the EPA to ensure these new rules can achieve shared goals in a constructive way that will not have unintended consequences and ripple effects throughout our economy and communities. We look forward to sharing our innovation, technology and supply chain expertise to do so.”

-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.

Policy and Legal

SEC Previews Climate Rules

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Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said that the agency will release proposed rules by the end of this year requiring that public companies disclose risks related to climate change, according to MarketWatch.

What they’ll cover: Chairman Gensler indicated that he wants climate disclosures to be “consistent and comparable” and provide decision-useful information to investors. He said staff is considering whether such disclosures would be included in companies’ 10-K filings, whether they would include Scope 1, Scope 2 and/or Scope 3 emissions and whether certain metrics would be required for specific industries.

The challenge: Many manufacturers already voluntarily disclose a significant amount of information about their climate efforts, but an overbroad mandate could impose new cost burdens on companies without providing useful information to shareholders.

What we’re doing: The NAM has consistently stood up for manufacturers, encouraging the SEC to adopt a principles-based approach rather than a uniform mandate. Back in June, the NAM laid out the manufacturing industry’s perspective for the SEC and provided a list of principles that should guide any eventual disclosure framework. As the process moves forward, the NAM will continue to engage with the SEC and advocate for manufacturers.

Learn more: For more information about our principles and the work the NAM has been doing in this area, check out this recent story.

Policy and Legal

NAM Lays Out ESG Disclosure Priorities

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Across the country, manufacturers are deeply involved in efforts to improve their climate stewardship and take action on a wide range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Manufacturers are leaders in everything from combatting climate change to enhancing diversity and inclusion in the workforce—and in ensuring that investors understand everything that goes into this critical work.

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission began considering a disclosure framework that could require companies to provide standardized information on their climate and ESG commitments. The agency has opened a comment period to receive public input on what the framework could include, and the NAM is making sure that manufacturers’ voices are heard.

NAM Senior Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain recently spoke to us about this issue, describing manufacturers’ priorities and concerns. Here’s what you need to know.

The challenge: Many companies already voluntarily disclose a great deal of information about their climate and ESG efforts—both because they are proud of the work they do, and because they believe it’s important for investors to have all the information available, Crain says. However, a one-size-fits-all SEC mandate could create more problems than it solves by imposing costly or overly broad requirements that do not provide useful information to shareholders.

Our move: This week, the NAM laid out the manufacturing industry’s perspective for the SEC, including a list of principles that should guide the agency’s decision-making. Those principles include the following:

  • Materiality: The NAM believes that companies should be required to disclose information only if it is material to their business—that is, company-specific, relevant, useful information that would change a reasonable investor’s view of a company.
  • Flexibility: Different items are material for different companies. Disclosures shouldn’t be one-size-fits all, but should instead include the kind of company-specific information that will reflect the diversity of risks and opportunities that businesses face and thus be useful to investors.
  • Clarity and comparability: The current lack of standardization can create costs and uncertainty for both companies and investors. Within a flexible, materiality-driven framework, the SEC can enhance the clarity and comparability of climate and ESG information disclosed by businesses.
  • Limiting company costs and liability: New SEC mandates shouldn’t overburden companies with high costs or a strict liability burden—both of which could result in limited or boilerplate reporting that isn’t useful to investors. Many of companies’ climate and ESG goals are aspirational and rely on evolving reporting methodologies, and the SEC shouldn’t disincentivize aggressive goal-setting on these issues.
  • Appropriate scope and reasonable timelines: The data the SEC is describing isn’t just sitting on the shelf. In order to disclose climate and ESG information under a new framework, many companies could have to build out data collection infrastructure, go deep into the supply chain, and get information through standardized methodologies that may not currently exist. This process will be time-consuming and difficult, and the SEC will need to tailor any requirements accordingly and give companies time to adapt.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel: Many companies are already disclosing climate and ESG information based on existing methodologies, and there are plenty of third-party standards for reporting this data. Rather than starting from scratch, any SEC framework should align with existing practices that many companies are already using.

Next steps: The SEC will consider the NAM’s recommendations, along with other feedback, as it works toward a potential rule proposal—and the NAM will continue to engage with the SEC throughout the process.

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.

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