In September, the National Association of Manufacturers called on Congress to take action to address climate change. NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg testified before the House Energy & Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change and shared what the manufacturing sector is doing to reduce emissions.
Manufacturers are making environmentally conscious improvements because their customers, employees and shareholders have prioritized it — and because it’s the right thing to do, Eisenberg said in his testimony. Over the past decade, manufacturers have reduced the carbon footprint of their products by 21 percent while increasing their value to the economy by 18 percent, according to International Energy Agency data.
The last major congressional debate about how to address climate change was more than a decade ago. To solve this problem, manufacturers must think big, and Eisenberg told the committee that the industry is ready to work with Congress on solutions.
See the highlights from Eisenberg’s testimony below.
At the National Association of Manufacturers’ headquarters last week, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James and NAM CEO Jay Timmons announced a major victory for manufacturers. The EPA has decided to withdraw the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that was finalized during the Obama administration.
Manufacturers and others have criticized the rule since 2015, arguing that it was overly broad and went much further than the Clean Water Act allowed. In some cases, the rule—which was supposed to regulate places covered in water—was used to control land that is not wet. Opponents of the rule warned that it threatened manufacturing jobs while failing to adequately protect clean water, and a patchwork of legal challenges created uncertainty across the country and paralysis among the businesses and landowners affected.
“The EPA and the Department of the Army finalized a rule to repeal the previous administration’s overreach in the federal regulation of U.S. waters and recodify the longstanding and familiar regulatory text that previously existed,” said Wheeler. “Last week’s Step 1 action fulfills a key promise of President Trump and sets the stage for Step 2—a new WOTUS definition that will provide greater regulatory certainty for farmers, landowners, homebuilders and developers nationwide.”
“This decision by the EPA clears away a vague and onerous rule that put impossible burdens on manufacturers and other landowners nationwide,” said Ross Eisenberg, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “Americans deserve clean water, and that requires smart water policy that is practical and effective.”
Over the past four years, the NAM submitted multiple sets of comments regarding the 2015 WOTUS rule to better inform policymakers. In addition, the NAM supported President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order instructing the EPA to rescind the rule, and the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action has been in active litigation against the rule since July 2015. The legal battle included a unanimous victory for the MCLA at the U.S. Supreme Court on a key procedural issue, and earlier this year federal judges invalidated the rule.
With the 2015 WOTUS rule now rescinded, the NAM is continuing its work to provide policy insight and expertise for a new version of the rule that is consistent with the Clean Water Act and protects American waters while providing certainty for manufacturers and landowners around the country.
“Manufacturers will continue to fight for fair and clear regulations that empower us to be responsible stewards of the environment while growing the U.S. economy,” said Eisenberg. “Our industry represents more than 12.8 million employees in communities across the country, and we are committed to ensuring that the environment in which they live and work is safe, clean and well-protected.”
This week, the National Association of Manufacturers helped move the manufacturing industry forward on three major fronts.
- The NAM’s workforce and education partner, the Manufacturing Institute, announced it will expand Toyota North America’s successful FAME apprenticeship program nationwide. The MI’s Executive Director Carolyn Lee, the NAM’s CEO Jay Timmons, Special Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, TMNA’s Executive Vice President Chris Nielsen and Ingersoll Rand CEO Michael Lamach shared this news during a roundtable with FAME apprentices.
- At the NAM’s headquarters, Export-Import Bank President and Chairwoman Kimberly Reed participated in a roundtable with manufacturers to discuss the critical bank reauthorization.
- Also at the NAM’s headquarters, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James joined Timmons to announce the finalization of a rule to repeal the controversial 2015 Waters of the United States rule and clear the way for a new rule to protect America’s water resources without overstepping the bounds of the law.
Washington, D.C. – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James joined National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons at NAM headquarters to announce the finalization of a rule to repeal the controversial 2015 Waters of the United States rule and clear the way for a new rule to protect America’s water resources without overstepping the bounds of the law. Manufacturers sought this action from the EPA and for decades have advocated for clear rules to protect clean water and provide long-term certainty for economic growth.
Today, EPA and the Department of the Army finalized a rule to repeal the previous administration’s overreach in the federal regulation of U.S. waters and recodify the longstanding and familiar regulatory text that previously existed, said Administrator Wheeler. Today’s Step 1 action fulfills a key promise of President Trump and sets the stage for Step 2—a new WOTUS definition that will provide greater regulatory certainty for farmers, landowners, homebuilders and developers nationwide.
America is now one step closer to smart and balanced regulation that protects our nation’s precious water resources, said Timmons. Courts already declared the 2015 rule illegal, following years of litigation that included a 9-0 victory for the NAM at the Supreme Court, so manufacturers are pleased to see it officially struck from the books. The old water rule, which sought to regulate dry land, was confusing and counterproductive. Manufacturers are committed to environmental stewardship, so now we look forward to a new, more effective rule to protect clean water.
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 $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier 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
At the Council of Manufacturing Associations summer conference last week, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons called on the business community to lead in today’s political climate.
At @namcma‘s summer conference, I had the pleasure of speaking with top business advocacy leaders. Our country feels more divided than united. Manufacturers have to be advocates for individual liberty and equal opportunity.
— Jay Timmons (@JayTimmonsNAM) August 12, 2019
Timmons urged business leaders to show Americans the good that their companies are doing in communities, rejecting discrimination and bigotry and doubling down on free enterprise and individual liberties.
The solution is not to go on the attack or get defensive, nor is it siding with one party over the other. There’s dangerous thinking on both sides of the aisle. We have to show Americans the good our companies do every day. We’re changing and saving lives.
— Jay Timmons (@JayTimmonsNAM) August 12, 2019
If we aren’t advocates for individual liberty and equal opportunity, Americans will be drawn to those voices that don’t share our values of free enterprise and competitiveness. We have to take the lead.
— Jay Timmons (@JayTimmonsNAM) August 12, 2019
In a recent National Association of Manufacturers survey, 80 percent of manufacturers said they had a sustainability policy in place or were developing one. Freight railcar equipment designer and manufacturer The Greenbrier Companies is making strides through innovative sustainable design—from reducing railcar tare weight to efficiently building marine vessels.
“At Greenbrier, we pride ourselves on manufacturing among the most environmentally friendly forms of transportation while simultaneously improving our production processes and engineering designs,” said Jack Isselmann, Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Communications. “This promotes long-term sustainability across the transportation and shipping industries.”
These innovations present exciting opportunities for long-term progress. Greenbrier has introduced innovative railcar designs since 1985, beginning with the double-stack intermodal unit. Prior to its inception, the number of trailer-equivalent units per train maxed out at 120. With the ability to stack two units per railcar, that number quickly grew to over 200 units per train, saving space, time and money.
In addition, Greenbrier aims to make its operations more efficient by minimizing the weight and length of an individual railcar while simultaneously increasing its volume, allowing for more railcar units per train. Through a process called articulation—which reduces the weight of one railcar by making it share axles with another—Greenbrier is decreasing the space between railcars, ensuring that more may be included in trains and allowing for greater efficiency through a larger volume of transported products. Additionally, articulation increases braking efficiencies, which reduces fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
“Manufacturers across the country are making operational changes that promote sustainability and prioritize our environment,” said Laura Berkey-Ames, Director of Resources and Energy Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “With 12 million employees throughout all 50 states, the manufacturing industry understands the positive impact our sustainability efforts can have—and we are committed to setting an example for other industries nationwide.”
For more information on Greenbrier’s approach to corporate responsibility, see its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance report.
In the eyes of manufacturers, the need to act to preserve our environment and protect our planet is beyond question. That’s why, for years, manufacturers across the country have taken steps to reduce pollution, invest in sustainable operations and protect the environment in their communities and across the globe.
Continuing in that effort, the National Association of Manufacturers unveiled a new strategic initiative designed to fight climate change, promote environmental sustainability and promote U.S. leadership in the development and deployment of new, transformational energy solutions. The recently announced Energy Advance Center will lead a multi-pronged effort to educate policymakers in Washington, D.C., and to advocate at the federal and state levels on the technical, economic and regulatory issues affecting the widespread deployment of technologies that help to capture harmful pollutants.
These methods and technologies, known collectively as Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), are critical to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, enhancing U.S. energy security and competitiveness and maintaining U.S. leadership in the development and deployment of new, transformational energy solutions. With a footprint that is not just national, but global in scope, manufacturers are dedicated to developing, deploying and advancing technologies that promote carbon capture utilization, which is designed to collect and store waste carbon dioxide to mitigate global warming.
“The launch of the Energy Advance Center (EAC) is yet another example of manufacturers keeping our promise to drive economic growth while building a future with cleaner air and water and a healthier environment,” said NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg. “CCUS is one of the most promising tools to address global climate change, and we’re dedicated to developing this technology here in the U.S.—and to ensuring America continues to lead on this issue.”
The NAM has previously supported wide-ranging, common sense solutions to support environmental protection, while also promoting economic growth. In addition to protecting and improving the environment, these technologies are expected to support the U.S. manufacturing sector and create jobs, demonstrating that productivity and sustainability are fully compatible with one another.
“We are excited to launch this new platform and continue to show that strong economic growth and responsible environmental stewardship can go hand in hand,” said Eisenberg.
EAC expects to expand its efforts through additional strategic partnerships with other industrial sector groups that are working to promote smart, effective carbon management policies, using NAM’s convening authority to collaborate on critical new programs and initiatives. And as manufacturers across the United States find new ways to improve their local and national environment, partnerships will become more useful and more effective.
“Manufacturers are leading the way on climate change,” said Eisenberg. “This new initiative is just the latest opportunity to expand opportunities for the 12 million men and women who make things in America while also creating a more sustainable future.”
The NAM’s Makers Series is an exclusive interview series featuring creators, innovators and trailblazers in the industry sharing their insights and advice. Each month, we ask founders, executives and leaders of innovative firms what it takes to be a leader for manufacturers and makers in America. For more, continue to visit NAM.org.
Meet Michael McGarry, chairman and CEO of PPG. In this edition of NAM’s Makers Series, he explains how PPG prioritizes sustainability and connects with communities.
Natural gas producer Range Resources aims to better the environment with its new, unique habitat enhancement commitment. On land that once hosted sites related to natural gas development, Range Resources’ Habitat Enhancement program is working to help animal pollinators in southwestern Pennsylvania like Monarch butterflies and honey bees by covering final reclamation sites with plants that are essential for them to thrive.
“We try to be good stewards in our community by supporting projects like these,” said Jeremy Matinko, Range’s Environmental Compliance Manager. “Habitat enhancement provides something the public can see and benefit from.”
After surface operations have ended at a site, Pennsylvania regulations require the site to be restored to its original state. Range has pledged to exceed those expectations in post-drilling restoration, creating habitats that are more hospitable to wildlife than the previous environment. This project has involved planting thousands of Milkweed seeds, a plant that is vital to the survival of monarch butterflies because it provides a food source for caterpillars, and a seed mix that includes grass and wild flowers that support honey bees and other helpful insects. Beyond bringing pollinators back to southwestern Pennsylvania, the company is also creating aquatic features that can become homes for reptiles, amphibians and waterfowl.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce, but as a result of climate change and human living practices, the habitats of these pollinators have been on the decline. Range Resources’ project aims to reverse that trend. Already, the impact of the program can be seen through the growth of a variety of pollinator plant species and the presence of butterflies, bees and other pollinators across these sites. And while Range Resources is currently implementing the program only on final reclamation sites, it hopes to expand their efforts to include post-drilling restoration.
“Manufacturers across the country are taking proactive and creative steps to improve the environment and enhance their communities,” said National Association of Manufacturers Director of Energy and Resources Policy Laura Berkey-Ames. “The work that Range Resources is doing to build and improve natural habitats in Pennsylvania is an exciting part of that effort. We’re looking forward to seeing continued results as this project grows.”
A House of Representatives committee recently held a hearing on a bill designed to drive breakthrough innovations to tackle climate change—a priority that has the strong support of the National Association of Manufacturers and manufacturing businesses across the country.
The Clean Industrial Technology Act (CITA) would set up a Transformational Industrial Technology Program at the U.S. Department of Energy, and would drive new technologies aimed at increasing the technological and economic competitiveness of manufacturing in the United States. The program would also find pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create a technical assistance program to help local communities and states evaluate and incentivize the adoption of technologies that reduce industrial greenhouse gases. The legislative hearing on the CITA was held by the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. In the Senate, the NAM has been working closely with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on similar legislation.
“Manufacturers have always been about solutions,” said Rachel Jones, Senior Director of Energy and Resources Policy at the NAM. “We need real-world technologies to address our global climate problem, and legislation like the CITA provides a common sense opportunity to move our efforts forward. This bill takes a clear-eyed look at the unique challenges that different energy-intensive industries face as we all work toward ensuring a safer and more prosperous future.”
Manufacturers across the country are deeply involved in sustainability programs, leading the way for other industries in protecting our environment. Most manufacturing companies have already pioneered new technologies and implemented meaningful programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With more than 12 million men and women employed by the industry in every state in the country, manufacturing businesses have a unique perspective on the challenges of our shared path forward and have consistently worked with Congress to promote bills like the CITA.
“Providing incentives for U.S. businesses, schools and laboratories to bring game-changing technologies into the commercial sector isn’t just good policy; it’s common sense,” said Jones. “Cooperative partnerships between industry, government and academia benefit all three sectors and the country as a whole.”
Manufacturers contributed 18 percent more value to the American economy over the past decade while reducing the carbon footprint of their products by 21 percent—demonstrating that productivity and sustainability are compatible with each other—and keeping the industry’s promise to promote sustainable solutions.
“Manufacturers are committed to reducing greenhouse gases and addressing climate change while preserving our global competitiveness,” said Jones. “This legislation is a great example of how we are working with policymakers to turn aspirations into reality in order to protect our environment and improve our world. Manufacturers applaud the House Science Committee and Sen. Whitehouse for their leadership.”