Manufacturers have long led the way in efforts to reduce air pollution and improve air quality. Yet, new proposed regulations from the federal government will work against these efforts instead of bolstering them, stymying critical progress and destabilizing economic growth at a time when both are more important than ever.
The challenge: The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a new rule that would impose stricter air standards on particulate matter known as PM2.5 (i.e., particles that measure two and a half micrometers or less in diameter). This rule would enact significant top-down restrictions, forcing manufacturers to change their operations abruptly and without any support.
The reality: For years, manufacturers across all sectors have been developing smart, innovative ways to use energy, water and other resources more sustainably—all while boosting economic growth and creating good jobs at the same time.
- Today, manufacturing in the U.S. is cleaner and greener than at any other time in history, largely due to a revolution in how manufacturers produce, use and recycle energy and resources.
- Across the board, levels of major pollutants have declined dramatically over the past few decades. Thanks to existing regulations and a culture of innovation, the U.S. is far outpacing global competitors in environmental stewardship.
By the numbers: According to the EPA, the U.S. reduced six common pollutants covered by National Ambient Air Quality Standards, including PM2.5, by 78% between 1970 and 2020. In fact, PM2.5 levels alone have dropped a full 44% since 2000.
The impact: These new regulations could be devastating for manufacturers and for the climate. Here are just a few of the negative repercussions:
- An additional regulatory burden on businesses will drain resources from innovative manufacturers, posing additional hurdles to the investment in research and development that fuels progress in energy efficiency and climate action.
- Making permitting harder could also jeopardize new clean energy projects that America needs to address climate change.
- The standards will hinder onshoring, resulting in continued manufacturing abroad—which is less clean than manufacturing in the U.S. The EPA’s proposal undercuts U.S. competitiveness and will not further the goal of global emissions reduction.
- New regulations could damage an already-slowing economy, increasing costs and constraining job growth at a time when Americans are grappling with record inflation.
Our view: Rather than imposing new and unnecessary obligations on manufacturers, the federal government should focus on enforcing the strong regulations that are already in place and give manufacturers the space to find better solutions.
- “The EPA’s announcement . . . [about reconsidering] the PM 2.5 standard will only further weaken an already slowing economy,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Let manufacturers do what they do best: innovate and deploy modern technologies to protect the environment, while creating jobs and strengthening the economy.”
NAM in action: The NAM is rallying manufacturers to speak out against the EPA’s proposal and calling on Congress to oppose these harmful regulations.
- Manufacturers can show their support by sending an email to decision makers in Washington, explaining the real impact of this damaging proposal and urging them to stand up against unnecessary regulations.
Join in: There is an EPA hearing to discuss the proposal on Feb. 21. To participate, be sure to sign up soon—the registration deadline is Feb. 16.
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
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