Energy & Environment
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell just started her new job, but her department already has an important issue concerning hydraulic fracturing, the technology that’s unleashed America’s energy resurgence. The Interior Department plans to issue rules on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in a few weeks.
Underneath Pennsylvania and New York state runs the Marcellus Shale, a formation rich with natural gas. The two states’ differing policies on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas have created a natural economic experiment. In Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing is allowed. New York has had a moratorium on fracking since 2010.
In what surely must be a conflict of interest (just a smidge), a Rhode Island judge is asking environmental groups to offer suggestions on how best to punish a natural gas company.
Isn't that like asking a vegetarian to judge a barbecue contest? They’re not exactly going to be impartial on the matter.
New analysis shows that the coal industry is in for some tough years ahead, as more than 280 coal-fired generating units are slated to be shut down in part due to stricter Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a partnership of industry groups, reports that the number of coal plants slated for shutdown is fives times greater than the EPA predicted would be forced to shut down due to its regulations.
Tomorrow, at fabled Churchill Downs, they’ll run the 139th Kentucky Derby.
Don’t expect the energy boom in Montana and the Dakotas to end anytime soon. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the formations below these three states hold double the amount of oil and triple the amount of natural gas than was believed five years ago.
Yesterday, a few blocks from the White House, labor unions rallied in support of the Keystone XL pipeline. Sean McGarvey, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO asked President Obama to approve it:
At a Politico event on taxes and energy, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) again pushed the idea that the tax code stacks the deck in favor of oil and gas companies. She said, “We made a policy decision to pick a winner. We picked a winner. They [oil and gas] won. And they’ve been doing great.”
At the U.S. Chamber’s CEO Leadership Series, Thomas Farrell, Chairman, President, and CEO of Dominion Resources spoke about the “shale gale” blowing across the American economy. He discussed how tapping into shale deposits have improved America’s energy security and economic opportunities.
Despite spring snow, more than 1,000 people stood in line in Grand Island, NE to speak at the only public hearing on the State Department’s latest environmental analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Linda Rozette, Vice President of Communications at the American Petroleum Institute, tweeted a picture this morning:
Tomorrow, the U.S. State Department will hold the one-and-only public hearing on the Keystone XL Pipeline in Nebraska as part of its ongoing environmental review process. A quick history lesson: The Keystone XL pipeline was first proposed in 2008. In January 2012, even after the project had passed multiple environmental reviews by the State Department, President Obama rejected construction of the part of the pipeline running from Canada to Nebraska on the grounds that it would violate the environmentally sensitive Sandhills area of Nebraska.
One would think that a President harping on building infrastructure and creating jobs would mention a major project in his budget.
Imagine a United States with no operating nuclear plants. Let’s shed some light on this.
Gregory B. Jaczko, former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for President Obama, is calling for the phase out all 104 U.S. nuclear reactors. That would take 19% of the nation’s electricity production offline.
Developers of a coal-fired power plant in Georgia said they are in a “dead sprint” to start building their new plant to be exempted before new Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations are finalized on April 13.
Thanks go out to Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Really. This isn't a late April Fools joke. I really mean it.
Through his attempt to raise taxes on our sputtering economy, he helped make the case, as explained by the Institute for Policy Innovation’s Merrill Matthews in the Wall Street Journal, that “special tax breaks just for the oil and gas industry don't exist.”
A Pew Research Center poll found that 66% of Americans favor building the Keystone XL pipeline that would move Canadian oil to the United States.
Mark Green at Energy Tomorrow pulls out some stats to show the widespread support:
While the aviation industry has weathered the recession and is on pace to be profitable this year, it still faces too many taxes and regulations, unstable energy prices, and an outdated air traffic control system, according to top industry CEOs speaking at the U.S. Chamber’s 12th Annual Aviation Summit (Watch the webcast).
Greenhouse gas rules. Auto mandates. Food safety requirements. Health care decrees.
Welcome to the new age of the super regulator where unelected bureaucrats churn out about 4,000 regulations a year telling you how to run your business.
The U.S Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy recently completed its annual review of each state’s average electricity retail prices (full results available here). The highest average rate in the continental United States belongs to Connecticut, where electricity costs nearly 16 cents per kilowatt hour, or nearly 60% higher than the national average of just under 10 cents.
The pundits were out in force this weekend talking about the Keystone XL pipeline. One went off the deep end while another used common sense.
For the New York Times’ Tom Friedman, Keystone XL opened up a pipeline of wackiness. He wants anti-energy activists to “go crazy.” We’re talking “chain-themselves-to-the-White-House-fence-stop-traffic-at-the-Capitol kind of crazy.”
In at the last few years, natural gas has flooded the market making it a valuable fuel for electricity generation, but we live in a global economy where commodities trade across borders and new technology constantly spring up. Fuel prices and availability fluctuates. To prevent price spikes and maintain reliable generating capacity, electricity producers need energy diversity--natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, solar, and wind.
A Congressional Research Service report finds that the administration deserves zero credit for America’s oil and gas boom. The increase in oil production has been from state and private lands:
The State Department released a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline and again found that it wouldn’t ha
This slideshow shows how developing and expanding America's energy resources will improve energy security and create jobs. Share this with your friends.
Oil, natural gas, and coal aren’t the only energy sources weighed down by regulatory agencies. The Cape Wind project off the Massachusetts coast is a classic example of the claim by U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President for the Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Bill Kovacs that it’s as hard to build a wind farm in the U.S. as it is a coal-fired power plant.
A new study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows that the EPA’s methods for determining the impact of its air quality regulations on jobs are seriously flawed.
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) unveiled “The Energy Production and Project Delivery Act of 2013,” a bill that would help meet the growing demand for energy in the U.S.
The oil and natural gas boom brought about by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has reignited a national debate over developing the country’s vast energy reserves.
Fracking has become a hot-button political issue across the country, particularly in New York, where the practice faces a four-year ban.
In this video, David Chavern, U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, explains how shale energy production is transforming America's energy landscape. Because of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the United States has access to at least 100 years of domestic shale natural gas and oil at current consumption rates. This increased domestic production means more economic growth, American jobs, and government revenues, with the impact being felt in states with and without shale resources.
Tom Donohue, U.S.
From the first well dug in Titusville, PA, to Texas oilman George Mitchell's combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling, to the use of supercomputers today, innovation has been at the heart of American energy development.
Editors note: This essay was originally published by McClatchy Newspapers.
Can increasing American energy exploration improve our economy? Yes, but more to the point, it's already happening.
Energy - and the jobs and growth it will drive - is the foundation for our economic recovery.
Opponents of the coal industry won a victory last week when it was announced that the White Stallion coal-fired power plant in Matagorda County, Texas suspended development, partly due to litigation costs and potential federal environmental regulations.
“We have decided to ask the Travis County Court for a stay in the litigation against our … air permit through December of this year,” Randy Bird, COO for White Stallion, told STATEIMPACT TEXAS. “Our air permit extension expires then. If the stay is granted, we will not commence construction while the stay is in effect.”
Once North Dakota was best known for the movie Fargo. Today, it’s a booming state with a strong economy and low unemployment because of the energy resources beneath its citizens' feet. North Dakota serves as a good lesson for other states. The infographic below shows the growth in jobs and population:
When it comes to energy, Washington could learn a lot from North Dakota. Leaders in government and business have come together to safely and responsibly develop the state’s vast natural resources. As a result, North Dakota is at the epicenter of a shale energy boom and is reaping enormous economic benefits.
The president will outline his second-term agenda during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. With 23 million people unemployed, underemployed, or who have stopped looking for work, the American public wants to hear from the president about policies that create jobs. Below are shareable tweets about each item in the Chamber’s Jobs & Growth agenda. Although the message in each tweet is important, we are asking our readers to select those they think are the most important to the future of the U.S. economy by retweeting them.
The U.S. economy is still far from where it needs to be to see real GDP growth of over 4% and put people back to work, said U.S. Chamber Chief Economist Marty Regalia.
“We’re not making headway,” Regalia said during the Chamber’s quarterly economic briefing on February 8. “Yes, we’re doing better than four years ago, but we’re not doing anything to get it back to where it was before the recession.”
How does an effort to improve the beautiful views at national parks magically turn into a tool in the war on coal? It happens when EPA and environmental groups use a “Sue and Settle” strategy to override state environmental efforts and impose the agency's more-expensive rules.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is one of the oldest wildlife protection laws, but despite its longstanding status, the application of the law seems to have its enforcers confused, to put it politely. Where the federal government has aggressively pursued fines for oil and gas companies that have inadvertently killed migratory birds, it has routinely looked the other way for other industries guilty of the same crimes.
A new study finds that the benefits of opening more federal lands to oil and natural gas drilling would produce vastly more economic benefits and tax revenues than previous government estimates show.
If the federal government were a team playing in the Super Bowl, the referees would be throwing delay of game penalties left and right. On moving oil and coal, their actions are more about slowing things down than removing unnecessary obstacles.
North Dakota does not top the list of exotic, sunny locales that you’d want to visit in January. But Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue braved the -17 degree temperatures (-34 with the wind chill) to see firsthand why North Dakota is one of the most economically successful, innovative, and well-run states in the nation.
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The economy may be going down the tube, but nothing will kill free enterprise —@david_a_george via Twitter
This isn’t the first time that Hondo Railway has experienced an energy boom. But it might be the one with the biggest impact on the 32-year-old company.
“This is Texas. Oil booms come and go, so there’s a cautious approach to how long it will last, or if it’s here to stay,” says Miles Lee, vice president of operations at Hondo Railway.
At the end of 2012, President Obama declared that domestic energy production would be a top priority in his second term. He said, “We’ve got a huge opportunity around energy. We are producing more energy, and America can become an energy exporter.”
Here’s a glimpse at a few key players in the 113th Congress who will have a role in determining the fate of such issues as energy development, comprehensive tax reform, and financial regulation.
From the snow-covered mountains of Davos Switzerland, site of the World Economic Forum, U.S.
It’s been a busy week for Senator John Hoeven (R-ND).
By approving a new route through Nebraska, Governor Dave Heineman pulled the Keystone XL pipeline back into the news. The permit approval ball is now in the administration's court.
In an editorial today, the Washington Post supports building the Keystone XL pipeline:
“Hydraulic fracturing” sounds ominous, right? You’re not really sure what it is, has a lot of syllables, and sounds scary. In 2010, the documentary Gasland played off that lack of knowledge to make hydraulic fracturing into a villain that caused well water to be set on fire, made people sick, and even caused earthquakes.
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman approved a new route through his state for the Keystone XL pipeline. In a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Heineman wrote, “Construction and operation of the proposed Keystone X
At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we begin the New Year by looking at how American business is doing, discussing the key challenges facing our economy, and identifying the top priorities we plan to work on.
Not so many years ago, America was anxiously building new import liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals so that we would have adequate supply. Today is quite different. As U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue noted in the State of American Business address, the United States is “now the largest single natural gas producer in the world,” and is now in “a position to export liquefied natural gas.”
Despite some improvement in business conditions in 2012, the U.S. economy is simply not growing fast enough to create jobs, lift incomes, expand opportunities, or contribute significantly to government revenues in order to reduce trillion dollar deficits, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue told a packed audience during his annual State of American Business address.
I had the opportunity to lead a discussion with the current crop of scholars and fellows at the U.S. Chamber's Forum for Innovation. They spoke about their research projects on issues impacting free enterprise, the U.S. economy, and the business community. Here is an edited version of that conversation.
FreeEnterprise.com: Nick, tell us a little bit about the program and what you’re working on these days.
Over the weekend, President Obama laid out some priorities for his second term. One of them is energy:
You know, we've got a huge opportunity around energy. We are producing more energy and America can become an energy exporter. How do we do that in a way that also deals with some of the environmental challenges that we have at the same time?
A colleague of mine recently said, “If U.S. manufacturing cannot compete in the world, the U.S. cannot compete.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized rules that set emission limits for air pollutants from industrial boilers and process heaters used by a wide range of manufacturers. In addition, the EPA issued final rules for emission standards for cement plants and related solid waste incinerators.
States that produce oil and gas and even those that don’t are reaping the benefits of the unconventional oil and gas revolution, according to a study sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy and conducted by the global research firm IHS-CERA.
America has embarked on an energy revolution that will create millions of jobs, bring more manufacturing to the United States, reduce our reliance on foreign sources, and generate hundreds of billions in revenue and help reduce deficits. It’s an exciting future, and coal can and should play an important role.
Coal is our largest source of domestically produced energy. We’ve got some 263 billion short tons of recoverable coal, which is roughly a 234-year power supply at current consumption rates.
Last week, a Canadian Superior Court judge heard arguments in a $19 billion legal battle between Chevron and a group of trial lawyers representing Ecuadorian villagers and expressed doubts over whether or not he could issue a ruling on the case.
America’s energy boom shows no signs of letting up. The Energy Information Agency announced that September’s crude oil production reached 6.5 million barrels per day, the highest level since 1998.
Shale development in Texas and North Dakota using hydraulic fracturing is leading the way.
We have more evidence of the benefits from hydraulic fracturing and the natural gas produced from it, yet federal regulators continue their obsession with regulating it.
Innovation is helping increase American energy production. A prime example is hydraulic fracturing, which is the reason for oil and gas booms in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.
As work continues in Washington on avoiding the fiscal cliff, tax increases and automatic spending cuts set to hit the economy in January, two Congressmen sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) asking him to make domestic energy production part of the solution. Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Steve Pearce (R-NM) wrote:
Natural gas is more than just fuel for ovens baking delicious Twinkies. It and oil produced from shale could be the catalyst for American manufacturing.
In the Wall Street Journal, Carlyle Group co-founder and co-CEO William E. Conway, Jr. writes that energy is one reason why he’s bullish on the United States:
This Thanksgiving, as American families count their blessings, we as a nation should also give thanks for what we have—an abundance of affordable, accessible, and safe energy. It could revitalize America’s economy, create millions of jobs, help reduce our deficit, and lessen our dependence on foreign sources.
Most of the discussion in Washington about deficits and debt has been focused on two buckets—spending, including big ticket items of entitlements and defense, and taxes. But U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue says that a third bucket should be added to the mix – energy development.
Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. oil output is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia’s in the next decade, making the world’s biggest fuel consumer almost self-reliant and putting it on track to become a net exporter, the International Energy Agency said.
The disconnect between the administration’s “All-of-the-Above” energy rhetoric and actual policy looks like it’ll continue now that President Obama was reelected. The Hill reports that the Interior Department plans to block 1.6 million acres of federal land from oil development:
Two former EPA administrators hope the President’s second term means more rules and regulations to tie down energy use and its production. Talk about bad ideas.
With the release of the final jobs report before the election, pundits are again turning their attention to the current state of employment in the United States. Do the numbers mean we are in an economic recovery or still in the throes of an economic downturn? What implications does this have for the elections?
A stat in the October job numbers that popped out to me was the 9,000 mining jobs lost in one month. Lachlan Markay at The Heritage Foundation noted that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mining jobs have decreased by 17,000 since May.
That means over half of those mining job losses happened in one month.
The EPA's war against coal and by extension, jobs, continues to roll on, with more and more companies announcing closures and layoffs.
The EPA's vendetta against coal knows no bounds and defies all logic, according to the editorial board of The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register.
“With encouragement from President Barack Obama, the EPA has launched a no-holds-barred war on coal -regardless of who gets hurt in the process.”
The first two come from Energy Information Agency data.
Here's recent oil production:
And here's recent natural gas production:
Shale energy—natural gas and oil extracted from rock formations—is a game changer for the American economy and our energy future. Why? Because the shale revolution is already driving tremendous job creation, energizing our sluggish economy, and pumping greater revenues into government coffers. And shale can significantly strengthen our energy security and move us toward North American energy independence.
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy (Energy Institute) talked to Fox Business about a new IHS report that found that 1.7 million jobs are being supported by shale oil and natural gas development this year with 3.5 million total jobs expected to be created by 2035.
Higher and volatile energy prices and a jump in U.S. import expenditures driven by the spike in the price of oil has made America’s energy security more fragile than ever.
The U.S. energy security risk rose to a record high score of 101.3 in 2011, according to the Energy Institute’s most recent Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk released today. It marks the second year in a row of rising risk and only the third year on record that the index registered a risk score of 100 or above since 1970.
Until a few years ago, only geologists would get excited about shale, but today this type of rock is the source of America’s energy boom benefiting states like Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Dakota. According to a new study, it’s generating millions of jobs right now with millions more to come. Bloomberg reports:
Anti-energy activists appear not to know when they’ve lost a battle.
The southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will deliver crude oil from Oklahoma to Texas refineries, has won the support of President Obama (the president’s footdragging on the northern leg of the pipeline is another matter). The project has obtained permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. And it has withstood legal challenges in the Texas courts.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has suddenly developed a case of cold feet when it comes to one company’s plans to export natural gas.
In May, DOE approved the first new export permit in years, allowing Cheniere Energy to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the company's Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Southwest Louisiana.
But DOE recently announced that it needs more time to consider a Sierra Club complaint against Cheniere’s plans. The environmental group charges that a more stringent environmental impact assessment needs to be done.
At a panel discussion on the top political and policy issues affecting the business environment, business leaders expressed unanimous optimism that U.S. economic competitiveness can be restored—because lawmakers have no choice but to tackle challenges like the fiscal cliff, tax reform, and energy.
I bet you didn’t know it was National Energy Action Month. Until today, neither did I.
The American energy story over the last few years is innovation and technology creating jobs and improving America’s energy security, and it's working. In August, oil and gas jobs increased by nearly 12% from the year before due to natural gas and oil in North Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere being extracted with hydraulic fracturing.
The war on coal has claimed many casualties.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed new rules on hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas on federal and Indian lands. I guess after watching EPA and the Department of Transportation go after shale energy, they wanted to get in on the action too.
National political conventions are moments once every four years when the two major parties let voters know where they stand on issues. In their platforms, both the Republicans and the Democrats mention the importance of energy to America’s economy and energy security, and they both use the words “All-of-the-Above” when talking about energy policy.
Energy happens to be one of the bright spots of the economy. Thank hydraulic fracturing for allowing energy companies to tap into America’s vast shale reserves and create jobs. Bloomberg reports:
“Insanity” has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The folks at the Environmental Protection Agency must not be up on that definition as they keep churning out one unlawful and burdensome rule after another—and federal courts keep striking them down.
California writer Steve Stein illustrates how environmental groups, of all people, make it hard to build renewable energy projects. In short, they generally love the idea of them powering America, but especially at the local level, they fight specific projects.
First, renewable energy projects have been lauded as the future of energy by some environmental groups. Stein writes:
It’s been a tough year in the courts for the EPA, according to an American Action Forum “scorecard” counting at least six job-killing-economy-slowing EPA regulatory actions that federal courts have struck down. We might add a seventh to AAF’s list – the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v.
What’s most visible from America’s shale boom is the increase in domestic oil and gas production and the energy jobs created. But let’s not ignore shale energy’s halo effect--economic benefits that occur because of the boom. Here are some examples.
A new poll by Harris Interactive for the American Petroleum Institute (API) shows strong public support for energy development and its ability to create jobs and improve the economy.
The poll finds that 90% of voters believe more domestic energy development will lead to more jobs, more than seven in ten voters support more oil and natural gas development, and by more than a two-to-one margin (65% to 32%), voters oppose raising taxes on the oil and gas industry because they know that’ll hurt consumers.
Here are some other findings:
Here’s another example of a mixed message coming from the administration that touts an all-of-the-above energy policy
The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently reinterpreted a rule to go after trucks that deliver materials to oil and natural gas drilling sites that use hydraulic fracturing. The Washington Free Beacon reports:
The U.S.-Brazil energy partnership has the potential to foster energy security, economic growth, and job creation—priorities for both countries. Reflecting this shared vision, President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff last year launched the U.S.-Brazil Strategic Energy Dialogue (SED), a presidential-level mechanism to strengthen bilateral cooperation in this area.
We know shale energy has been booming across the country, but a new Energy Information Administration (EIA) report finds that unconventional energy development has driven an amount of growth in U.S. proven oil and natural gas reserves never seen in the history of the agency.
According to data recently compiled for 2010, proven oil reserves rose by 12.8%, and proven natural gas reserves rose by 12%.
This past weekend, anti-energy activists marched in Washington, DC, to oppose hydraulic fracturing, the technology that has unleashed an oil and natural gas boom in the U.S. Judging from the speakers listed on the event’s website and the Washington Free Beacon’s report, it was more about scaring the public rather than offering a fair look at how shale energy is powering job creation, economic growth, and improved energy security.
There’s an economic boom occurring in pockets of the United States, and these areas happen to be where shale oil and gas development is moving full steam ahead. And the benefits are quickly spreading in the form of lower energy costs, job creation, and economic growth.
Owing to technological breakthroughs, energy producers are now safely and responsibly unlocking immense natural gas and oil supplies in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, with more states on the horizon.
The benefits from shale energy development extend beyond where the natural gas and oil are being extracted. Beyond Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Dakota, jobs are being created. A Youngstown, Ohio steel plant is making pipe for natural gas rigs. Chemical companies have more natural gas feedstock and can pass savings to other industries that use their products.
A report from the Manhattan Institute’s Power and Growth Initiative sets the bar high for the potential from increased North American energy development. Author Mark Mills writes:
Expanding hydrocarbon production may be the single most important opportunity for near-term economic growth in North America and a beneficial resetting of energy geopolitics.
While the national economy is slowly expanding and adding private sector jobs, some states are doing better than others. Still, others are poised for greater future economic success because of pro-growth policies, according to the latest edition of the U.S. Chamber’s annual Enterprising States study.
It’s pure speculation, but I think I know why former EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz visited the Sierra Club’s Washington, DC, offices on the same day he missed testifying before a House of Representative committee about his caught-on-video comment about “crucifying” oil and gas companies.
The Obama administration’s energy strategy can be best described as “All-of-the-Above” In Name Only (AINO), because they like saying “all-of-the-above” a lot while not actually employing all of our nation’s energy resources.
Congress passed the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) in 1980 to give small entities a voice in the federal rulemaking process. Put simply, the RFA requires federal agencies to assess the economic impact of a planned regulation on small entities, and if a rule is determined to have a “significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities,” (SEISNOSE), the agencies must consider alternatives that would lessen those impacts.
Happy belated birthday to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS). On June 20, 1977, oil started flowing from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) noted that TAPS has “delivered more than 16.6 billion barrels of oil” and “more than $171 billion in revenues to the state treasury.”
Stephen Hayward at AEI points to an Energy Information Agency report showing electricity production shifting from coal to natural gas.
Israel recently discovered world-class natural gas reserves off its coast, presenting a range of new possibilities for the country – economic, strategic, and political. This news presents the nation with an opportunity to strengthen its energy sector while introducing a new revenue stream. Since Israel does not have the infrastructure in place yet to access and refine its natural gas resources, it has turned to U.S. private sector expertise.
Energy is making North Dakota an economic success story. With the news last week that the state’s unemployment rate is an amazing 2.7%, local blogger, Rob Port, wrote, “Unlike every other state in the union, North Dakota doesn’t need to ‘create jobs.’ North Dakota needs to convince people to move here to take the jobs we have.”
How does EPA propose the most restrictive standards ever issued for particulate matter and claim that 99% of all U.S counties will be in attainment without any further action?
Last month, Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest $109 billion in solar energy which would amount to a third of the Kingdom’s total power generation. Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, and Algeria have initiated decade-long energy plans that will allocate another $25-45 billion in combined investments in wind, solar, and nuclear energy to power 10-20% of their energy portfolios by 2020. They plan to sell the electricity generated through these clean energy projects to the European Union at a premium cost.
While President Obama has at various points professed his support for nuclear energy—a clean, efficient source of power-- his administration’s actions have at times belied that support. One of the most obvious example is the Obama administration’s handling of nuclear waste.
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- The clamor of bulldozers on a patch of former farmland in rural Carroll County, Ohio makes Glenn Enslen, the county’s economic development director, feel “like an eight-year-old kid on Christmas morning,” he said.
The North Dakota oil boom continues to rely more on railroads to move oil out of the state. The Houston Business Journal reports [emphasis mine]:
Phillips 66 plans to buy as many as 2,000 railroad tank cars to ship oil from shale fields to its refineries, another indication that the shale boom is shaking up the U.S. energy industry, Reuters reports.
Q: It seems everyone is talking nowadays about being “green”. Other than recycling, what are some practical steps I can take to make my business more environmentally friendly?
When it comes to energy regulatory oversight, businesses are looking for a few general themes:
When EPA released its proposed greenhouse gas standard, I noted they pick winners and losers. Power plants fueled with natural gas won out over coal-fired. Sen. James Inhofe's (R-OK) office released video of EPA Region 1 Administrator Carl Spalding at a conference earlier this year, confirming this.
After days of pain-staking research and talking to numerous sources, I was tipped off to the new viral video the Sierra Club plans to release:
Sources tell me this was the runner-up:
Here’s a real-world example of a regulatory agency’s bad decision that could send a chilling effect across the country.
In March, Sheldon Richman explained a run-in between EPA and Mingo Logan Coal Company, a subsidiary of Arch Coal, over the Spruce No. 1 mine in West Virginia:
Nick Akins is CEO of American Electric Power (AEP), one of the nation’s largest electricity generators with more than 38,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity, serving more than 5 million retail consumers in 11 states in the Midwest and South Central areas of the country.
Akins sat down with FreeEnterprise.com during a visit to the U.S. Chamber to discuss energy policy and innovation. (Scroll down or click here for video of the interview)
Energy exports have been a highlight of our sputtering economy. In 2011, petroleum products were the top U.S. export, and coal exports have doubled since 2006. Environmental extremists hope to squash that success by blocking opportunities for continued energy exports.
A Pew poll taken in April found that 61% of voters listed energy as “very important," and in March, Rasmussen Reports found that 54% of likely voters said energy was a “very important” issue. With energy and gas prices on voters’ minds, the American Petroleum Institute (API) today released a report,
Beating up on coal, America’s most-used source for electricity, wasn’t enough for the Sierra Club. They now declared war on natural gas. From National Journal :
The Sierra Club is intensifying its natural-gas reform campaign and renaming it “Beyond Gas,” a spin-off of its decade-old “Beyond Coal” campaign seeking the phaseout of coal-fired power plants.
Today, the U.S. Department of Interior released proposed regulations from the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) regarding well construction and hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands. These regulations are significant because they represent the first attempt by the federal government to regulate hydraulic fracturing. While these regulations appear to be less extreme than earlier leaked versions, they remain deeply troubling.
Monday feels like forever ago when Al Armendariz resigned as an EPA Regional Administrator after his “crucify” oil and gas company comment zipped around the internet. Today, both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal tackle what his comments mean for the agency.
First the Washington Post’s editors:
Maria Tworek’s bar, the Brass Monkey Sports Bar in Omaha, NE, like every other small business, relies on electricity. As she puts it, if their coolers aren’t keeping the beer cold “we don’t make money. We have no business.”
Nick Akins grew up wanting to be a drummer in a rock-and-roll band.
So it’s no surprise that the head of American Electric Power (AEP) dropped a few references to Bob Dylan and George Harrison during his speech at the U.S. Chamber. And, like the rock stars he once idolized, Akins spoke before a packed house of 500 attendees at the April 26 event co-hosted by the Institute for 21st Century Energy and the National Chamber Foundation.
On April 22, the U.S. Chamber turned 100 years old, celebrating a century in support of free enterprise and pro-business policies that create jobs and grow the economy. Continuing its trend of becoming the leading trade association in digital communications, the Chamber introduced a Facebook Open Graph application -- the first-of-its-kind in the business advocacy space -- that enables fans to ‘stand up for American enterprise.’
Join us by clicking here!
We over here at Free Enterprise love salsa. A lot.
In fact, we even have a salsa company in the running to be our DREAM BIG: Small Business of the Year Award winner. (Good luck to all seven finalists!)
The high price of gasoline is weighing heavily on small businesses these days. While small business owners may feel powerless at the pump, there are a number of things to do to reduce gasoline consumption.
Experts and opinion makers don’t think much of the administration going after oil speculators as a way to lower gas prices.
[Everything bolded is mine.]
Former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Michael Dunn spoke with CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla:
Oilus Manipulatus: A unique species of financial creature that surfaces periodically, usually just before the summer travel season starts. It is said to have a unique ability to feed off of Ameicans’ wallets by boosting oil and gas prices. Its habitat is thought to be commodities trading pits in lower Manhattan and Chicago as well as in front of Bloomberg terminals in random metropolitan areas around the country.
With gas prices once again rapidly rising and with the International Energy Agency predicting that demand for energy could increase by nearly 50% by 2035, you might assume that the Obama Administration would jump at the chance to bring hundreds of years of homegrown oil online.
Your assumption would be wrong.
Here’s an update on my post from last week on the Interior Department backing a drilling permit process they previously opposed. In a story about the administration taking undeserved credit for domestic oil and gas production increases, the Washington Free Beacon asked the Interior Department about their change of heart:
Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo can’t understand why anyone could complain about the administration’s actions toward oil and gas producers. He posts a chart showing the number of people employed in the oil and gas industry going up.
How could anyone have problems with our current energy policy?
The Environmental Protection Agency has the important charge of keeping our water safe and our air clean. It’s a mission supported by the business community—and collectively, we’ve invested $1.5 trillion over the last 30 years to improve the environment. What we don’t support are EPA rules and edicts that are driven by ideology, not science; trample the rights of states, businesses, and citizens; and undermine the economy and job creation.
I'm having a strange bedfellows moment. Both a labor union leader and the Wall Street Journal editorial page agree on something: EPA's proposed greenhouse gas rule is a job-killer.
Vice President Joe Biden told a Norfolk, VA reporter, “I think our energy policy’s the best it’s ever been.”
Really? The best it has ever been in the 235-year history of the United States? Nothing, no other moment has ever been better than right now?
Uh, I don't think so.
Here are the top five reasons why this isn’t the Best. Energy. Policy. Ever!
Today in North Dakota, Secretary Salazar announced that the Interior Department would automate the approval process of applications for permits to drill (APDs).
It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad few weeks for EPA. First, multiple federal courts--including the Supreme Court--have smacked down EPA for overreach and “magical thinking.” Then today, the agency reversed a fifteen-month-old order that blamed Fort Worth, Texas-based Range Resources for contaminating drinking water with methane as the result of hydraulic fracturing.
Some people in Washington are trapped in the 1980s and treat legislation like it’s a cassette tape. If a bill doesn't go over well the first time, they hit “rewind” and try again.
Louisiana's oil and gas industry supports a tremendous number of direct and indirect jobs, is the fourth-largest producer of crude oil and is one of the nation's top producers of natural gas.
However, the current legal environment in Louisiana is harming the oil and gas industry and the state economy due to legacy lawsuits -- suits seeking a financial windfall for alleged environmental damage claims by certain landowners. Such lawsuits are unique to Louisiana, and discourage oil and gas exploration and production. But it doesn't stop there.
What is the future of U.S. manufacturing?
It is growing stronger but will not reach the percentage of our total economy or employ as many people as it once did 48%
It is in decline, unable to compete globally 43%
It is poised for a complete recovery, recalling its glory days from decades ago 6%
Don’t know 3%
How concerned are you that rising gasoline prices will stall the economic recovery?
Very concerned 86%
Somewhat concerned 10%
Not concerned 4%
Unfortunately, for those of us unemployed or underemployed, the economy remains quite bad right now. Some who have been lucky enough to find full-time employment have found it in a field of work far different from their intended life’s work, such as people with a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in business or any other field of study finding full-time work as delivery truck drivers and that sort of thing to pay the bills as they continue to seek something in their field.—Francesco M. DiGiovanni [via Facebook]
Since the first Earth Day 42 years ago this April, America has become a cleaner, safer, less polluted place due in large part to collaboration between private sector, consumers and the government.
Recent advances in extracting natural gas from shale rock have driven the cost of energy in the United States to record-low levels. U.S. natural gas production is soaring, which has lowered costs to about $2 per million British thermal units, 75% lower than rates for Western Europe. USA Today reports that access to cheap energy is helping U.S. manufacturers build and expand plants and hire hundreds of thousands of workers.
In a string of unrelated but equally remarkable cases, in the last week three, separate federal courts – including the U.S. Supreme Court – have taken the EPA to task for regulatory overreach. We’ve already blogged about Sackett v. EPA and Mingo Logan Coal v. EPA. In the most recent of these cases – decided yesterday – the U.S.
Copyright Bloomberg 2012.
The Environmental Protection Agency is close to issuing the first limits to cut U.S. greenhouse gases from power plants, with an announcement possible as soon as today, according to people familiar with the matter.
Today a U.S. federal court shut down yet another effort by EPA to use-and-abuse the Clean Water Act as a regulatory sledgehammer. The court ruled that EPA did not have authority under the Clean Water Act to essentially “veto” a fill permit lawfully issued by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Environmental and consumer advocacy groups have found a new way to use the federal regulatory process to force overly burdensome regulations onto business.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when Jay Carney created an alternate universe and told the White House press corps that “the President didn't turn down the Keystone pipeline”? He blamed partisan politics for the denial of the permit that would link Gulf Coast refineries to Canadian shale oil.
The President delivered another energy speech today, and populism trumped sound economics. Along with taking undeserved credit for expanding oil and gas production (more on that in a bit), the President told Congress they should vote “in the next few weeks” to raise taxes on oil and gas companies.
Raising taxes will improve energy security? Economic analysis doesn’t say so.
Yesterday, GenOn Energy, the third-largest U.S. independent power producer, announced they were shutting down power plants, because "forecasted returns on investments necessary to comply with environmental regulations are insufficient." That's financial-speak for "Regulations make it too costly to keep them running."
1) Do you think you pay too much in taxes?
No, I pay the fair amount 20%
Yes, I pay too much 76%
No, I don’t pay enough 4.0%
2) Do you agree with the decision by the administration to block construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline?
3) Do you think it is easier to get a business loan today than six months ago?
Don’t know 9.0%
When this administration talks about an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy it's more about uttering words than taking real action.
Last week in a major energy speech in Miami, President Obama talked about the worries he's heard from Americans about rising gas prices:
I hope they get this moving soon! Good to see Congress is standing up for Americans while our administration is busy trying to destroy us.—Christy Bartholomew (via www.FreeEnterprise.com)
All this would be fine if the pipe wasn’t made in China. Think about how many jobs this would have created. But I do agree we need the pipeline! I just hope they don’t sell the oil to China! Seems to me this is the idea!—mlong119 (via www.FreeEnterprise.com)
Jim Pastor has been delivering milk in southern California for more than three decades. But rising gas prices have made it increasingly difficult for this small business owner to make ends meet. “Just driving to work in the morning scares me,” said Pastor in an interview with the LA Times. “This economy cannot absorb $5-a-gallon gas.”
TransCanada announced today that it will go ahead and build a portion of the Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to oil refineries in the Gulf Coast, bypassing the State Department permitting process that has stopped development of the pipeline to Canadian shale oil in Alberta.
Prior to President Obama’s address on energy yesterday, we outlined three major things that he should say that would improve our energy security. We called on him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline permit immediately, abandon his focus on raising taxes on oil companies, and reinstate plans to allow for more offshore exploration which his Administration has taken off the table.
John Meyer isn’t involved in the oil or gas industry. He doesn’t own a pipeline or construction business. But as the owner of Office Products Center in Winner, South Dakota, Meyer knows that his state needs jobs, and that the influx of workers and dollars generated by the Keystone XL pipeline expansion from Canada to the Gulf Coast would energize his state and region.
Today in Miami, President Obama will deliver an energy speech intended to address growing concerns over high fuel prices.
According to reports, the President will once again try to take credit for an uptick in domestic oil and natural gas production this year, even though his Administration has nothing to do with the lease sales that were made years ago and the investments made on private lands that contributed to last year’s improvement.
If there is an oracle on energy, Daniel Yergin is it. Yergin is the co-founder and chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), a leading energy research and information firm. He serves on the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board and chaired the U.S. Department of Energy’s Task Force on Strategic Energy Research and Development.
Yeah, Ace of Spades is right: "Orwell wept."
It's all because White House spokesman Jay Carney had the audacity to say, "the President didn't turn down the Keystone pipeline" even though that's exactly what he did.
I wonder if Carney would've let a White House flack get away with that when he was writing for Time magazine? I know, trick question.
Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Legislation that would force U.S. approval of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline and open Atlantic waters to offshore drilling passed the House, a measure that the Senate doesn’t plan to consider.
American businesses have what it takes to create jobs in the United States and restore American confidence and competitiveness, according to Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO and chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
At CPAC, I spoke with Charles Drevna, president of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, about the need for the Keystone XL pipeline.
He said we'll miss out on "a shovel-ready project" that would "immediately provide 20,000 jobs with the prospects of another" 100,000 jobs by moving 700,000 barrels of Canadian oil per day to "feed multiple refineries in the Gulf Coast."
For those of a certain age, 1978 triggers flashbacks to disco, Farrah Fawcett, and the Bee Gees. That year was also the last time the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license for the construction of a new nuclear power reactor in the United States. Until now.
Today, the NRC announcement that it has approved a license for the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Georgia’s Power Plant Vogtle.
Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Jim Snyder and Mark Drajem
Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Energy costs for U.S. households will almost double this year from 2001, consuming a fifth of the annual income for half of American homes, according to a study by a utility group that opposes limits on coal use.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which includes Atlanta-based Southern Co. and Peabody Energy Corp. in St. Louis, said the 50.4 percent of households earning less than $50,000 may pay even higher costs as regulators consider limits on coal-burning power plants.
Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. House Republicans advanced legislation stripping President Barack Obama’s power for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline and giving authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency, a goal the nation has been pursuing since the 1973 Arab oil embargo triggered a recession and led to lines at gasoline stations.
Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Republicans in Congress joined business and industry groups in criticizing an Obama administration proposal they said will limit oil-shale and tar sands development in three U.S. western states.
The U.S. Interior Department is planning a fresh study on the impact of oil production on the environment before letting companies start commercial-scale operations on federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, according to a statement today. The agency is seeking comment on its proposal.
Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released 622 documents related to its study of water contamination tied to hydraulic fracturing in Pavillion, Wyoming, as Republican lawmakers criticized the findings.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on a mission to sell Canadian oil. The administration's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline isn't stopping him from hunting for new customers. Next month, he'll visit China to talk with leaders.
Richard Waugh, chief executive officer of Bank of Nova Scotia told Bloomberg:
Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. fired off a complaint to the Environmental Protection Agency, saying a probe of water in Dimock, Pennsylvania, undermines President Barack Obama’s embrace of natural gas in his State of the Union speech.
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said he will urge President Barack Obama to reverse his decision denying a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline and let construction begin in segments in U.S. border states.
Ahead of the State of the Union Address, we published a listener’s guide and highlighted the business community’s plan to grow jobs and strengthen the economy.
Below is how the president's speech rhetoric stack ups up against his record and the U.S. Chamber's jobs plan.
We asked: Will the president say anything on energy and infrastructure?
Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Republican lawmakers negotiating a payroll tax cut extension are seeking to attach provisions reviving a blocked Canadian oil pipeline and limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate industrial boilers.
Like clockwork, every year around this time some policymakers resurrect one of the more egregiously bad policy proposals out there—a windfall profits tax on oil companies.
The latest form comes by way of legislation to create a so-called “Reasonable Profits Board,” introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and five other House Democrats.
A number of small businesses across the United States are expressing disappointment in the wake of President Obama’s decision to block the Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline, which would allow for the transport of crude oil from Canada to the United States, was rejected by Obama on the basis that there was not enough time to evaluate its potential impact on Americans and the environment.
As the Heritage Foundation documents, over three years of study took place on the Keystone XL pipeline, yet the project won't move ahead. Business, union, and political leaders from both parties spoke out strongly against President Obama's decision to not issue a permit.
If you have less than 50 employees, work in an office, and want to participate in the “people, planet, profits” business model, you have probably noticed the lack of conversation about options for you. A lot of green business discussion focuses on alternative energy, local sourcing, recycling, and other approaches as they apply to big business. For example, its’ not possible to put solar panels on your fifth floor office suite and you can’t package your goods in sustainable materials if you are a service business.
Despite the tremendous job-creating potential and support of the business and labor community, the Obama Administration yesterday formally rejected a permit for the construction of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, which could have created as many as 250,000 jobs by 2035.
U.S. Chamber Senior Political Strategist Scott Reed, a veteran of Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, recently teamed up with the Rob Engstrom, Chamber Senior Vice President of Political Affairs & Federation Relations, to lead the U.S. Chamber’s voter education program. FreeEnterprise.com sat down with Reed to talk about the 2012 elections.
FreeEnterprise.com: What brought you to the U.S. Chamber for the 2012 elections?
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are increasing their pressure on President Obama to issue a permit for the construction of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, which could create as many as 250,000 jobs by 2035.
As the United States continues its long march out of the Great Recession, there are several factors threatening job creation and economic recovery— heightened competition from foreign markets, the eurozone crisis, and fluctuating oil prices, to name a few. But there is another significant threat to jobs and growth, and it is funded by U.S. tax dollars.
In a pair of energy policy decisions, the Obama administration erected more roadblocks to job growth and more abundant domestic energy supplies.
In a decision the U.S. Chamber denounced as “politics trumping jobs,” the State Department said in November that it will delay until after the 2012 elections a decision to issue a permit for the construction of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, which could create as many as 250,000 jobs by 2035.
As GOP presidential caucuses and primaries kick into full gear, some elected leaders in Washington are settling into campaign mode themselves, avoiding tough issues, neglecting what they were elected to do, and instead drawing lines in the sand preparing for campaign season. Our country can’t afford 2012 to be a wasted year in Washington.
In light of an AP analysis of the Blackout Rule, A.K.A. Utility MACT, showing that across the country more than 32 power plants will be shut down, over 500 power plants will be "idled temporarily in the next few years," and 14.7 gigawatts of electricity generation will be taken offline, I've put together my list of the top five "Blackout" songs.
All Clark Griswold wanted was to add some Christmas cheer to his home. He spent days stringing thousands of lights up and down his house and jury-rigging extension cords into outlets just to brighten up the holiday. Sure, his family didn't appreciate it, but he tried. Rolling blackouts because of Utility MACT, A.K.A.
As we’ve discussed several times in this space, President Obama’s move to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline will cost America thousands of jobs in the near term that would have otherwise been created. But in addition to that missed opportunity, the Administration’s action is actually already costing existing jobs.
Economist Mark Perry put together a chart showing how the percentage of net oil imports as a share of U.S. consumption has been decreasing since 2005.
In the Wall Street Journal, THE energy guru, Daniel Yergin, points out that one part of the explanation is decreased oil consumption, but another part is the increase in onshore energy development:
America’s job creators are asking for more time to comply with an expensive new EPA rule that could threaten electricity reliability and hurt businesses of all sizes.
The "Blackout Rule," A.K.A.Utility MACT, is the most expensive EPA rule in history. If enacted too soon, it threatens the U.S. energy supply, will cost jobs, and raise electricity rates. The Chamber is running this ad on network and cable television asking Americans to tell President Obama that more time is needed to get the job done right.
by John Meyer
NOTE: John Meyer , owner of Office Products Center, in Winner, SD, gives us his perspective on what the Keystone XL Pipeline project would mean to his state.
As a small business owner of over 30 years and the former President of the South Dakota Retailers Association, I understand what it takes to create jobs. That’s why I joined the Partnership to Fuel America, an initiative of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
by Bruce Josten
As Congress continues in its year-end scramble to finish work and head home for the holidays, we continue to see bills with laudable goals but with provisions that undermine those goals by levying punitive taxes on specific sectors or industries and creating obstacles to job creation.
EPA is about to unveil the costliest rule in its history—and the Chamber is leading an effort to make sure the business community’s voice is heard. By December 16th, EPA is scheduled to release the Utility MACT rule, which could cause significant electricity reliability constraints that would have a ripple effect throughout our economy if implemented on its currently-scheduled timeline.
NOTE: Once again, the U.S. Chamber is well represented at the U.N. climate change talks in Durban, South Africa, by the Energy Institute’s Steve Eule. Steve’s been working to ensure that the business community has a seat at the table during international negotiations. Here’s his update on how the COP has progressed so far:
Charlie Sheen has nothing on Transwestern when it comes to winning. $200,000 a year and 250 workers! That’s the savings annually to Transwestern for making their Washington, DC, building more energy efficient; and the amount of jobs created in doing so. It’s a win-win-win: energy efficiency, savings on the bottom line, jobs created.
The U.S. Chamber has come out in support of a bill aimed at forcing the Obama administration to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days rather than wait until 2013 to rule on the $7 billion project.
Introduced by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) on November 30, the “North American Energy Security Act of 2011,” (S. 1932) would require the Department of State to make a decision on the federal permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project within sixty days of enactment.
Debate heated up on Capitol Hill over the fate of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Now that the Obama administration has chosen to delay the pipeline, Congress has stepped in.
Yesterday, a federal district judge summarily rejected an effort by the EPA to censor evidence of how the Agency's (latest) power grab could hurt the economy. Let's call this one a win for the good guys - at least for now.
In the video clip below, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson lays out what she perceives to be EPA's role in the economy. She told energyNow! [emphasis mine], "What EPA's role is to do is to level the playing field so that pollution costs are not exported to the population but rather companies have to look at the pollution potential of any fuel or any process or any plant or any utility when they're making their investment decisions."
Unless our government leaders make smart economic policy decisions our national debt will reach dangerously unsustainable levels. Our slow economic recovery only exacerbates this debt challenge. The Pew Budget Challenge is designed to see how everyday Americans would tackle the problem by offering more than 100 illustrative options to reduce the debt.
Despite what Sen. Reid said on the Senate floor today that there isn't a "single shred of evidence" that regulations hurt the economy, former Democratic Senator and Governor of Indiana, Evan Bayh reminds us in an Evansville Courier Press op-ed this week that bad implementation of regulations do indeed threaten jobs:
In a political maneuver, the current administration has decided to delay approval of the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. In light of this decision, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he must now consider selling oil directly to China instead. As a result of the delay, more than 20,000 jobs will be diverted away from Americans who desperately need them and our country’s energy security will be greatly compromised. Watch U.S.
In a decision the U.S. Chamber denounced as “politics trumping jobs,” the Obama Administration announced that it will delay a decision on the construction of a 1,700 mile oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Chamber President Calls Delay on Keystone XL Pipeline Decision a Political and Job-Killing Move
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today following the announcement by the State Department to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline:
More U.S. imported oil should come from Canada. That’s what 79% of registered voters said in a poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Petroleum Institute.
The poll also found 80% said they thought the federal government policies should allow pipelines to transport Canadian oil into the U.S.
|BILL NAME||SUMMARY OF BILL AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU||U.S. CHAMBER'S POSITION||STATUS|
FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
H.R. 3078 (Colombia FTA)
H.R. 3079 (Panama FTA)
H.R. 3080 (South Korea FTA)
In a recent op-ed appearing in the Los Angeles Times, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson rejects the notion that her agency’s Clean Air Act regulations have a negative impact on jobs.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Tom Collamore, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Communications and Strategy, and originally appear on Oct. 23. Read more from the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ChamberPost.
The Chamber’s President and CEO Tom Donohue will appear on ABC News’ This Week with one simple message: We can create jobs immediately. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Washington is “broken” or that “nothing will get done before Election Day,” Tom and the Chamber understand that there are things we can do to create milli
In today's Wall Street Journal, former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford sees the potential for job creation "all around us." Gas development in the Northeast,
The Washington Post today once again published a strong editorial in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Post’s editorial stands in stark contrast with anti-ener
The House took a major step toward protecting manufacturing jobs last week, approving a bill that would provide much needed relief to manufacturers, who face a host of excessive and unmanageable costs in order to comply with EPA’s “Cement MACT” suite of rules.
The House passed H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, in a mostly party-line 262-161 vote on October 6.
The U.S. Department of State is interested in what you have to say about the Keystone XL pipeline project. White House officials intend to meet today to openly discuss and weigh the pros and cons of its adoption. The official White House announcement explains, "The purpose of the meeting is to give individuals an opportunity to voice their views on whether granting or denying a presidential permit for the pipeline would be in the U.S. national interest.” The U.S.
Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said hydraulic fracturing is "a necessary part of the future of natural gas." He went on to note that natural gas is "a very imp
On Friday, the U.S.
Editor’s Note: This weekly column is written by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Thomas J. Donohue. Read more from the official blog of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ChamberPost.
I recently visited Banff, Canada to speak about energy policy at the Global Business Forum, and I was reminded of an arresting statistic. In June, more jobs were created in the province of Alberta than in the entire United States. How?
I recently visited Banff, Canada to speak about energy policy at the Global Business Forum, and I was reminded of an arresting statistic. In June, more jobs were created in the province of Alberta than in the entire United States. How? Canada is embracing its vast natural resources and expanding its role as an energy super power.
America needs to take some decisive steps of its own.
TechCrunch recently caught up with Aneesh Chopra, The United States’ Chief Technology Officer, at AT&T’s Foundry Innovation center in Palo Alto, California. Chopra was asked in the interview what America’s three major challenges were when it comes to innovation.
Focusing on domestic energy production will not only create American jobs, but will also establish significant revenue for state and federal governments. Expanding oil and gas industries closer to home would offer our economy a necessary push, all-the-while reducing our dependence on foreign energy. Industry experts predict that future energy exploration will focus on the Americas, including the U.S.
The United States must develop its abundant domestic energy resources or risk falling behind its competitors, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said in a major policy speech delivered at the Global Business Forum in Banff, Canada.
When it comes to energy, there's a lot we can learn from some of our global competitors.
We consume the same amount of energy whether we produce it from here or import it from areas of the world that are politically less stable. We have to realize and keep in the forefront of our minds that almost half a trillion dollars is leaving our nation every year in the form of foreign petroleum purchases. We have to make the effort to become self-sufficient before things get worse.—Sofia, Houston, TX
Remember playing softball and the pitcher tossed you a pitch that floated so perfectly towards you and looked like such a big target that you couldn't help but hit it over the fence?
The focus this week in Washington continues to be about getting Americans back to work.
Today the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) affirmed its support of the Atomic Safety Licensing Board’s unanimous rejection of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) attempt to withdraw its Yucca Mountain license application some 437 days ago.
The rumors of Yucca Mountain’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rightfully agreed the Department of Energy did not and does not have the authority to withdraw the application for Yucca mountain, it is clear the court system is the next stop on Yucca’s long and expensive journey.
This ad running this week in national newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today is part of the Chamber's nationwide print, online, and social media ad blitz to rally its members, grassroots supporters, and the public around six steps Washington can take to create millions of new jobs.
Check out this video of Chamber President and CEO, Tom Donohue outlining the six steps Congress and the President can do now to grow the economy and create jobs:
That was the number many Americans were talking about during the unofficial final weekend of summer, because that was the number of net jobs created in August.
Zero isn't so much a number as the absence of one. It's a void, a hole. Our economy is in a hole with millions of people unemployed, and millions more who have given up looking for work.
In a victory for America’s job creators and a big first step in what needs to be a broader regulatory reform effort, President Obama has requested that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson withdraw a potentially disastrous ozone standard.
As President Obama prepares to reveal his jobs plan before a joint session of Congress next week, we hope to hear him say that he intends to remove obstacles that have needlessly stalled the development of dozens of vital energy projects across the country.
Even as the administration touts its efforts to streamline or eliminate duplicative or conflicting regulations, some agencies are moving full steam ahead with burdensome and costly newly proposed rules.
The White House has once again signaled that it is pivoting back to jobs, and President Obama will reportedly give a “major speech” on job creation in September. Here at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where we remain sharply focused on job creation, it is a welcome move.
I'm trying to decide how seriously I should take the New York Times editorial page. I'm mean, they pay a guy who thinks it would be good economic policy to fake an alien invasion.
The White House has once again signaled that it is pivoting back to jobs, and President Obama will reportedly give a “major speech” on job creation in September. Here at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where we remain sharply focused on job creation, it is a welcome move. But for the president’s pivot to be meaningful, it needs to be followed by a big step back from onerous regulatory proposals that would kill millions of jobs with no proven benefits to offset this hurt.
Energy is the topic of this month's cover story for Free Enterprise magazine. Offshore, onshore, it's all covered. Here's a taste:
Paul Krugman: NY Times pundit, Nobel Prize-winning economist, and now sci-fi visionary. You know you've run out of ideas when you think faking an alien invasion could be a way to boost the economy.
Before the debt ceiling increase was even signed into law, many members of Congress had already left town for the August recess, moving eagerly to a more popular topic: JOBS.
America is on the verge of an energy renaissance.
It’s a renaissance built on technological advances in energy exploration and extraction, continued advances in renewable energy and nuclear power, and an abundance of domestic natural gas and oil reserves off the coasts and on federal lands.
It’s a renaissance that could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduce the country’s dependence on unfriendly foreign suppliers, produce billions in new revenues for the government, and boost manufacturing in the United States.
With Canada's oil sands, it isn't a question of if it'll be developed but where the oil will flow–something Radiohead doesn't get. Will it go south to the United States and power our economic growth, or will it go west to the Pacific Coast and across the ocean to China? The Keystone XL project will make sure that oil grows the U.S. economy and creates jobs here, which is why the Chamber just launched the Partnership to Fuel America.
The underlying weaknesses in the nation’s energy security have reasserted themselves in 2011 and, unless things change, will continue to hamper the United States for decades into the future, according to an updated study by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
The Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk, now in its second year, calculates the country’s 2010 energy security risk index at 98 out of 100. That’s a 6.5-point increase from 2009 and the fourth-highest score since 1970.
Healthy economic growth will do much to solve many of the problems facing us today. Economic growth means jobs for the unemployed and more revenue for debt-laden governments. Pennsylvania gives us a case study for harnessing energy development for economic growth.
The current national energy policy is like a game of that arcade favorite “Whac-A-Mole” in which energy businesses are having to try to whack at a seemingly endless onslaught of regulations that can pop up from anywhere at anytime, according to Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Company.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would force the administration to give a yea or nay by November 1 to the Keystone XL pipeline project that would deliver Canadian oil to the U.S.
The administration wants to wait until the end of year to make a decision, but Mark Green at the Energy Tomorrow Blog asks, "Why wait any longer than necessary?"
Bill Kovacs, senior vice president for Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs, appeared on Fox Business to discuss EPA regulations and Project No Project --a Chamber study that reveals the adverse economic impact of 351 stalled energy projects, many of them green projects. The interview is part of Fox’s “Theme Week,” which looks at the impact of government programs on business.
We all feel the pain of rising oil prices—when we ship goods by truck or plane and when we fill up at the gas pump. U.S. families and businesses spent more than $900 billion on refined oil products in 2008.
Not only is our dependence on foreign oil expensive, it’s also risky. Too often, oil dependence requires us to accommodate hostile governments that share neither our values nor our goals, making both the United States and its allies vulnerable.
Big energy news was broken at today's press conference at the Chamber. Alaska Gov.
The President's decision last week to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has people still scratching their heads. The Detroit News writes in an editorial:
While the Obama Administration continues to pursue policies that will only provide short-term energy relief, Congress has moved ahead on two U.S. Chamber-supported bills that will boost domestic production of oil and significantly increase America’s energy and economic security.
The administration announced this week that it will release 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to lower oil prices.
The administration announced it will release 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to lower oil prices. The Chamber thinks this is bad energy policy.
It's great to be a part of the Chamber team. I hope to get the Chamber more engaged in policy conversations in the blogosphere. Two of those conversations revolve around job creation and energy production.
These two issues are on the minds of Americans. many of whom are unemployed or fear their jobs will soon vanish and worry about the rising cost of energy when they fill their gas tanks or read their utility bills.
Tom Friedman had an interesting column yesterday with the intentionally provocative title of "The Earth is Full." While the title indicates that Mr. Friedman hasn’t been to Central Pennsylvania, West Texas, the Australian Outback or numerous other “not full” places, the piece makes a very important point about the Earth’s resources – namely, they are limited and we use them up at our peril.
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, many families will be hitting the road to visit family and friends and celebrate the long weekend. They’ll inevitably stop at the gas station to fuel up and watch their gas tab put a dent in their weekend budget. The national average gasoline price of $3.81 is lower than a few weeks ago, but highs still top $4 a gallon in many states. High gas prices remain an unwelcome and unexpected tax on families and small businesses.
Yesterday at America’s Small Business Summit, a trio of U.S. Chamber senior executives weighed in on three issues that are keeping small business owners up at night.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs, Bruce Josten, issued the following statement applauding the Senate for rejecting S. 940, a bill to impose punitive tax hikes on the oil and gas industry:
Raising taxes on oil companies would end up ultimately hitting consumers’ wallets, and the Senate was right to reject this bill. Levying punitive new taxes and fees on America’s oil and gas industry would increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil, increase costs to consumers, jeopardize U.S. jobs, and erode economic competitiveness.
Ahead of scheduled votes in the Senate on competing energy bills, the Chamber sent a key vote letter today strongly supporting Senator McConnell’s “Offshore Production and Safety Act” (S. 953), and reiterating its strong opposition to S. 940 which would impose punitive tax hikes on the oil and gas industry.
As Bruce writes, the McConnell bill
Ahead of Wednesday’s vote in the Senate on S. 940, Senator Menendez’s bill to impose punitive tax hikes on the oil and gas industry, the Chamber sent a key vote letter to members of Congress opposing the legislation.
The House and Senate took very different approaches to addressing gas prices this week, with the House passing two more Chamber-backed bills designed to increase domestic energy production and put Americans back to work and the Senate moving toward increasing gas taxes.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed another piece of legislation that would begin to address our nation’s long-standing refusal to take advantage of our own energy resources. The House passed H.R.1229, the “Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, and is also poised to pass H.R.1231, the “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act” in the c
At a National Press Club luncheon today, U.S. Chamber Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Dr. Marty Regalia pointed out that Congress is missing the target by taking aim at oil and gas companies.
The House passed the first of three Chamber-backed bills to ease restrictions on offshore oil drilling in an attempt to increase domestic supplies, create jobs, and stabilize gas prices.
Louisiana’s economy can’t seem to buy a break these days. First came Hurricane Katrina and then a few years later the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, both of which knocked the state’s economy back on its heels. Then there was the Obama Administration’s over-reaction to the Gulf oil spill. Its de facto “permitorium” on offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling piled even more misery on an already miserable economy and by many accounts is potentially more debilitating to the Louisiana economy as the spill itself.
Kudos to the House of Representatives for taking steps to address exorbitant gasoline prices and rising frustration among American families and small businesses.
Stalled Energy Projects
There is a phrase in the bill of rights that says “pursuit of happiness.” What does that truly mean? Seems it means the ability to stop others from “pursuit of their happiness.” I can understand people not wanting an eyesore in their backyards, but they are the first to complain about high energy costs.—Joe Kostelac, Kansas City, MO
|BILL NAME||SUMMARY OF BILL AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU||U.S. CHAMBER'S POSITION||STATUS|
REINING IN EPA
Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011
It’s beginning to feel like 2008 again. In the summer of that year, gas prices reached all-time highs, digging the economy deeper into recession. Because Congress failed to address our fundamental energy problems then, it consigned Americans to a future of erratic energy prices.
Today, with unrest in North Africa and the Middle East riling the markets and crude oil prices at historic highs, gas prices are again on the rise, threatening to steer our economic recovery off course.
Regulatory abuse is occurring in a number of federal agencies. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just might be the largest offender of them all, seeking to expand its powers and put forward big, aggressive, and expensive proposals that threaten economic growth and job creation.
Over the last week, the Obama Administration and some in Congress have stepped up rhetorical attacks on America’s oil and natural gas industry for receiving what they call “subsidies” at a time when gasoline prices are high and oil companies are reporting strong earnings. With recent polls showing that an increasing percentage of Americans blame the president for blocking more domestic energy production, it is not surprising that the Administration is looking to deflect the blame and foist it on industry instead.
Happy Earth Day!
Today is the one-year anniversary of the tragic accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past 365 days, the Gulf Coast economy has evolved significantly. When the spill occurred, the Gulf Coast was still rebuilding from the devastating 2006 hurricanes and the cleanup effort. Economic recovery seemed like a monumental undertaking. Today, the seafood, tourism, and other industries are rebounding, and the ecosystem is beginning to thrive again. So what about energy production in the Gulf?
Yesterday, the Interior Department approved the construction and operating plan for Cape Wind, clearing a major regulatory hurdle for the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Construction could begin as soon as this fall on the Nantucket Sound project.
What do a cell phone, a hybrid car, and a wind turbine have in common?
They all require rare earth elements.
Rare earth elements are not, despite their name, actually rare. The term dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries before it was clear how common most rare earth elements are. They are, however, difficult and expensive to mine—and control of their supply is igniting worldwide debate.
There’s enough noise rattling around in the energy and climate debate that it sometimes sounds like an off-pitch band marching past your office window (not that the Chamber knows anything about this). All of this become a distraction from the actual work being done in Washington to address energy and climate issues in a commonsense, bipartisan manner.
Going green often connotes an altruistic goal with implied sacrifice. But, in fact, going green is an opportunity. An opportunity to create new American industries and jobs, to strengthen our economy, and to enhance our global competitiveness. And that opportunity is not lost on business.
At the April 15, 2011 Chamber Special Briefing Series, energy storage technology was discussed by Eric Hsieh, who is the Regulatory Affairs Manager for A123 Systems, where he promotes policy reforms that bring storage benefits to electricity users and markets. Previously, he was the Government Relations Manager at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, where he supported advanced transmission technologies as solutions for climate, economic, and security challenges.
Congress can create tens of thousands of clean energy and energy efficiency jobs without spending any federal funds by streamlining the broken permitting process for new energy projects and better utilizing a government program to retrofit federal buildings with energy efficient equipment, says Bill Kovacs, U.S. Chamber senior vice president of Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs.
Are water main breaks the new Old Faithful?
They might be if we don’t take action on our water infrastructure soon. Badly outdated and increasingly showing its weaknesses, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our nation’s drinking water system a D-minus in its 2009 Report Card of America's Infrastructure.
You ever wonder how much impact a single person has on the economy? Yesterday the Phoenix Center reported that on average, “eliminating the job of a single regulator grows the American economy by $6.2 million and nearly 100 private sector jobs annually.” Hard to believe that a single nameless, faceless Washington bureaucrat holds that much sway over our economy.
While there are signs the economy is turning around, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. There are no easy solutions and it’s not going to get better overnight. But there are simple steps we can take that will make a big difference while improving our energy efficiency at the same time.
Ahead of tomorrow’s House Science Committee hearing on “Green Jobs and Red Tape: Assessing Federal Efforts to Encourage Employment,” the Chamber’s Bill Kovacs provides a video preview of his testimony. Bill will point to the Energy Savings Performance Contracts program and the Chamber’s recent “Project-No-Project” study to demonstrate how Congress can create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs without the use of any federal funds.
The president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy criticized President Obama’s remarks on energy security last week and called on Congress to reverse federal policies that have restricted development of America’s natural energy resources.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was considering regulating spilled milk the same as an oil spill as part of its spill prevention regulatory program. Milk contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a nonpetroleum oil. Dairy farmers would have been responsible for developing a spill prevention plan equivalent to an oil spill prevention plan. The EPA recently agreed to exempt milk spills from the rules.
Source: The Post-Star, February 16, 2011
The successful construction of 351 energy projects stalled by legal and regulatory roadblocks could produce an immediate $1.1 trillion boost to the economy and create 1.9 million jobs annually, according to a new study. Over 20 years, the projects would add $3.4 trillion in GDP, including $1.4 trillion in employment earnings, and an additional one million or more jobs per year.
Of all the arguments that opponents of new domestic oil and gas exploration use, none are as big a fallacy as the myth that oil companies are “sitting on” a large percentage of available land to explore. This argument has led to so-called “use it or lose it” proposals which would place new timelines and restrictions on exploration.
In a sign that Congress is trying to reclaim its rightful authority from a fast encroaching Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a key House panel on March 16 passed a Chamber-supported bill to block the agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
EPA’s regulations will impose a significant burden across the U.S. economy. The agency itself admits that eventually as many as six million of America’s industrial facilities, power plants, hospitals, agricultural and commercial establishments will be subject to its new regulatory regime.
At his press conference this afternoon to address rising gasoline prices, President Obama claimed credit for boosting U.S. oil and gas production:
The Chamber’s new study, Progress Denied: A Study on the Potential Economic Impact of Permitting Challenges Facing Proposed Energy Projects, reveals that stalled energy projects are costing the U.S. economy nearly 2 million jobs.
By Bill Kovacs
by Bill Kovacs
Kudos to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton for bucking pressure from extreme environmentalists and signing legislation that will cut through the bureaucracy and facilitate the construction of energy and industrial projects that will spur economic growth and job creation.
Bill McKibben never let facts get in the way of a compelling narrative that serves his narrow political interests but has only a passing relationship to the truth. In a rambling op-ed in The Washington Post today, McKibben accuses the Chamber of denying the science of climate change and "opposing any action" on the issue. He even faults us for questioning EPA’s go-it-alone plan to regulate carbon emissions--an approach that is opposed by mainstream Democrats and Republicans alike across Capitol Hill.
Earlier this week a federal judge in Louisiana called the Obama Administration’s lack of action on a single permit for energy exploration in the Gulf of Mexico "unreasonable, unacceptable, and unjustified
The Obama Administration has talked about “winning the future” ever since the President’s State of the Union address. It’s important for any Administration to think about the future, but how about a little thinking in the present? It seems to us that before we can win the future, we need to get busy winning the present, and that means gett
During his January 25 State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of proposals designed to jumpstart the sluggish economy, create more U.S. jobs, and sharpen U.S. competitiveness. Below are the key proposals and the Chamber’s reaction.
Recently, there's been a little bit of internet-driven confusion about the Energy Institute's support for clean energy research and development (R&D). I thought it might be a good time to highlight our substantial record of support for increased energy R&D, since we believe innovation is essential to our long term future.
I've said in previous posts that the biggest news was the Japanese refusal to consider a second round of targets and timetables under the Kyoto Protocol. There was talk about stretching out the existing targets for a couple of years to allow for more time to strike a bargain, but even that was too much for the Japanese, who also unequivocally said no to an extension. How this plays out will be something to watch.
by Bruce Josten
One thing the business community is taking a close look at here in Cancun is the technology discussions under the "LCA" negotiating track, one of the two negotiating tracks (the other being the Kyoto Protocol track).
At the global climate change talks last week, the Japanese delivered a statement in the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol that reverberated throughout the halls of Cancún's Moon Palace.
For those of you unfamiliar with the intricacies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change—UNFCCC—there are two negotiations moving simultaneously, one in the Ad Hoc Working Group in the Kyoto Protocol and one in the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (LCA) under the UNFCCC.
The Obama administration announced today that the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, and Pacific coasts will be excluded from the Department of Interior's upcoming Five Year plan for offshore oil exploration.
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy, noted that this decision will have a further negative impact on the economy:
U.S. oil and natural gas companies already bear a heavier tax burden than their overseas competitors, and proposals to increase their taxes would further erode the industry’s competitiveness and increase energy costs for U.S. consumers, according to studies cited by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
An Interview With Constellation’s Mayo Shattuck
Photo: Ian Wagreich
The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy has launched a nationwide education program to educate up to six million middle school students in more than 100,000 classrooms about energy this school year.
An Obama Administration decision to lift its moratorium on offshore oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico six weeks ahead of schedule will not prevent significant economic harm to the Gulf region and to America’s energy security, says Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Michael R. Bromwich's announced today that they are lifting the moratorium on offshore exploration.
As Americans suffer through a jobless recovery, the EPA is pursuing policies that will exacerbate the nation’s economic problems, destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, and will not improve the environment, according to a recent report released by Republicans on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
The report examines the impact on jobs and the economy from EPA’s greenhouse gas proposals, its new standards for commercial and industrial boilers and Portland cement plants, and the revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone.
There is a new report out from the Minority staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works titled "EPA's Anti-Industrial Policy: Threatening Jobs and America's Manufacturing Base," it looks at:
Higher taxes on U.S. oil and gas companies mean a less competitive industry and higher energy costs, according to the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
“As Congress and the administration contemplate new tax policies, it’s critical to have a complete and full understanding of the consequences of those proposals,” says Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Institute.
As Congress and the administration consider energy policy, it is more important than ever that they look at options that don’t further burden taxpayers or jeopardize energy security and that offer the greatest return on investment to the economy, said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue at the National Clean Energy Summit at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on September 7.
The U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy is engaging in a national discussion about America’s energy future and building support for meaningful action with a multi-state tour.
Energy Institute President Karen Harbert speaks to an audience in Anchorage about energy solutions.
The U.S. Chamber expressed disappointment with the EPA’s failure to reconsider its flawed decision to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The Chamber intends to appeal the ruling.
Value Added Tax
We left Canada in the 1990s when it implemented a VAT, called GST for Goods and Services Tax. In my opinion, if you want to see a mass exodus of manufacturers, professionals, etc., to other countries, advocate for a VAT. I never thought that I would see the United States in this situation!
—C. Oliver, Murrieta, CA
Today the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) denied the U.S. Chamber’s petition to reconsider triggering the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. Chamber, policymakers, numerous trade groups, state governments, and businesses throughout the country have collectively raised strong concerns about the significant negative impact EPA’s endangerment finding will have on jobs and local economies.
This morning business leaders from the Gulf Coast region gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss the economic hardships and uncertainty they face as a result of the Obama administration’s blanket moratorium on oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
As thousands poured into the Cajundome this morning to rally against the Obama Administration’s moratorium on offshore exploration, many wanted to speak directly to government leaders in Washington, DC.
Attendees discussed firsthand their experiences trying to make ends meet for their families and businesses in an uncertain time for Gulf residents. Listen to their stories here:
Right now, Energy Institute president and CEO Karen Harbert is addressing the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Resources Development Council.
Over 1000 attendees from across Alaska have gathered in Anchorage to hear Harbert discuss America's energy realities and opportunities. The group is made up of representatives from virtually every industry in Alaska, from transportation and tourism to oil and gas.
The U.S. Chamber and other members of the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth (AEEG) sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him to reconsider the six-month standstill on deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
I'm writing from Washington state today, where the Energy Institute's 2010 Energy Reality Tour continues. Karen Harbert just wrapped up a speech to over 300 attendees at the 2010 Women in Nuclear conference, which brings together women from across the country who work in the nuclear industry. It was certainly gratifying to see so many woman committed to delivering clean, emissions free nuclear power to communities from coast to coast.
The Wall Street Journal has a scathing op-ed today about the administration’s renewed moratorium on deep water. It states:
The avalanche of new and proposed rules and regulations introduced by the Obama Administration and its federal agencies is creating great uncertainty among businesses and stifling job creation, according to business owners and academia attending a July 8 forum hosted by the National Chamber Foundation (NCF), the U.S. Chamber’s public policy think tank.
The below print ad is running today. Learn more here.
Maura Donahue, vice president of business development for DonahueFavret Contractors, and former U.S. Chamber Chair, has this op/ed today on the Politico:
Karen Harbert, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy, has a post today in Politico's Arena blog. The subject: the Administration's moratorium on offshore energy development. Karen begins:
The Obama administration’s moratorium on offshore development is a classic example of Washington “dash to rash” decision making. In his ruling, Judge Feldman referred to the moratorium as capricious and arbitrary.
The U.S. Chamber this week called on the Obama Administration to lift its six-month moratorium on active deepwater drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Imposed four weeks ago, the moratorium is already negatively impacting the local economy and thousands of American jobs.
The United States’ energy security risk is set to rise to near record levels in the next 20 years unless the nation changes course, according to a new study by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
Climate change and energy were featured in the statements of the G8, G8+G5, and G20 declarations coming out of Canada over the weekend, and once again their treatment of these issues demonstrates the large divide between developed and developing countries. Our pre-Copenhagen report (PDF) highlighted some of the divisions evident in the leaders’ declarations from d’Aquila, Italy last year, and the passage of time hasn’t lessened them any.
The Energy Institute’s Steve Eule continues his look at the Bonn climate talks, which he attended.
One of the big issues facing negotiators is whether and how the two negotiating tracks—one under the Kyoto Protocol (to the U.S. is not a Party) and the other through the overarching Framework Convention. The two groups now can’t formally talk to one another—the groups’ two Chairs are permitted to have a collegial cup of coffee together, but that’s about it.
Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement today clarifying comments that he made at a recent Christian Science Monitor media breakfast on the BP oil spill cleanup efforts:
Sen. Scott Brown had this op/ed today on CapeCodOnline.com, some selections:
The Energy Institute’s vice president for climate and technology, Steve Eule, is in Bonn at the U.N. climate change conference. The conference is being held in preparation for this December’s COP in Cancun, Mexico.
Jon Krosnick, professor of communication, political science and psychology at Stanford, has this op/ed in the NY Times today. First let's look at the set-up:
The Energy Institute’s vice president for climate and technology, Steve Eule, is in Bonn at the U.N. climate change conference. The conference is being held in preparation for this December’s COP in Cancun, Mexico. Steve first blog post from Bonn is below.
Bonn jour! Welcome to my first posting from Bonn, where over 190 countries are gathered to negotiate a new international climate change agreement.
Bruce Josten sent this letter to all Members of the Senate today:
By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Congress isn't perfect. That's for sure. But at least we have the chance to hold them accountable every two years at the ballot box. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for White House bureaucracies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, the EPA is ready to side-step Congress to enact harmful, de facto climate change regulations that pose a direct threat to America's economic recovery.
The Chamber’s Let’s Rebuild America initiative and the National Chamber Foundation today held the third in a five part series of forums examining the concept of a national infrastructure bank. Today’s event focused on a clean energy bank, and was cosponsored by the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
The United States’ energy security risk is set to rise to near record levels in the next 20 years unless the nation changes course, according to a new study by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
While the term "energy security" has been used for decades, it is a concept that has never been objectively defined -- until now. The Chamber’s Energy Institute today unveiled our first annual Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk -- a quantifiable measurement of energy security from 1970-2030.
As introduced by Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman.
The Chamber supports efforts to address energy security and climate change, and believes that any legislation must be comprehensive and bipartisan, and take into account a wide spectrum of issues including American jobs and our economy. We thank Senators Kerry and Lieberman, as well as Senator Graham, for their work to constructively engage the business community on these issues.
For forty years now, we have celebrated Earth Day. And with each passing decade we have become more and more aware of the importance of sound environmental stewardship for ourselves and our children. We have made great progress over the years, but we also realize that more must be done to protect our natural resources and keep our environment clean.
Here is what BCLC Senior Advisor Ben Erulkar had to say in commemoration of Earth Day:
On this 40th Earth Day, companies from all industries - from Abbott, Allstate, and ARAMARK to Siemens, Shell, and Southwest - are minimizing their environmental footprint and advancing sustainability.
Modern energy consumption has become so disconnected from modern production that if you asked the average person where electricity comes from they would point at an outlet on the wall. Then occasionally something happens which brings home the fact that supplying half of our nation's electricity is not an easy task. It is hard and often entails dangerous work. Last week's tragic coal mining accident in West Virginia is a case in point.
President Obama’s plan for new oil and natural gas drilling off parts of the U.S. coastline does not go far enough and would take years to bear fruit, says the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
Chamber Says Develop All Sources, Remove Barriers
Today marked the first meeting of the Department of Energy’s much anticipated Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (BRC). I think it’s important to note what this commission is and is not. It is a panel made up of highly esteemed professionals representing various professions, perspectives, and levels of experience. That breadth of experience would add significantly to the credibility of the commission’s report when it is delivered to the Secretary of Energy within two years—if the commission is given the freedom to complete its task.
Last week, the U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute was among 17 groups that sent a letter to Senate and House Appropriators opposing the Administration’s proposed funding cuts to the Yucca Mountain License Application.
The letter vigorously opposes the Department of Energy’s proposed termination of the Yucca Mountain License Application, which is currently pending before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Chamber has long supported a Congressional approach to addressing climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Economist looks at Paul Krugman's "toy model" of carbon pricing:
Two from the Wall Street Journal. First from the homepage:
On his very first full day in office, President Obama sent a memorandum to his executive agencies extolling the virtues of transparency and open government and directing them to facilitate public access to information. To further that directive, Obama issued a second memorandum encouraging agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure” when responding to public requests under the Fr
The U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy released "Copenhagen Accord By-the-Numbers" today, a report which reveals that, even if emissions reduction pledges made under the Copenhagen Accord were adopted, the world would still see a significant rise in greenhouse gas emissions, primarily because of growing emissions from developing countries.
The U.S. Chamber strongly supports efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, but we believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to achieve that goal.
Press reports indicate that Obama Administration is asking Congress for an additional $36 billion in authorization for nuclear loan guarantees in today’s FY2011 budget submission, bringing the total available for new nuclear power plants to $54 billion.
As we've blogged about, the Energy Institute's Steve Eule represented the US Chamber at the UN COP-15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Just a little over a month ago, the conference concluded with a "political agreement" brokered by President Obama. Steve blogged about the agreement and gave a quick wrap up of the conference a few weeks ago.
In this week's State of American Business address, U.S. Chamber president and CEO Tom Donohue outlined a five point plan to help create jobs and revive America's economy. A central plank in his plan is upgrading America's infrastructure and expanding our energy options, which will speed our economic recovery, establish a 21st century energy economy, and importantly, create tens of thousands of good paying American jobs.
On the EPA regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act:
Many of you are probably a bit confused by the results of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen. Depending on which account you read, it was an unprecedented success or a complete failure, and everything else in between.
by Mark Esper
Despite the lack of real agreement in Copenhagen, there is clearly a consensus among the nations gathered that climate change must be addressed. All agree as well that new and innovative technologies will be critical to helping nations deal with global warming adaptation and mitigation. Most of these innovations will come from the private sector, which has been expending a great deal of time, effort, and resources—with much more to follow—on these cutting edge technologies.
We're stuck in the position now where those outside the Bella Center probably know more about what's going on in the climate negotiations than those inside the Center. First, a bit about what happened yesterday. At the opening plenary, after negotiating sessions lasting well into the morning, the Danes announced that the Kyoto Protocol Plenary would consider two new texts—a Kyoto Protocol text and an "LCA" or Framework Convention text—instead of the texts the negotiator had pored over virtually round the clock.
Just in time to delay our annual holiday event for children and families from a local charter school, Greenpeace staged a little bit of "street theater" outside the U.S. Chamber today.
From NPR's Morning Edition:
In a new world, electric companies and manufacturing plants will have to control their greenhouse gas emissions. Congress is debating setting up a cap and trade system to cut global warming pollution across the whole economy. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced it plans to regulate emissions from big polluters. Companies are comparing the impact of the two approaches to decide which one would work better for them.
Haven't posted these for a little bit--some climate links of interest.
The Energy Institute’s Steve Eule has been representing the Chamber in Copenhagen, and tonight he checks in with some troubling news about the prospects for strong intellectual property rights in an international climate agreement. Steve’s latest blog entry on Politico details the latest turn of events.
While most of the attention is on the negotiators during these two weeks—and rightly so—the business community is also busy in Copenhagen highlighting what it is doing to respond to the challenge of climate change. Here are a few highlights.
As the world gathers over the next two weeks in Copenhagen to reach consensus on how to address our climate change challenges, a bevy of "other" issues – all related in some way to climate change – will be taken up. Among those will be intellectual property (IP) rights, and how they relate to the development and diffusion of new technologies that will help us reduce CO2 emissions and adapt to changes in our environment.
I’ll be heading off to Copenhagen later this week, but before I go I wanted to take some time to explain what it is the U.S. Chamber and its Institute for 21st Century Energy would like to see coming out of Copenhagen. It’s appearing more and more likely that in two weeks’ time, we’ll get a political deal that will set the stage for further rounds of negotiations leading up to Mexico City in December 2010 where countries will sign off on a new post-2012 agreement. As always, the devil will be in the details.
In a Politico Ideas piece, Karen Harbert lists facts, fiction about Chamber's involvement in climate change talks:
Since the dawn of time, human innovation and creativity have transformed the world and our place in it, in ways known and ways yet to be discovered. From microwaves and washing machines, to vaccines and jet aircraft, innovation has provided new opportunities, helped solve old problems, and made life more efficient.
There’s a story in today’s SF Chronicle that paints a fairly incomplete picture of our efforts on climate change and job creation, despite my best efforts to provide that information to the reporter, Kelly Zito.
No surprises that the NRDC has used their creative license to concoct a selective timeline of quotes to erroneously misconstrue the Chamber’s climate change positions. Let's correct their continued sloppy work (our additions left):
The Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy today released a new report in advance of December’s UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen. The Prospects for Copenhagen: More Realism Can Smooth the Way outlines the challenges negotiators will face, and focuses on the development and deployment of new technologies as the best path forward to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
With work on climate change legislation ramping up in the Senate, the U.S. Chamber is touting a new bipartisan framework as a potential breakthrough in the contentious debate over climate change policy.
In a November 3 letter to members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Chamber cited a New York Times editorial by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Lindsey Graham (R-NC), “as a solid, workable, commonsense foundation on which to craft a bill.”
On Tuesday I sent a letter to Senators Boxer and Inhofe on climate change which reminded:
A few folks have expressed the concern that our November 3rd letter to the Senate regarding climate change represented a change in the Chamber's position on carbon tariffs. While the letter notes that we agree with "a great deal" of what Senators Kerry and Graham presented in a recent op-ed, and we "commend" them for writing it.
A few weeks ago at the launch of our Free Enterprise campaign a reporter asked U.S.
Today the Obama administration announced that they will award $3.4 billion to help fund energy grid modernization. This announcement is long overdue. The U.S. Chamber's Energy Institute has been advocating for a rapid deployment of smart grid for over a year, and it was included in our recommendations delivered to President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress last January.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement today regarding a fake web site that infringes on the Chamber’s copyrights:
Today, over 60 Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives emphasized their support for IP rights by signing onto a bipartisan congressional letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The letter highlighted the importance of protecting IP right in negotiations leading up to an anticipated December climate change agreement in Copenhagen.
That is the title of this excellent post on the NRDC's Switchboard blog by Brandi Colander, Attorney, Air & Energy - New York City. Let's have a look:
Think you know where everyone stands on climate change legislation? Test your knowledge of where everyone stands on the proposal to impose tariffs on imports from countries that the United States says aren't limiting their own carbon emissions. Such provisions were included in the House-approved Waxman-Markey bill and may be included in a Senate bill as well.
In the spirit of free enterprise I can get you an autographed business card from Eric for a very reasonable price - call me. Watch him take care of business at the National Press Club (background here).
Update, 3:15pm: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for Communications and Strategy Thomas J. Collamore issued the following statement on the fake press activities today which muddled the Chamber's position on climate change:
"Public relations hoaxes undermine the genuine effort to find solutions on the challenge of climate change.
Foreign Policy Magazine's latest issue covers how oil's very future is now being seriously questioned, debated, and challenged. On Wednesday October 21st, the Institute for 21st Century Energy will be presenting with them a dialogue on the scale, scope, and prospects for reducing our nation's oil dependency. With the current focus on energy and climate change on Capitol Hill, this conversation goes right to the heart of the debate offering diverse viewpoints.
Ohio Chamber of Commerce President Andy Doehrel shares his View from the States on the importance of reliable and affordable energy to Ohio's economy and future.
The Boston Globe editorial board must be acquainted with the old comic's adage "don't let the truth get in the way of a good story!" Their editorial about us today is certainly more about drama than accuracy.
Tom posted on this earlier in the week, that same day I sent the below letter to Andrew Rosenthal, Editorial Page Editor for the New York Times. It has yet to run.
Dear Mr. Rosenthal:
In Parliament of Whores P.J. O'Rourke reminds us that "When the legislature controls what is bought and sold the first thing that is bought and sold is legislators"
In the Wall Street Journal Kimberley Strassel reminds us again:
The U.S. Chamber welcomes exemption of small businesses and farms under the EPA’s proposed Prevention of Significant Deterioration and proposed Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule required under the Clean Air Act; common sense prevailed at the EPA and we are thankful. However, we fear this proposal rests on shaky legal ground. As a result, EPA may have only kicked the problem down the road -- or into the courthouse -- and may have to regulate all small businesses should some environmental groups prevail in likely lawsuits.
October 30, 2009
Businesses should brace for the threat of more lawsuits tied to climate change and should expect no relief on the medical liability front, according to experts attending the Chamber’s annual legal reform event.
During a panel discussion at the Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR’s) 10th annual summit on October 28, Professor Donald Gifford of the University of Maryland noted that two recent major federal court decisions signal that it may be easier to bring climate change litigation in the future.
In the past week there were two newsworthy events regarding the U.S. Chamber and climate change:
The U.S. Chamber filed a request for a formal, on-the-record hearing to examine the evidence behind the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) expected finding that man-made greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.
No Relief in Sight on Medical Liability
Businesses should brace themselves for the threat of more lawsuits tied to climate change, according to experts attending the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR’s) 10th annual summit on October 28 at Chamber headquarters.
During a panel discussion, Professor Donald Gifford of the University of Maryland said that two recent major federal court decisions signal that it may be easier to bring climate change litigation against companies.
As part of the Chamber's ongoing support for all renewable energy projects, Bill Kovacs has contributed a piece in support of the Cape Wind offshore wind farm. You can find it at voices.capewind.org, here is a snip:
In these interesting times one has to be judicious in the allocation of personal indignation, you just never know what’s around the corner and might suddenly find yourself dangerously low on righteousness. That is why this article made me happy -- because I have a disproportionate loathing of incandescent bulbs and if they cease to be it would free up a lot of ill will for targeting elsewhere. Enjoy:
Lost in the noise of the health care debate this past month has been another reengineering of a major portion of our economy – this one on energy policy and addressing global climate change. With the UN Climate Negotiations scheduled for December in Copenhagen the issue is inching back into the spotlight so we thought it might be useful to review the current state of play.
The Washington Post has an editorial today explaining why regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act by EPA would be an unmitigated disaster. The paper writes:
Recently the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing titled Roadmap for Copenhagen — Driving towards Success.
In June, the Institute for 21st Century Energy issued a report outlining the reasons why the Obama Administration's efforts to levy new taxes and fees on the oil and gas industry is a bad idea.
Judging from the testimony of the Treasury Department's top economist in front of a Senate Finance subcommittee yesterday, the Administration apparently didn't read our report.
With the unrelenting focus on health care, the equally monumental cap-and-trade bill has been lost in the shuffle, and many centrist Democrats would like to keep it that way. Several Senate Democrats, including majority leader Dick Durbin, questioned whether it would be possible to vote on a climate change bill this year. Ben Nelson seemed to sum it up: "We have enough on our plate at the moment. It's questionable to open another front."
A story over three days:
As Kevin noted this morning, and the below article does as well, the introduction of climate change legislation has been delayed in the Senate until "later in September." From SFGate (my bold):
What's in Store With Cap-and-Trade?
In June, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009—better known as Waxman-Markey after the legislation's authors. Below are answers to frequently asked questions.
What would Waxman-Markey do to regulate greenhouse gas emissions?
Waxman-Markey would establish four mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions:
Speaking at a September 21 Chamber event, Institute for 21st Century Energy CEO Karen Harbert said that business must play a larger role in global climate change negotiations.
I'm an avid environmentalist and make a living practicing environmental engineering. We are against cap and trade. It is just another excuse for the government to collect money based on the bogus argument that global warming is largely the result of industrial activities. Although I'm all for being a good steward of the planet, global warming and cooling are normal cyclical occurrences, and we are just politicizing them.
-Julian Coto, Winter Springs, FL
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has filed an additional request for a formal, on-the-record hearing to debate the evidence behind the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) expected finding that man-made greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.
Members of Congress are back from their August recess, ready to resume work on health care reform, climate change legislation, and financial regulatory reform. Below is a brief look at where things stand.
Health Care Reform
By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
In case you missed it, and I don't think that anyone did, the LA Times ran a story this morning on our efforts to force transparency from the EPA on their finding that greenhouse gases emissions are a danger to public health and welfare. The article begins:
Columnists Robert Tracinski and Tom Minchin take note of an important vote in the Australian Senate that sent that country’s version of cap-and-trade legislation down to defeat. They say opposition wasn’t based solely on what such a scheme might do to the economy, but more on fundamental questions about the science behind climate change. The authors credit University of Adelaide geologist Ian Plimer for changing minds on man’s influence on climate change.
by Bill Kovacs
It seems as though the number of new and duplicative laws Congress can propose is only limited by its unsteady imagination! And to think that just a decade or so ago it was common wisdom to believe that “everyone is presumed to know the law.” Today we have so many new, complex, mind-numbingly huge laws that common wisdom can only conclude that some of the proposals are literally the tales told by an idiot to ensure that economic progress cannot continue.
President Obama announced yesterday that $2.4 billion in stimulus grants would be awarded to jump start an electric car industry in a number of Midwest states. Four dozen or so projects aimed at developing advanced batteries and other components will receive federal monies.
Brian Anderson, president and CEO of the Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce, writes about our Free Enterprise Campaign:
By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
With most members of Congress back in their home districts for the August recess, now is an ideal time for citizens to personally lobby them on key issues and to participate in town hall meetings and other issue-related community events.
The Chamber's Bill Kovacs says the current climate change bill would create layers of regulation and drive up costs.
The climate change bill currently being pushed through Congress will cause a significant amount of pain for American businesses and will kill jobs while making little to no difference on global carbon dioxide concentrations, according to a U.S. Chamber official.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he has reached an agreement with the White House and the Department of Energy to provide no funding to support the license application of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.
If that’s accurate, it would be a misguided and premature decision that would have an impact on the 121 sites in 39 states that currently store nuclear waste.
Some may remember the old country song “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” Something similar is happening in Washington today—politicians are looking for recovery in all the wrong places, namely, more government programs and spending. Instead, they should look to small businesses, which have led us out of the last seven recessions and create 60% to 80% of net new jobs.
Esquire gives out their Dubious Achievement Awards at the end of the year, but it appears that the U.S. House of Representatives has a lock on "worst piece of legislation ever." But which "worst" will walk away with the prize? Will it be health care?
A few selections from the Politico's Arena debate today:
The impact of economic and regulatory uncertainty on offshore wind projects, from the Washington Post:
Last month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released a national assessment of demand response that estimates the potential for demand response, both nationally and for each state, through 2019. The assessment, A National Assessment of Demand Response Potential, finds the potential for peak electricity demand reductions across the country is between 38 gigawatts (GW) and 188 GW, up to 20 percent of national peak demand, depending on how extensively demand response is applied.
It is hard for me to take seriously the most rabid "rapid and total destruction of all living things" climate crowd when they ignore the one existing technology which could be deployed quickly and in quantity. Thus I would like to share this piece today from Senator Lamar Alexander appearing in the American Spectator. In he lays out the destination, which few disagree with, and then the path:
Just imagine that in 2020 the United States is known as a critical energy exporter, a reliable supplier of carbon-neutral electricity technologies and a corporate innovator with planned projects worldwide.
The Wall Street Journal took a look Friday at California's climate-change leadership. The article fairly defines the state:
As reported by the American Gas Association, the U.S. natural gas resource base is larger than previously estimated, with 1,525 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in total natural gas resources as of the end of 2006—the equivalent of 82 years of production at current rates, according to a biennial report on long-range supplies of natural gas released June 18 by the Potential Gas Committee (PGC), Colorado School of Mines.
By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The "most important environmental and energy legislation in our nation's history," passed Friday by a margin of point zero zero nine percent -- no one's definition of consensus (see the 'Yeas'). Despite the best intentions of its sponsors and backers, it is a seriously flawed piece of legislation. Some quotes:
As previously posted the Chamber strongly supports comprehensive legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases while providing for a strong American economy -- instead we got an unrealistic approach that could further harm the economy and shed American jobs.
Selects from coverage of H.R. 2454 - the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Learn More - Take Action:
As I posted earlier, today we petitioned the EPA for an "on the record" formal hearing, before a neutral party, to openly review the data the agency is using to justify its endangerment proposal. If this is the greatest issue of day*, we surely need overwhelming transparency on the science. So what do we have now? Bill Kovacs explains below -- our comments, the petition, and supporting documentation are here.
As Dow Jones Newswires reports, today the U.S. Chamber will:
Christopher Guith talks below about the importance of nuclear power and how it must be part of our nation's energy plan. Learn more at the Institute for 21st Century Energy.
In case you missed it it, John Tierney on Roger Pielke on climate change:
One of the things the business community has been working on in Bonn and in earlier U.N. climate meetings is to get a more formal voice for business in negotiations leading up to December's climate conference in Copenhagen. No one expects that business groups will be sitting around the negotiating table anytime soon--that's not our role. But business does believe it can play a constructive role in finding solutions and pointing out the shortcomings in some of the proposals that are being discussed.
What are you willing to pay to make a statement on global warming? Does $1,600 a year sound about right? That’s what the Congressional Budget Office says it would cost a typical household to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 15 percent. The goal of H.R. 2454, the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009," is more ambitious.
The European Union (EU) and Norway are increasing cooperation to commercialize carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology by handing out upward of 140 million Euros to support European CCS projects and exploring the possibility of storing CO2 in the North Sea.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently issued a cost estimate for the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), which was recently approved by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. This legislation would make a number of changes in energy and environmental policies largely aimed at reducing emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.
The good news: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) researchers are developing technologies that in the future will help produce new commercial buildings that use 80% less energy than today’s buildings. More here.
Stephen Eule, the Energy Institute's Vice President for Climate and Technology, offers an update on negotiations at the UN climate change talks currently going on in Bonn, Germany. Stephen is representing the Institute in Bonn and is part of the U.S. Chamber's delegation to the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this coming December.
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has published Incentives to Sustain forest Ecosystem Services – A Review and Lessons for REDD. REDD is an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. A detailed UNFCCC web site deals with REDD.
Joe Mateo from Magnus Environmental in Delaware, talks about a having a rough winter and creating a new product line in cleaner fuels. His best tip, keep on trying, think new, think different.
One of the lazier debating tactics is the "if you are not for X, you are against Y" argument. The Chamber has been a frequent target for this type of attack around the Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill and I am sure that we will being seeing it again as health reform moves forward.
A report out of the Reuters Global Energy Summit last week on Administration plans to curb tax expensing of drilling costs:
Recent developments in drilling technology have given exploration and production companies the tools needed to tap vast reserves on natural gas locked up in shale formations. Experts estimate those supplies are enough to meet the U.S. demand for 100 years...
Congressional Research Service (CRS) environmental policy analyst Jonathan Ramseur has written The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns. Ramseur notes:
This week, UN climate change negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany for the first official round of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. The goal of these discussions is to come up with a climate change agreement that can be approved in Copenhagen this December. As part of these meetings, the UN released draft negotiation language which encourages, among other things, a reliance on patent pools as a way of sharing technologies.
Bloomberg has an article about how the Chamber has begun court action to challenge state cap-and-trade programs that sell pollution rights at auction even as Congress works on a national plan that gives most permits to industry for free. The article says the Chamber is urging a New York judge to strike down the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate program in the Northeast that has raised more than $260 million through carbon dioxide permit auctions. From the article:
Measuring what matters. That's the goal behind a new initiative here at City of Issaquah, which is a 2009 Siemens Sustainable Community program honoree.
Called the "Sustainability Sounding Board," a group of community leaders appointed by Issaquah's mayor, recently unveiled its long-term vision for a sustainable Issaquah, as well as recommendations for how the community can begin to measure its progress toward that goal.
Most policymakers agree that nuclear energy, a clean energy source, must become a bigger part of the nation's energy mix to meet environmental goals. But determining where to store nuclear waste is proving to be a significant obstacle to increased production.
A new report by the U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy urges the Obama Administration to find an acceptable site for a permanent repository for nuclear waste as part of a long-term comprehensive energy strategy.
The U.S. must reduce its dependency on carbon-based fuels–the question is how. Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century, addressed this issue in a debate last month sponsored by the Miller Center of Public Affairs and PBS. The debate will air on local PBS affiliates throughout June.
The U.S. Chamber is fighting an administration decision to move toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions under existing air pollution laws, an action the Chamber says would kill jobs, increase energy prices, and significantly impair the nation's economic recovery.
The U.S. Chamber took the rare step of filing a petition for a formal, on-the-record hearing with the Environmental Protection Agency over an agency finding that greenhouse gases represent a danger to public health and welfare.
U.S. Chamber Highlights Growing Problem
Special interest groups and local governments have blocked production and delivery of much-needed new energy—even clean energy. Go to www.projectnoproject.com to learn more.
Green Path North Renewable Electricity Transmission Line—California
PROJECT TYPE: Transmission line
By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber's Karen Harbert says the energy bill passed out of a Senate committee is a positive step towards creating energy security and jobs while improving the environment.
The Washington, DC-based think tank, Resources For the Future (RFF) has re-launched its Weathervane website, which has been a source of climate information and data for more than ten years, as an interactive blog. The restructured site will draw on the expertise and perspective of researchers at RFF as well as input from other climate authorities. The site also includes links to a library of RFF climate and energy publications.
Yesterday, the Institute for 21st Century Energy released a new report that calls for a permanent solution for America’s nuclear waste. The report, titled Revisiting America’s Nuclear Waste Policy, gives a historical overview of the policy decisions that have thus far left us with a $22 billion fund to collect and store used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste—but no actual permanent repository to store it.
From a six passenger plane, I gazed over the rainforest canopy through white clouds and sunlight to see gray rain in the distance not far from where we would soon be landing. My colleagues and I were speechless at this vision of an endangered landscape.
A keynote luncheon presentation was given by the Honorable Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Technologies Committee (ETC) meeting held May 13, 2009. Wellinghoff discussed FERC regulatory activities related to grid modernization and commented on challenges and opportunities related to making progress in development of the smart grid and facilitating the deployment of renewable energy technologies through transmission grid expansion and modernization.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has posted the negotiating text document that was prepared by the Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) in response to the request from the AWG-LCA at its third session.
by Brad Peck
Resources For the Future (RFF) analysts Harrison Fell and Richard Morgenstern have produced an RFF Discussion Paper titled, Alternative Approaches to Cost Containment in a Cap-and-Trade System (RFF DP 09-14). In the report, they compare how a set of policies performs in terms of reaching an expected cumulative emissions target over 2012–2050. Their approach takes account of emissions abatement cost uncertainties.
A quick look at the CBO's report How CBO Estimates the costs of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The report describes the methodology CBO uses to estimate the costs of mitigating emissions. According to the agency:
There’s a lot happening on the energy front … The Obama administration plans to order auto makers to increase CAFÉ standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2016, four years faster than current federal law requires. The move is part of a broader overhaul of fuel economy rules aimed at cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and creating a federal standard that can be harmonized with California’s rule.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have published a report titled Near-Term Implications of a Ban on New Coal-Fired Power Plants in the United States. Proposals for many new coal-fired U.S. power plants have been canceled; some states have prohibited such new generators. The Carnegie Mellon researchers examined effects on the U.S. electric power system of banning the construction of coal-fired electricity generators, which has been proposed as a means to reduce U.S. CO2 emissions.
Chamber veteran Suzanne Clark, currently President of the National Journal Group, led a group of current Chamber experts in a discussion of legislative priorities for our small business owners. On the panel were Carol Hallett, Randy Johnson, and Bill Kovacs talking about infrastructure, labor, and the environment respectively. Suzanne gave them each three minutes to open.
Our Small Business Summit attendees are swarming Capitol Hill and I am getting caught up to my notes, but first some breaking news. Bill Kovacs mentioned during a session this morning a White House document revealed today which warns the EPA of "the wide-ranging -- and potentially economically harmful -- consequences of an agency finding last month that proposes declaring greenhouse gases are a danger to the public."
As Roll Call reported this morning, on Friday it was announced that from now on only natural gas will be used for heating U.S. Capitol buildings and water.
As prospects for cap-and-trade hit major road bumps in Congress, a report from environmental marketing firm ecoAmerica, that was accidentally released to the press, thinks it knows why -- the term "global warming" is turning people off. It fosters images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice, and complex scientific disputes.
Researchers associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change have published Prospects for Plug-in Hybrid electric Vehicles in the United States and Japan: A General Equilibrium Analysis (Report No. 172, April 2009). An abstract of the report indicates:
The U.S. Chamber has launched a new effort to protect the intellectual property of U.S. companies that develop green technology.
The Chamber is a leading member of the Innovation, Development and Employment Alliance (IDEA), a new group aimed at blocking efforts to allow developing countries to break patents and gain free access to clean energy technologies. Access to new technology is part of the negotiations on a United Nations climate change agreement. A final agreement on reducing greenhouse gases is expected to be unveiled in Copenhagen in December.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, speaking at the U.S. Chamber on May 13, agrees that the nation needs to develop all of its energy resources—including oil, gas, and nuclear power.
As an industry, aviation has led the charge in reaching new levels of fuel-efficiency, striving to develop lighter plane bodies and prioritizing the creation of greenhouse gas-reducing engines. Despite these commitments, the aviation industry would face a significant challenge continuing to invest in greener technologies under certain "cap-and-trade" legislative proposals. At the 8th annual Aviation Summit on April 29th, distinguished industry representatives will gather to discuss just how aviation is leading the
Ahead of Congressional action on proposed cap and trade legislation, Charles River Associates today released a study, commissioned by the Coalition for Affordable Ame
Small businesses are used to complying with burdensome, costly, and complicated regulations. Like death and taxes, they are impossible to avoid! But now we may be on the verge of the mother of all regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set in motion a process that could result in federal regulation of the entire economy. If this was to happen, it would destroy jobs, undermine economic growth, and threaten America’s energy security.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has published the findings from a detailed modeling analysis of how cuts in greenhouse gas emissions might influence impacts such as melting of arctic ice and sea level rise.
Bill Kovacs, the Chamber's vice president of Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs, in batting cleanup today in testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. His complete testimony is available here. Before heading up to the Hill, he released this statement:
"Everybody agrees that tomorrow's electrical grid must incorporate wind and solar power seamlessly. But solving the reliability issue won't be easy," Dan Charles in Science (sub req'd)
Earth Day is a fun day and NEI Nuclear Notes had a little fun with "No Earth Day for Nuclear Energy," my favorite line:
We hang our heads in shame. Nothing to offer the earth – blue skies – crystal waters – frolicsome woodland creatures. Nothing to offer. We stand alone – shoulders drooped, hands in pockets, tears leaking from burgundy eyes.
A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) analyst claims that the European Union is "cheating" the world on climate change. As reported on EurActiv's Climate Change web site page, Stefan Singer, director for global energy policy at WWF, claims that the European Union is playing "tricks on the atmosphere" when it claims it will reduce its emissions by 20% by 2020. In an interview with EurActiv, Singer explained how he had calculated that the EU's own domestic emissions reduction will only amount to "4 to 5%".
Pete Du Pont goes "Outside the Box" in the Wall Street Journal:
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today made a proposed finding that the combined emissions of six greenhouse gases cause or contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare. Although the EPA did not attach regulations to the finding, taking such action could lead to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act of 1990, which could jeopardize construction projects and limit the nation’s domestic energy production.
With the EPA set to "formally declare carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that for the first time will regulate the gases blamed for global warming" here is Bill Kovacs, talking about what needs to happen to get "green energy" into the system to replace fossil fuels. The video is from a press conference yesterday on
I must admit that I was a little concerned when I read Energy Secretary Steven Chu's response to Fareed Zakaria question "Do you feel like the political struggle is your biggest challenge?" in an interview on energy and climate change.
How can this be? Some environmental activists and their Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) allies—who should be the strongest "green" energy supporters of all—are using every resource at their disposal to block, delay, or cancel clean energy projects. They have organized local opposition, changed zoning laws, opposed permits, filed lawsuits, and bled projects dry of their financing. Call it "green tape" bureaucracy. Their efforts are undermining job creation and slowing the adoption of environmentally friendly energy technologies.
The administration is taking some flack over the president's new science adviser characterizing global warming as so severe a problem we should consider geoengineering the climate – perhaps shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. “It's got to be looked at," said John Holdren. "We don't have the luxury of taking any approach off the table … [global warming is like being] in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog."
We have always believed that honesty is the best policy when it comes to addressing climate change, hiding the costs to hood-wink the public will only doom any chance of energy sustainability and security. The New York Times’ Tom Friedman wrote on this very topic today, saying that the Obama administration is barking up the wrong tree with cap-and-trade:
While some may not be especially happy about it, coal is an integral part of America’s electricity mix and will play a significant role in our energy future. Our nation currently receives half of our electricity from coal—making it by far the largest single source of electricity.
The Chamber's Bruce Josten discusses the economic impact of climate change proposals during an April 28 press conference.
President Obama's plan to cap greenhouse gas emissions would eliminate 3 million jobs by 2030 and cost more than $2,100 per U.S. household, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber-led Coalition for Affordable American Energy.
The Chamber's Bill Kovacs calls for an international climate change treaty during testimony before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on April 24.
A House bill aimed at fighting global warming would impose a multitrillion dollar tax on businesses and increase energy prices without reducing the overall amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, according to a U.S. Chamber official.
The U.S. Chamber's Karen Harbert makes the case for offshore energy exploration before a House committee.
The U.S. Chamber has vowed to fight an administration decision to move towards regulating greenhouse gas emissions under existing air pollution laws, an action the Chamber says would kill jobs, increase energy prices, and significantly impair the nation's economic recovery.
U.S. Chamber's Competitiveness Agenda—A Series
Chamber Pushes Comprehensive Energy Policy
As part of our ongoing series, we examine the nation's need to grow and diversify its energy supply while taking steps to protect the environment in ways that don't curtail economic growth and eliminate jobs.
The Challenge—Business at Risk
By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
I grow old...I grow old...this past weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the partial meltdown in the core of one of the two reactors on Three Mile Island outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In a minute there was time for decisions and revisions which took three decades to reverse. As we measure out our lives in tons of CO2 it appears that the public and the industry, are about ready to move on:
As the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today holds another in their series of hearings to examine our energy challenges (this one to discuss improving industrial efficiency), it seems like a good time to take a step back and look at how Congress will proceed on energy and climate issues this year. Some Congressional leaders and
Warning received via email:
An item of interest today for energy insiders and loan guarantee applicants out of the U.S. Department of Energy:
In the lunch hour today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has signed a conditional agreement with Fremont, California-based Solyndra, Inc. for a $535 million loan guarantee for the construction of a commercial-scale solar panel manufacturing plant.
The Washington Post ran a story in December, which we posted on, about the role Californians plan to play in creating a new order in Washington. My favorite quote was from Senator Boxer: "It's like the EPA has been asleep for eight years. The Californians are coming to wake the sleeping beauty."
The AIG bonuses continue to make headlines. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Senate Democrat Chris Dodd suggested some novel ways of dealing with the bonuses. Dodd floated the idea of imposing a very limited tax aimed narrowly at the recipients of the bonuses to get some of the money back.
As President Obama prepares to meet with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva tomorrow in Washington, the Brazil-U.S. Business Council is urging the two leaders --as reflected in this coalition letter to President Obama-- to commit to strengthening the trade and investment relationship by concluding a bilateral tax treaty (BTT).
Many are eagerly awaiting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held in Copenhagen in December. The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy is gearing up for the conference and will be representing American businesses in Denmark.
10 Mar 2009 - The IEA welcomed senior executives from over 25 energy companies and a number of industry associations to the first meeting of the IEA Energy Business Council (EBC). The purpose of the gathering was to create a forum for representatives from business to participate in and contribute to discussions of current energy-related challenges. (International Energy Agency)
- Kashkari Warns Against Government Micromanaging Banks - Wait for it...
- Banks start giving back - bingo
- Why are they doing this? - on D.C. vouchers
There was a big rally on Wall Street yesterday with the Dow surging nearly 380 points. Investors were pleasantly surprised by Citigroup’s announcement that it was profitable so far this year. They were also buoyed by a suggestion from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank that the SEC may reinstate the uptick rule and by a speech from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke calling for a comprehensive plan to right the financial system.
According to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) yesterday, public transportation ridership is at its highest level in 52 years. Unfortunately, this peak in ridership is not complemented by commensurate public investment. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently "awarded" U.S.