Manufacturing Savvy

Energy Bill Full of Holes Says Industry Associations

While they like parts of the Kerry-Lieberman Bill, The American Materials Manufacturing Alliance says that there are major gaps that need to be filled in.

The American Materials Manufacturing Alliance is a group of energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries (EITEs) that includes The Aluminum Assoc., the American Chemistry Council, the American Forest & Paper Assoc., the American Iron and Steel Institute, The Fertilizer Institute and Portland Cement Assoc. The group points out that the bill is missing is a way to ensure "the global competitiveness of EITEs and the retention of American jobs."

While the Alliance is happy that funds are being allocated for energy efficiency and for clean energy technologies such as renewables, carbon capture and storage and nuclear power, they want to see a major boost in funding.

"The bill also does not address increased energy costs: cost containment is key to preventing the transfer of U.S. manufacturing production and jobs to more carbon-intensive developing nations, known as 'carbon leakage.'"

Carbon leakage occurs when there is an increase in carbon dioxide emissions in one country as a result of an emissions reduction by a second country with a strict climate policy.

They are disappointed that the bill doesn't create a single national program for regulating greenhouse gases (GHGs). "Instead of fully pre-empting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation of GHGs under the Clean Air Act, the bill preempts regulation only under specific sections, and only for 'covered' stationary sources."

What bothers them is that there is no uniformity which they feel will lead to delays in investments. And it's these investments that 'could help drive economic recovery, add U.S. jobs and expand energy efficiency and clean energy technology. '

They also don't like the 15% allocation for EITEs pointing out that a 'sufficient and stable pool of allowances is essential to our long-term competitiveness.' The concern is that will be an 'arbitrary selection of beneficiaries and losers within covered sectors,' which will result in an unequal playing field which leads to the aforementioned carbon leakage.

And to bring home their point, the associations emphasizes the "industrial sector is the only sector of the U.S. economy whose GHG emissions are falling."

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