Recently, Pew Research released results to a new poll that showed a majority (66%) of Americans spanning across the country and across party lines want to see Keystone XL built.
Do you agree?
Recently, Pew Research released results to a new poll that showed a majority (66%) of Americans spanning across the country and across party lines want to see Keystone XL built.
We asked and you answered.
We recently opened a survey to our grassroots Friends to get your input on how we're doing and what we can do to serve your interestes better. Thanks to everyone who already participated. This survey is a great chance to make your voice heard, and will play a big role during the key debates over the national debt, balancing the budget, and taxes that will impact our country for years to come.
If you haven't participated, please click here to let your voice be heard. We would love to have your input before the survey closes.
Here are a few things we've learned so far:
- 96% believe that the Free Enterprise system has the best solutions to lead the economic recovery
- 85% oppose Obamacare
- 71% belive spending and economic uncertainty are the biggest challenges to overcome
- 92% of you said that Washington has a spending problem.
By now we're sure you’ve heard about last weekend’s anti-Keystone XL Pipeline protest in Washington, D.C. where diehard environmentalist braved the February chill to oppose the creation of 250,000 jobs, a new revenue source for government, and energy independence that would boost our national security.
Obviously that’s not how they’d characterize it. In their view, the Keystone XL pipeline threatens the environment, despite numerous studies showing otherwise.
Last month, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed off on a new route for the pipeline through his state after an exhaustive look at the environmental impact, and 53 U.S. Senators signed a letter to President Obama that urged him to approve the pipeline immediately. As the letter stated, “We urge you to choose jobs, economic development and American energy security,” adding that Keystone “has gone through the most exhaustive environmental scrutiny of any pipeline” in U.S. history.
In response to the protests, even the editors at USA Today editorial team echoed the Senators’ call for swift approval, saying:
“Much of the opposition to Keystone has come from critics who say running a big pipeline through the heart of the USA is too risky. Haven't they noticed that tens of thousands of miles of oil pipelines already crisscross the United States? As long as the nation's quarter-billion vehicles rely almost exclusively on gasoline and diesel, pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to move it.”
It’s time to stop clogging America’s pathway towards more jobs, more revenue, and more energy independence with false arguments. Join us in urging the president to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline and click here to send him an email today.
Thank you for your support in 2012 on a number of key economic issues and for helping making 2012 a year to remember as we celebrated our 100 year anniversary.
As we look ahead to 2013, we looking forward to partnering with you on key legislative priorities that will strengthen our economy, create jobs, and ensure growth for generations to come.
What are your top issues in the coming year? Leave a comment and let us know which of these are a priority for you and why.
- Tax and Spending Reform
- Health Care
The 113th Congress will not be without challenges, but with you as an active member of our grassroots team we can be sure that American enterprise has a voice in advocating for a bright economic future.
Wishing you a very happy New Year.
Does the foundation of America’s economic future lie right beneath our feet — and off our shores?
It’s starting to look that way, as experts and economists continue to point out the real potential of America’s domestic energy resources.
As U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue told a group of reporters this week:
“Energy development is an extraordinary opportunity for America on many levels. It will help our economy achieve a stable and inexpensive supply of energy, which would help bring more manufacturing back to the United States. It will help our economy grow and create new jobs both domestically and through a higher level of exports. It will create a larger tax base, higher revenues and direct royalties, all of which will make our deficits lower and reduce debt levels. And, it will bolster our national security and reduce our dependence on unfriendly or risky suppliers.”
And, as Tom points out, a comprehensive energy policy should be the “third bucket” of addressing our country’s deficit and debts. While the conversation has focused on spending and taxes, the U.S. Chamber believes boosting energy production will also help our economy grow and bring in a new source of revenue to help pay down our debt..
Tom’s contentions are backed up a number of reports released in recent weeks, including:
- A comprehensive new study co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy that shows shale energy development has created 1.75 million jobs over the past few years alone. By 2015, shale and unconventional energy will be responsible for 2.5 million jobs; by 2020, 3 million, and by 2035, 3.5 million.
- An International Energy Agency study showing that the U.S. will become the world's top oil producer by the end of the decade, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia. The report says that new technologies like tapping natural has through hydraulic fracturing are reaching new reserves of oil in the U.S. and could cut imports by half in the next decade.
- An American Petroleum Institute found that by 2018 another million jobs could be created by encouraging the development of new and existing North American oil and gas, as well as building the Keystone XL pipeline. Doing these things could also add hundreds of billions of dollars over time to federal, state, and local tax coffers.
- The New York Times reporting that "increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become 'all but self-sufficient' in meeting its energy needs in about two decades - a 'dramatic reversal of the trend' in most developed countries.’"
- The Wall Street Journal reporting that, “rising use of natural gas for electric power generation could help cut carbon emissions without the use of regulations” and their editorial board writes about this new “energy revolution” but warns the “biggest potential threat” to this revolution “may come from federal regulation.”
Developing our domestic energy sources is a real opportunity to bolster our economy and, if policies are enacted to develop resources, could serve as the third bucket in developing solutions for our country’s fiscal problems.
With “Big Deal” negotiations underway, now is the time for leaders in Washington to empower this energy revolution and remove regulatory barriers that strangle energy projects from taking place.
Within the next week, the U.S. Senate will likely vote on S.J. Res 37, a Resolution of Disapproval of the EPA’s job-killing Utility MACT rule. This is likely the last chance we have to derail this centerpiece of the EPA regulatory overreach that is already costing American jobs, while further preventing the economic recovery our nation still craves.
Earlier this month, we told you about the significant costs that the EPA’s Utility MACT rule is already imposing upon electric utilities and electric consumers – like you and me – across our nation.
In advance of the rule’s start date, more than 25,000 megawatts of affordable coal generation will be retired due to EPA air rules for electric power plants. That's enough lost generation to furnish electricity for more than 22 million households. Tens of thousands of workers could lose their jobs and millions of consumers will be paying higher electricity bills as a result of the EPA’s overbearing regulations.
Well, another week brings more bad news for jobs, affordable energy, and the basic need for a reliable electric supply to support economic development. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which oversees America’s electric grid, now projects that interruptions in electric service may occur in both Southern California and Texas this summer. In addition, New England is subject to proactive measures in an attempt to maintain reliable electric service in that region. Now is NOT the time to turn off more generation when we are already running short.
We need your help NOW to prevent the EPA from turning potential electricity shortages today into power outages – and higher electricity rates – tomorrow.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been highlighting some of the ads that make up the U.S. Chamber’s landmark, multi-state voter education program.
Elections have consequences. And November’s elections will have enormous consequences for job creation and our economy. We need to be sure that we’re electing representatives who will support common-sense pro-jobs and pro-business policies that will get our struggling economy growing again.
Before voters go to the polls, we think it’s important for them to know how elected officials voted on policies that support free enterprise, and those that choose big government instead.
Today, we profile three fighters for jobs and free enterprise — Sen. Dick Luger, Rep. Frank Guinta, and Linda Lingle.
Indiana: Sen. Dick Lugar
The Keystone XL Pipeline wouldn’t just be a huge step towards securing America’s energy future and reducing our dependence on unfriendly foreign sources of oil, allowing the Keystone XL project would also create 20,000 immediate new American jobs, and tens of thousands of more indirect jobs created from the pipeline’s construction. That’s why Sen. Dick Lugar stood up to President Obama when the president blocked its construction.
Hoosiers have a pro-job, pro-growth advocate in the Senate, fighting for new energy jobs for Indiana.
New Hampshire: Rep. Frank Guinta
Few pieces of legislation will have as disastrous effects on our economy and on job creation as the sweeping mandates, penalties and taxes inclided ObamaCare. That’s why Rep. Frank Guinta is fighting against the landmark 2010 health care overhaul and to repeal the most burdensome provisions on New Hampshire businesses.
Frank Guinta knows that it’s American free enterprise
—not the heavy hand of government—that will get our economy roaring again.
Hawaii: Linda Lingle
America’s tourism industry employs 7.4 million people and generates more than $700 billion in revenue each year. In Hawaii, Linda Lingle has been a bi-partisan leader for expanding tourism and putting out the welcome mat for people to visit and enjoy all that the United States has to offer.
Linda Lingle knows that promoting greater tourism will create new jobs and help grow Hawaii’s and America’s economy.
You can click here to view all of the ads in our voter education program, and be sure to leave us a comment here and let us know what you think of these candidates!
While Healthcare has taken center stage over the past few days — it’s also been quite a week for the future of America’s energy security.
First, we learned that the federal courts rebuked the EPA three different times for exceeding its authority—including one case where EPA retroactively revoked a properly secured permit for a coal mining company in West Virginia.
Then, the EPA announced a new rule that will restrict greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in a way that effectively places a ban on new, conventional coal-fired power plants in the future.
Collectively, these EPA actions (even those struck down by the courts) could have the impact of killing American jobs, spiking energy costs, and threatening the electricity grid on which our country runs.
At the same time, the Administration continues to stick to its decision not to allow full construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and a moratorium remains in place that prevents us from tapping the vast energy resources off America’s shores.
All of this comes at a time of when gas prices continue to rise.
Fortunately, some recent public opinion surveys show that the American people “get it” when it comes to energy policy. One recent Rasmussen Reports survey shows that a strong majority (58%) of Americans say that free market competition is better than regulations at controlling gas prices.
The American people clearly want an “all of the above” energy strategy. Unfortunately, the Administration’s approach has proved itself as more of a “some of the above” plan, with increases in regulation and restrictive actions taking place over the past few weeks.
As uncertainty and higher prices continue to cloud our energy future, it will become increasingly important that the Administration listens to what the American people want.
Leave a comment to tell us what energy initiative you support to create jobs, keep America on the front lines of competitiveness, and secure our nation’s energy future.
Gas prices are soaring, and pain at the pump is forcing the White House to talk energy policy.
Unfortunately, the White House’s “energy progress report” released on Monday, shows the administration continues to get it wrong when it comes to increasing domestic energy sources and developing a comprehensive energy policy that will create American jobs and decrease foreign dependence.
According to Politico:
The U.S. has made significant advances in the year since President Barack Obama outlined an ambitious strategy for improving energy security, according to a White House progress report out Monday…
The progress report touts numbers indicating that domestic oil and natural gas production is enjoying a boom time.
[They stressed] that the Keystone rejection was because of concerns about the pipeline's route within Nebraska and a short deadline imposed by Republicans. They also lauded the portion of the pipeline, from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Port Arthur, Texas, that is moving forward.
Let’s check the facts:
- Recent increases in domestic production of oil and natural gas are due to policies that were put in place before the Obama Administration and increased production on private and state lands.
- At the same time, Energy Secretary Steven Chu stated before a House of Representatives committee that his department's mission is not about addressing high energy prices. This is not terribly surprising considering that Secretary Chu once stated that he wanted to “boost” gasoline prices to Europe's levels and wean Americans off of fossil fuels.
- While blaming Republicans for its rejection, the Administration forgot to mention that the Keystone XL was in its fourth year of review when the Obama Administration rejected it.
- It’s also worth remembering that the Obama administration ignored its own Council on Jobs & Competitiveness report, which explicitly recommended expanding domestic oil and gas production to provide American energy, along with constructing new pipelines to increase oil delivery and create American jobs.
- And finally, the Administration’s solution to sky-rocketing gas prices is to raise taxes on the oil and gas industry, which history tells us will only lead to more imports. Instead they should focus on actual solutions like tapping onshore and offshore lands that are currently blocked for exploration, removing job-killing regulations from the EPA and turning rhetoric into reality by developing a diverse energy strategy.
What the Administration is touting as progress is actually a major step backwards for American energy policy.
Read the Chamber’s plan to make American energy the next big thing by taking advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create jobs, grow the economy, cut the deficit, and reduce foreign dependence. The Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy is working to find real solutions to our energy challenges that will create jobs and help our economy
With the potential to create hundreds of thousands of American jobs, we deserve more than political rhetoric – it’s time to start demanding it.
If you watched President Obama's State of the Union address tuesday night, you heard him talk much about the need for developing new sources of energy. The word energy itself appeared 23 times in the speech as the President, highlighting the need to boost merica's role in developing new sources of energy to secure America's energy future.
His actions on Keystone simply don't jibe with this statement from last night's address:
"This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – a strategy that's cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs."
So why, then, did he reject the Keystone XL?
Keystone stood ready to create 20,000 American jobs immediately, with tens of thousands more jobs that would have been created as a byproduct of the economic activity produced by it. Approving Keystone would have paved the way to importing oil safely procured from Canada's oil sands, strengthening our relationship with our friend and ally to the north. Canada is already the biggest seller of oil to the United States, and this comes without out the uncertainty of dealing with the tumultuous Middle East region. Keystone would grow this mutually beneficial relationship.
If President Obama really believes in what he said in the State of the Union, it only makes it all that more confounding that his administration would block the Keystone project as they did last week.
In denying approval of the Keystone XL project, President Obama is ignoring the recommendations of his own Jobs Council, which proposed:
"[P]olicies that facilitate the safe, thoughtful and timely development of pipeline, transmission and distribution projects are necessary to facilitate the delivery of America’s fuel and electricity and maintain the reliability of our nation’s energy system."
That's the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Both President Obama and his Jobs Council say we need an “all-of-the-above” strategy for energy production that also produces job creation.
Apparently, "all of the above" means everything except Keystone.
It’s fitting that on the same day that the Huffington Post ran this story about high gas prices “taking a bite out of” family budgets this holiday season, The Hill carries this story about 2012 being a year of legislative battles over energy and environmental issues.
Let’s hope those 2012 battles result in a comprehensive energy strategy that allows us to tap more of our vast homegrown energy resources.
Here are some energy and environmental issues on which you can take action right now:
- Urge the President to Delay the Utility MACT Rule
- Help Slow the EPA’s Runaway Regulations
- Urge the President to Move Forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline
Columnist Sol Sanders takes to the Washington Times opinion page to cut through the politics and various legislative proposals to get to the heart of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s “huge potential”:
Keystone’s importance lies in its contribution to what should be a longer-term U.S. energy strategy, a consideration often missing in the current heated partisan debate.
You can read his full commentary piece here.
As the President tours the country to promote the American Jobs Act, he’s overlooked one key issue that can create millions of jobs and increase government revenue to lower the deficit: Domestic energy production.
Currently, the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will carry oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico would provide access to North American energy and create an estimated 250,000 American jobs in the long-term.
The U.S. Chamber is taking the lead in ensuring this important project is authorized by utilizing the Administration’s recently launched “We the People” site. Marketed by the White House as a “tool [that] provides you with a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country,” we’re petitioning the President and State Department to approve this project immediately and in doing so, creating hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
If a petition receives 5,000 signatures in 30 days, the issue will receive a response from the Administration, and in this case, the nation attention the XL Pipeline deserves.
As the petition says:
One of the best ways to immediately create American jobs and generate revenue is to tap into North American energy resources. The Keystone XL Pipeline is awaiting the President’s approval in the form of a Presidential Permit. The Pipeline would create 250,000 jobs in the long-term by connecting a secure and growing supply of Canadian oil with the largest refining centers in the U.S. With the unemployment rate at 9.2%, we must harness every job creation opportunity and get Americans back to work. Immediate approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline would do just that by creating thousands of American jobs. I encourage the President to support this important job creating measure and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The Keystone XL Pipeline would allow us greater access to North American oil, providing us with a more stable, reliable supply of energy.
This means more affordable energy to power our homes, our cars and our businesses. It would also help stem our growing reliance on imported oil from countries that don’t share America’s best interests.
…and let’s not forget about those 250,000 jobs.
It’s time to support a direct pipeline to jobs. Is the White House listening? Help us reach 5,000 signatures in the next 30 days by signing on now.
Crossposted from Chamberpost
When it comes to energy, there's a lot we can learn from some of our global competitors.
- Brazil isn't holding itself back. It's wasting no time developing recently discovered oil and natural gas offshore, as well as on land.
- China continues to lock up new resources by negotiating deals all over the world.
- Canada is getting it right. By developing its oil sands it's on the path of becoming the second-largest oil producer in the world.
In contrast, what does the United States do? We lock up our domestic resources robbing ourselves of economic growth and more jobs. In a speech in Banff, Alberta, Canada today, Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue told the Global Business Forum:
Some 97% of federal offshore lands and 94% of federal onshore lands remain unleased.
What are we denying ourselves? All told, onshore federal lands contain 24 billion barrels of oil—and that’s just the beginning. The United States is believed to have more than 2 trillion barrels equivalent of oil shale and oil sands resources—more than the total proven global reserves of conventional oil.
The Outer Continental Shelf of the United States is estimated to contain enough natural gas to meet all domestic industrial and commercial needs for almost 30 years.
We are the Saudi Arabia of coal—it’s cheap and abundant, and technology is helping to make it cleaner every day.
A new generation of nuclear power plants could provide enormous amounts of energy with no greenhouse gas emissions—and more safely than ever before. Nuclear is a very important part of our energy mix … and it should be a larger part, too.
Instead of producing this energy for sale at home and abroad, creating jobs, generating government revenues, cutting into deficits, and strengthening our national security, we are diddling and dawdling and twiddling our thumbs.
Donohue said what is keeping us from developing more domestic energy is "a vast web of complex and Byzantine regulations, the threat of lawsuits, and endless delays that repel financing."
Jobs and economic growth require energy. By locking away our domestic energy resources, the United States is shooting itself in the foot, forgoing jobs and a stronger economy and falling further behind our global competitors
Enough talk about jobs – we need action.
When Congress returns to Washington they can’t afford a return to business as usual. We need leadership, we need real change, and we need it now so we can reassure the markets and grow jobs.
The debt deal was a first step – but at this point we need more than good intentions. We need to overhaul our tax code, cut spending, repeal burdensome regulations that get in the way and enact a long-term solution to deal with the deficit.
With Congress out of the office, contact your members on their Facebook pages. Post on their pages: five real actions Congress can take to create jobs now.
1. Unlock our domestic energy resources
2. speed-up permitting and remove regulatory roadblocks for small businesses
3. Green-light transportation and energy infrastructure projects
4. Ratify pending free trade agreements
5. Boost American tourism, revenue and jobs by revising visa and travel policies
Facebook is used for a lot of things. Let’s use it to generate some good ideas about how to get our country back to work and solve our fiscal crisis.
With rising unemployment and unsustainable debt, America’s small businesses certainly aren’t celebrating lately.
According to columnist Mona Charen, who writes in National Review , policies enacted during the past few years have served to punish — rather than reward — success by American businesses:
Employers do not know how much each new hire will cost under the new health-care regime. Nor can they estimate how the 129 new boards, commissions, and agencies will affect the business world. Meanwhile, the EPA is regulating carbon dioxide as an air pollutant. The National Labor Relations Board is attempting to prevent the Boeing Corporation from opening a new plant in South Carolina ... the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (created by the Dodd-Frank law) is practically freezing small-business lending."
We sincerely hope that the adiministration shifts gears to start embracing pro-growth policies that will put Americans back to work and back on the track to fiscal solvency.
Vote now, and leave a comment on what policies should take priority in order to reignite our economy, and encourage the growth of American small businesses.
In her 1983 book, Sudden Death, the author Rita Mae Brown wrote what is now a oft-used quotation: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."
Now, by that definition, we are hardly able to affix the label of "fiscal sanity" to the prescriptions currently being prescribed for America's economic ills.
What they have tried hasn't worked. Yet, in the wake of last week's dismal jobs reports, some politicians are calling for more of the same.
More obstacles to domestic energy production.
It hasn't worked. The jobs report proves it. So why would they want to keep doing it "over and over again" but expect different results?
What we need to do is trying something different. Something new.
Last Sunday on This Week with Christian Amanpour, U.S. Chamber Chief Economist Marty Regalia said it best when he asserted that policymakers in D.C. are "trying to boost the economy in fits and starts" when they have to realize that "the economy is broad and diverse and what the government has to do is get out of the way."
Imagine that. Big government getting out of the let America's job creators flourish.
Now, that would be certainly be a change in the direction of fiscal sanity.
As over 500 representatives of small business gathered together last week in D.C. for America’s Small Business Summit, their presence quickly confirmed what we have always believed; there certainly is no shortage of challenges facing our country’s small business owners. However, some issues pose greater threats than others to these job creators.
One of the highlights of the last week’s three-day summit was a panel where small business owners heard directly from U.S. Chamber executives on three such key issues impacting the future of their businesses, and the communities in which they operate: gas prices, taxes and lawsuit abuse.
The attendees heard firsthand what is going on now, and what to expect next. Here is where we stand on these issues — and how you can get involved to make a difference:
Gas Prices — The U.S. Chamber is fighting hard to ensure passage of three complimentary energy bills that would expand domestic energy production to create American jobs, ensure stable energy supply, and bring skyrocketing energy prices under control. These bills have passed the House, but face a tough audience in the Senate. America’s small businesses can’t afford further delay while jobs are being lost, and our ability to access affordable, reliable energy is blocked.
Taxes — The U.S. Chamber is at the forefront of the debate for common sense budget solutions that deal with our Nation’s long-term debt crisis, while empowering our job creators to grow and hire new workers. Unfortunately, the President’s most recent budget — and his deficit reduction proposal — would rely heavily on tax increases on small business owners.
We oppose the President’s approach, and will support only serious proposals that will reduce our deficit without raising taxes on small businesses.
Lawsuit Reform — Lawsuit abuse is a drain on American employers, large and small. That’s why the U.S. Chamber is fighting for realistic lawsuit reforms that balance the legal system to ensure a fair playing field for American small businesses— instead of a stacked deck in favor of opportunistic trial lawyers.
Right now, we are focused on passing H.R. 5 — the “HEALTH” Act — that would enact vital medical liability reforms that protect our health care providers from abusive lawsuits, and take a bite out of skyrocketing health care costs. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, these reforms could also save American taxpayers more than $40 billion over the next decade. Please click here to email Congress to urge them to pass H.R. 5.
Of Course, these are only three of the wide array of issues we are working on each and every day.
We urge you to visit our Friends of the U.S. Chamber Action Page to learn more about the issues important to you — and how you can take action today.
There is a troubling wind that has blown into Washington, carrying with it the notion that the best way to fix our economy is by punishing those who turn a profit and create new jobs.
Self-defeating? Yes. The path to prosperity? No.
Take, for example, the Senate vote earlier this week to increase taxes on producers of domestic energy. Do they really think that making it tougher for these American companies to survive is going to lead to lower gas prices? Thankfully, that measure was rejected.
Or how about the National Labor Relations Board punishing Boeing (and, more importantly, the people of South Carolina) by demanding that the company halt all construction on a nearly complete manufacturing plant in Charleston that has already created more than one thousand jobs through construction alone.
Then there’s the notion being promoted by some politicians that we should fix the deficit by slapping punitive tax hikes on those Americans who are most likely to run and own their own small businesses. These hard-working Americans are the ones who have created more than 60% of the new jobs in this country over the past decade. They need our help, not our punishment.
Now, of course, is the pending proposal by the White House to force all American companies who compete for federal government contracts to disclose all political contributions in excess of $5,000. This raises red flags of “pay to play” politics, and many employers are fearful that they will be punished merely for exercising their Constitutional right to participate in the political process.
American businesses — large and small — aren’t the the enemy. They’re our future.
Right now, they don’t need to be punished. They need as much support as they can get to recover, succeed and start hiring more workers.
This past week the House of Representatives passed a series of three bills, seeking to expedite and expand offshore drilling through H.R.1229, Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, and H.R.1231, Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act, introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
All bills passed with flying colors in the House, in some cases gaining over three dozen votes from the minority party. However, there have been some pretty harsh predictions of what the bills will face as they move along into the Senate, including the consensus that they are “dead on arrival.”
In an interesting twist, some in Washington are now countering the House’s increased drilling solution with the proposal to remove tax credits to the industry that provides us with American energy sources.
High prices at the pump, less jobs and less American independence, now higher taxes on energy producers? That doesn’t seem to add up.
The impact from delayed permits and drilling bans is real. Not only are jobs being lost, but flawed policies are limiting our access to affordable, reliable energy.
Failure change our current course will lead to more of the same: high gas prices, increased uncertainty, and stagnant unemployment – things that American’s can’t ignore.
We won’t ignore what’s happening either; stay tuned. We will continue to bring you the play-by-play on the road to America’s energy independence.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives easily passed H.R. 1230 the “Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act,” which will kick start pending drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia which were previously delayed or canceled due to last year’s BP Oil Spill. The bill gained bipartisan support, with a 266-149 vote count. H.R. 1230 was one of three pieces of legislation proposed by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, aimed to end the de facto moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration and help create tens of thousands of jobs.
While all three pieces of legislation should easily breeze through the house, they have little hope of survival in the democratically run Senate. Still, Rep Hastings continues to fight for their advancement and hammer home the message that the impact that the stalling of domestic oil and gas production will have on continually rising gas prices. He reported to Politico that the votes will, “’send a strong signal to the world markets that the U.S. is serious’ about expanding its production.”
Energy Prices? Jobs? Deficit? Check, check and check!
Here at the U.S. Chamber, our business is jobs.
And, you don’t have to read a public opinion poll to know that jobs joins rising energy prices and the federal deficit crisis as the three top issues on voters minds these days.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some legislation that dealt with all three issues at one time?
Consider your wish granted. The House is set to vote today on two bills — H.R. 1229 and H.R. 1230 — aimed at increasing energy production and creating American jobs.
H.R. 1229 would help put residents of the Gulf Coast back to work through offshore drilling, and H.R. 1230 would enable the U.S. to produce more domestic energy in areas barred for energy production under government moratoria.
And, as The Hill reports, H.R. 1230 would also help reduce our federal deficit:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Friday released an estimate that said H.R. 1230, the "Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act," would bring in an estimated $40 million in revenues over the next decade, and would cost just $2 million to implement.
More energy production and jobs. Lower deficit and energy prices.
Sounds like a win-win to us.
The headline is a quote from small business owner Phil Kennedy, who runs his family’s business, Comanche Lumber Company, in Lawton, Oklahoma. Kennedy participated with Bill Miller, U.S. Chamber senior vice president of Political Affairs and Federation Relations, and Marty Regalia, senior vice president of Economic Policy and chief economist, on a conference call today to release the results of the Chamber’s inaugural Small Business Outlook Survey—a nationwide survey of 900 small business owners.
According to the survey, 55% of respondents cited economic uncertainty as their greatest hiring obstacle, and 35% said Washington uncertainty impacted growth. Thirty-five percent cited too little revenue as their greatest obstacle. Seventy percent of respondents said they do not plan to hire new employees next year, and 9% will continue layoffs. Here are a few other notable results:
- Two of the top issues of concern are America’s debt and the health care law. Eighty percent of respondents said America’s debt and deficit have a negative impact on their business, and 72% said the health care law has made hiring more difficult.
- Small businesses want Washington to get out of the way. In a commanding majority, 79% of respondents said they want more certainty, and only 14% said they want more government assistance.
- By a 73% to 17% margin, respondents said that the climate of the last two years has hindered their growth. Respondents were split in how they view the next two years, with 38% believing the climate will improve, 37% believing that it will worsen, and the remainder uncertain
Here’s more of what Kennedy, the small business owner, had to say:
The last 3 years have been some of the most challenging times I’ve faced in business. All of the findings in this survey mirror our own experiences, from hiring freezes because of the implementation of the new health care law and employer mandates, to uncertainty over whether it’s in our best interest to invest and hire.
My biggest concern is the lack of understanding Washington has of small business. The U.S. Chamber is leading the fight to remove the obstacles, and I appreciate their effort to listen to small businesses and carry the message to the Hill.
Ever wonder what other small businesses are saying about the economy, legislative climate, and their own company’s future? We do too – and so we asked.
This afternoon, we will be rolling out our inaugural Small Business Outlook Survey results, with the key findings from our nationwide survey of small business owners.
The call will be held with U.S. Chamber members; however, we are opening it to the public by streaming the call live on Facebook today at 3:00 pm ET. When you ‘like’ the U.S. Chamber’s Facebook page, you’ll gain access to the call and hear what small businesses are saying and what we’re doing to be their voice in Washington.
These results will serve as the foundation for the Chamber's grassroots efforts this summer, kicking off with America's Small Business Summit 2011, being held May 23-25.
I ecourage you to join the conversation submitting your questions using the hash tag #WhatBizSays on Twitter. Policy experts will be standing by to respond.
Typically reserved for U.S. Chamber members, we are opening today’s call to all interested parties because the voice of business needs to be heard far and wide. Log-on to Facebook at 3:00 p.m. ET to hear what they’re saying.
Did you or did you not take JOBS into account Mr. Stanislaus?
EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus has a pretty tough time answering a Congressman’s simple question about whether the EPA’s regulations take into account their impact on American jobs:
Thanks to those of you who both attended Townhalls while your members of Congress were home and shared what’s being said, what’s going on, and how you're involved.
From everything to small business owners forced to lay off employees because of increasing energy costs and attack ads against members of Congress willing to stand up to the EPA’s unilateral regulation of greenhouse gases – we heard a wide range of important issues.
One of the common concerns was over raising gas prices – an issue we will continue to weigh in on in the days ahead. At the U.S. Chamber, we recognize that increasing domestic drilling is one of the easiest and quickest fixes to this impending crisis. Urge your members of Congress to stop the de facto drilling moratorium and do more to increase access to domestic resources.
To hear more about what our allies across the country are hearing, read the full responses below.
From my conversations with contractors, non-profit organizations, city, county and state officials, everyone is worried about current issues in the economy and understand there needs to be something done to curb the national debt. The price of fuel has already caused loss of disposable income. This in turn means that they are going to focus on essentials of life, food, roof over their head, which has taken a major hit in value, getting to and from work. …We have neglected our infrastructure for so long that it now cost millions more to correct the neglect and short sightedness on our roads and designs for the future transportation needs. Taking steps to rehabilitate distressed properties should continue. It prevents loss of property values for other properties and it puts people to work who in turn pay taxes instead of drawing on taxes for the unemployed. I believe these renovations should require them to incorporate better energy efficiency, which in turn will reduce our needs for foreign oil and safeguard our environment into the future and allow our lower income person(s) to have affordable housing. Every time the cost of fuel goes up, I loose in profit. I have already had to let 3 persons go or reduce their hours. This will likely continue unless the housing and building industry turns around.
- Greg, Cambridge, MN
Something needs to be done about the ridiculous fuel prices! The hard working common person cannot afford the impending $5.00 per gallon price and its repercussions! We need our government to step in to stop the price hike or our country will no longer flourish as we know it now. I personally am strapped financially and this puts a major burden on my finances. I need to go to work... but can't afford the fuel! A vicious cycle... Help! – Laurie, Pennsburg, PA
Anyone who votes to NOT raise the debt limit and to put this nation in default will jeopardize my entire life-savings, my stocks and bonds and everything I have worked like a dog for all my life. That could change Obama's slow recovery directly into a great depression with 30% unemployment and a great deal of suffering for a generation. I could NEVER forgive anyone who did that. – Richard, Denver, CO
Fred Upton is my representative and, because of his chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he is being bombarded in print, radio and TV for "gutting the Clean Air Act." College students are going house-to-house with petitions that enable signers to indicate their disapproval of Fred supporting "dirty air" legislation. And Fred usually finds protesters awaiting his arrival at publicized public meetings. I attended five meetings in the last three days where Fred was present. He handled himself very well, responding to questions. He seems to be getting used to having a target on his chest. Unfortunately, I did not take my camera to any of these sessions. One meeting was hosted by the Kalamazoo Chamber and featured Fred along with one of your energy experts, Karen Harbert.
– John, West Scotts, MI
[My Congressman]praised unions, bashed efforts in Columbus, Ohio to reduce public union bargaining powers and said unions work in the public and private sectors. – Tim, New Carlisle, OH
Senator Tom Cole (Oklahoma) held a town meeting in Moore, OK. He gave us an update on what's going on in DC. Various citizens asked questions regarding the economy, gas prices, Real Estate, Veterans' care, our growing national debt among other items. He was very informative and pledged to keep fighting for better days for our great nation. – Victor, Oklahoma City
Three U.S. Chamber executives are participating in a Bloggers Briefing today at 12 P.M. EST, as we host the event at our Washington headquarters. The briefing will highlight what major legislative dilemmas we are facing in terms of health care, energy, and labor policies. U.S. Chamber’s executive VP for Government affairs, Bruce Josten, will be joined by colleagues Bill Kovacs and Randy Johnson to weigh in on the decisions that unaccountable federal agencies are making what the Chamber is doing to restore balance to the regulatory process
I will be checking in to report post-briefing, but in the meantime follow along on Twitter and participate by sending questions and comments and including #TBB in your tweets.
This week the U.S. Chamber released its fifth study in the series of weekly Cases for Regulatory Reform. This week’s case will examine the unprecedented power of the EPA and the agency’s exploding ability power, which is stifling job creation and economic growth. The size and scope of the EPA has recently faced scrutiny, with many recognizing the dangerous impact of the regulating carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Last week, the Energy Tax Protection Act, aimed at limiting the EPA’s scope, passed in the House and will soon be introduced in the Senate. In addition to Congress’ specific EPA measures, the House and Senate have introduced the "Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS)" bills, comprehensive legislation that will ensure all new regulations are approved by Congress and that we have a voice in the debate.