The Business Council of Alabama and its national partners are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily halted the Environmental Protection Agency’s draconian regulation that threatened industrial growth and jobs.
The court 5-4 on Tuesday stayed the EPA’s carbon rule in a move that could delay the rule’s implementation until after a new president takes office in January. Business groups in 26 states including Alabama had challenged the Obama administration rule that did not go through Congress.
“The EPA rule is a dangerous precedent not only for governing but it also would have draconian effects on the price of energy for businesses and families and directly increase energy prices to cover the cost of compliance,” said BCA President and CEO William J. Canary. “Alabama’s relatively inexpensive energy costs would take a huge hit and would directly affect our ability to compete in the national and international manufacturing arena, not to mention maintain and grow our jobs.”
Unless it’s stopped, the EPA rule will require power plants to reduce their carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels. The rule is a direct assault on the use of coal to make electricity and would severely cripple Alabama’s relatively inexpensive energy production. Utilities would have to substitute coal with unreliable and expensive wind and solar power.
“The EPA’s rule would put the government in control of our energy choices, drive up electricity costs for American businesses, consumers and families, impose tens of billions of dollars in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness,” said Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Staying this rule is the right decision.”
Manufacturers, which use one-third of the nation’s energy, welcomed the court’s decision. Stopping the rule would save manufacturers “from billions of dollars in unjustly incurred regulatory costs,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
“Manufacturers’ leadership in the courts helped secure this important victory at the Supreme Court,” Timmons said. “The administration’s burdensome and costly regulation creates uncertainty, threatening our global competitiveness and ability to create jobs and economic opportunity.”
The BCA is the exclusive Alabama partner of the NAM and the U.S. Chamber. Click here to learn more about how this regulation will impact manufacturers.
The court’s four liberal justices dissented from the decision that strikes at the heart of President Obama’s climate change agenda.
The court stayed the EPA’s plan while industry and state lawsuits move forward and it can be further reviewed and appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the main court hearing the states’ challenge, refused to block the rule in January, prompting the appeal to the nation’s highest court.
U.S. Chamber Endorses Rep. Martha Roby
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday endorsed Alabama Second District U.S. Rep. Martha Roby in her 2016 reelection bid. Rob Engstrom, the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice president, Political Affairs and Federation Relations, National Political Director, endorsed Roby, R-Montgomery, at the BCA’s office.
“We are proud to be in Alabama with local business leaders to endorse Rep. Martha Roby,” Engstrom said. “Martha is a rock-solid conservative with a 91 percent rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. So, on behalf of the millions of members and employees of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, I am proud to be in Montgomery to endorse our friend.”
Roby said she appreciated the endorsement. “When the chamber goes to bat for its member businesses, it also going to bat for the jobs that people in Alabama depend on for their families,” she said.
“I look forward to making even more progress next year, God willing, with a more conservative president,” Roby said. “I won’t play politics with policies that affect jobs, whether it’s against military cuts or supporting the farm bill, or efforts to gut Medicare. I’m going to always put Alabama first.”
BCA President and CEO William J. Canary said the BCA was “very proud” to endorse Roby on Jan. 28.
“Over the years we have witnessed your faith and passion an integrity that simply epitomizes your leadership,” Canary said. “Leadership demands courage, courage to take stands to be out front, and courage to marshal others, and courage to change the status quo in America.”
Engstrom said that Roby’s 91 percent pro-business rating from the chamber is “the highest rating in the Alabama delegation.”
“She values the free enterprise system, she supports the highway bill – this is the table top of the American economy,” Engstrom said. “She helped lead the charge against the president’s environmental extremist agenda pushing back against the clean power plan … and helped Alabama farmers push back against the Waters of the United States act that continues to attack America’s job creators in unprecedented form and fashion.”
In Case You Missed It
Manufacturing Adds More Than $2.1 Trillion to the Economy
The National Association of Manufacturers has updated its manufacturing economic impact report to reflect the latest numbers.
“In the most recent data, manufacturers contributed $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy. This figure has risen since the second quarter of 2009, when manufacturers contributed $1.70 trillion. Over that same time frame, value-added output from durable goods manufacturing grew from $0.86 trillion to $1.17 trillion, with nondurable goods output up from $0.84 trillion to $0.99 trillion.
“For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.40 is added to the economy. That is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. The vast majority of manufacturing firms in the United States are quite small. In the most recent data, there were 256,363 firms in the manufacturing sector, with all but 3,626 firms considered to be small (e.g., having fewer than 500 employees). In fact, three-quarters of these firms have fewer than 20 employees.
“There are 12.33 million manufacturing workers in the United States, accounting for 9 percent of the workforce. In addition, manufacturing supports an estimated 18.5 million jobs in the United States-about one in six private-sector jobs.
“In 2014, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $79,553 annually, including pay and benefits. The average worker in all industries earned $64,204. Looking specifically at wages, the average manufacturing worker earned $25.19 per hour, according to the latest figures, not including benefits.”