National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) president John Engler on March 25 said the “Restoring America’s Manufacturing Leadership Through Energy Efficiency Act of 2009” (S. 661) is “a welcome bi-partisan approach to one of our most daunting challenges – developing new energy technologies to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.”
The legislation, sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), is designed to help revitalize the nation’s industrial base and increase industrial energy productivity by:
· Establishing financing mechanisms for both small and large manufacturers to adopt advanced energy efficient production technologies and processes, which will allow them to be more productive and less fuel dependent, cutting costs instead of jobs.
· Using industry-led partnerships to identify breakthrough technologies to reduce energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation will offer competitive grants to industry and small businesses to encourage development and deployment of energy efficient technologies.
· Expanding the number and expertise of the Industrial Research and Assessment Centers to better meet the needs of small and medium manufacturers. The bill also provides for workforce training through paid internships at the Industrial Research and Assessment Centers where students will work with manufacturers on energy efficient technologies.
“The NAM has long supported these efforts through our Memorandum of Understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency and work with industry leaders,” Engler said. “Providing opportunities for manufacturers to adopt more energy efficient equipment and processes will help us achieve greater energy independence, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions.
“This legislation reflects an enlightened understanding that shifting away from our dependence on fossil fuels will require a major commitment to energy efficiency and innovation,” Engler said. “Manufacturing can and will take the lead in this critical effort.”
S. 661 will be considered as part of the comprehensive energy legislation that the Senate Energy Committee expects to start marking up next week.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation’s largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.