It's the Environment, Stupid.

Monday, March 26, 2007

National Association of Manufacturers - a Green Wash?

Normally I'm pro-business and am constantly advocating for the environment and economy to live happily ever after, but I was a little skeptical after reading this news brief from Environmental Leader, "NAM Wants Balance Between Environment and Economic Growth".

NAM is the National Association of Manufacturers and they've just submitted comments to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding their thoughts about climate change policy. The NAM press release on the matter states:

The NAM advised leadership to find a balance between protecting our environment and continuing to grow our economy... NAM recommended that any climate change proposals must be flexible, global in scope, pre-empt state climate laws, transparent, considerate of our economy and viewed in context of an overall energy policy. Additionally, any proposal that does not anticipate global participation will be doomed to simply transfer the emissions from one country to another. Moreover, the NAM explained that climate change policy should be viewed in the larger context of an energy policy.

This statement obviously is a dig at the whole developing-nations- must-also-pull-their-weight-or-we're-not-going-to-play-either argument (in line with the current White House mantra on climate change policy).

However, upon reading through NAM's Energy Security for American Competitiveness Legislative Proposal there really is no goal at environmental protection, but rather to preserve the nation's right to cheap and readily available energy.

They call for greater participation and integration of the Department of Energy through partnerships with educational institutions and the DOE national laboratory. (This could be a good thing.) They also call for an extension of the R&D tax credit (good thing) and an evaluation/analysis of existing regulations to determine their energy effectiveness (good thing).

The proposal also calls for the extension of tax credits for renewable power sources and incentives for wind and solar farms (good) and suggests that the government expedite coal leases, expedite approval for new nuclear plants, approve drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and increase offshore oil exploration (not so good, really not good, and not so enviro friendly).

Unfortunately, while I see their point and need for cheap electricity to supply the manufacturing industry, the lights are blinking GREEN WASHING on this proposal. They know that climate change/global warming and enviro concerns are a hot button right now and they're spinning appropriately - but clearly their focus is not on anything but convincing the feds to keep energy prices cheap.


  • See this little essay I wrote recently for some charts of our current consumption of energy and what the US government is projecting for the year 2030. Fossil fuel use is highlighted.

    It's just amazing how little the scale of the problem is appreciated. We all want cheap energy, but the actual cost in terms of carbon emissions alone will be paid by future generations, many of them.

    I only recently began reading your (excellent) blog, so if this is old news please forgive me.

    By Blogger Trinifar, at 18:24  

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