Business Leaders Urge Attention to Sen. Brown's Clean Energy Manufacturing Competitiveness Provisions

Letter Urges Support for Investments in American Manufacturing, Creation of Clean Energy Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Executives from nearly 20 large manufacturing companies today wrote to Sen. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in support of manufacturing provisions in clean energy legislation that create jobs and improve American competiveness. The group of manufacturing business leaders expressed their support for a package of manufacturing competiveness provisions that should be included in clean energy legislation, as outlined in a letter led by Sen. Brown that was signed by ten senators last week.

The businesses leaders wrote: "Legislation must maintain and improve American manufacturing competiveness while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and we must exercise great care not to inadvertently cause carbon leakage-the phenomenon by which production and pollution move to countries without comparable greenhouse-gas regulations."

"Our companies will continue our active involvement, and, again, we commend the efforts represented by the letter from Senator Brown and his colleagues," the letter concluded.

Ohio-based companies that signed the letter include: AK Steel, Cliffs Natural Resources, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, NewPage Corp., Owens-Corning, Owens -Illinois, and EPCOR Foundries. The letter follows last week's climate change letter from Sen. Brown and a group of nine other industrial-state senators to Sens. Kerry, Lieberman and Graham. The senators' letter outlined essential provisions necessary for clean energy legislation that strengthens American manufacturing competiveness, creates new opportunities for clean energy jobs, and creates a level playing field for domestic manufacturers.

"We must not allow our nation to become dependent on foreign clean energy industries or squander the opportunity to compete successfully in the global clean energy marketplace," Brown and the other senators wrote last week. "A strong manufacturing base is crucial if the United States is to build the clean energy technologies of the future and achieve energy independence."

In response to the Brown's letter, Eric Burkland, President of the Ohio Manufacturers Association, said "The Ohio Manufacturers' Association appreciates the focus that Senator Brown has brought to manufacturing in the clean energy and carbon regulation debate. A focus not just on creating manufacturing jobs related to new products, but also one of protecting the competitiveness of existing manufacturing. Ohio manufacturers are already in the supply chain for the products of tomorrow, be they solar panels, windmills, or nuclear generation. The right balance of interests can help keep Ohio's - and America's - manufacturing jobs here while we develop the products of the future. Senator Brown's recent letter on April 15th to Sens. Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman, sets the right prerequisites for consideration of any clean energy and carbon reduction legislation."

Recently described as "Congress' leading proponent of American manufacturing," Brown has been working to establish a national manufacturing policy to drive economic development and spur the clean energy revolution. This month, he announced his support for the Home Star Energy Retrofits Program. This legislation would help lower energy costs for consumers, while creating new demand for Ohio-manufactured products and putting people back to work through home energy retrofits. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Brown held a series of hearings examining ways to rebuild U.S. manufacturing and strengthen our nation's middle class. Brown authored the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act, which would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small and mid-sized manufacturers transition to the clean energy economy through retooling.


Full text of the CEO's letter can be found below:

April 23, 2010

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
S-221 Capitol Building
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Reid:

Each of our companies has its own views on energy and climate legislation; each of our industries faces unique challenges; and each of our companies has worked on the relevant issues in various forums and through various associations. However, we have also been working on a consistent, principled, multi-industry approach to the "carbon leakage" issue through the Energy-Intensive Manufacturers' Working Group on Greenhouse-Gas Regulation.

As you know, energy-intensive and trade-exposed manufacturing and industrial companies present special challenges with respect to comprehensive clean energy legislation. Such legislation must maintain and improve American manufacturing competiveness while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and we must exercise great care not to inadvertently cause carbon leakage-the phenomenon by which production and pollution move to countries without comparable greenhouse-gas regulations.

We support the principles of and are encouraged by the April 15th letter authored by Senators Brown, Stabenow, Levin, Casey, Specter, Warner, McCaskill, Bayh, Hagan and Byrd, all of whom have shown an understanding of the leakage issue and concern for maintaining a level playing field for energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries. We are confident that these senators will help fashion legislation that preserves American manufacturing competitiveness and American jobs. We greatly appreciate their efforts and their leadership and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them.

You are well aware of the conditions we must express with respect to our position on complex, multi-faceted legislation that is still in a formative stage. Our final judgment will depend on the final bill as a whole. While each of us does not necessarily endorse each and every aspect of the ten-senator letter, we believe that the provisions outlined in it generally provide a very promising structure for the maintenance of American manufacturing competiveness and a level playing field for our companies. This is a significant advance.

Our companies will continue our active involvement, and, again, we commend the efforts represented by the letter from Senator Brown and his colleagues.

Sincerely,

James L. Wainscott, Chairman, President,and CEO                         

AK Steel Corporation

                                                                         

Bernard Terver, President and CEO

Holcim (US) Inc.

Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO                                                 

Alcoa, Inc.           

                                                                               

Mark Suwyn, Chairman

NewPage Corporation

Louis Schorsch, Executive Vice-President                                         

CEO, Flat Carbon Americas ArcelorMittal

                                       

Michael H. Thaman, Chairman and CEO

Owens Corning

 

Joseph A. Carrabba, Chairman, President,                                       

and CEO Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc.                                            

Albert P.L. Stroucken, Chairman and CEO

Owens-Illinois

 

Peter Volanakis, President and COO                                                

Corning Incorporated                                                                        

William J. Doyle, President and CEO

PotashCorp

 

Andrew N. Liveris, President and CEO                                          

PPG Industries                                                                           

Charles E. (Chuck) Bunch, Chairman and CEO

The Dow Chemical Company

 

Kenneth Seilkop, CEO                              

Epcor Foundry                                                                           

Preston Chiaro, Group Executive for

Technology and Innovation Rio Tinto

 

Pierre Brondeau, President and CEO                                            

FMC Corporation                                                                        

William L. Jasper, President and CEO

Unifi, Inc.

 

Curt Andersson, President                                                         

North American Tire                                                                  

Peter H. Williams, President and CEO

Washington Mills Group, Inc.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company                                           

                                                                                               

Daniel S. Fulton, President and CEO                                                                                             

Weyerhaeuser Company

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