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Manufacturers to Congress: We Need Effective Climate Solutions, Must Unleash Innovation

In testimony today before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change hearing, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Energy and Resources Policy Vice President Ross Eisenberg urged Congress to adopt a single, unified climate policy that does not include litigation because, as he noted, suing the manufacturers that provide us with energy does not solve the problem of climate change.

Eisenberg also called for unleashing innovation, emphasizing the critical role it plays in reducing manufacturing’s carbon footprint and highlighting the significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions domestic manufacturers have achieved over the past decade as a result. As he told the committee, “We all agree innovation is the key here. Please give us the tools to do it.”  Moving forward, he offered additional near-term actions that lawmakers and the Trump Administration could undertake to accelerate manufacturers’ progress in reducing emissions.

Here are some key highlights from his testimony:

  • “In the eyes of America’s manufacturers, it’s time to act on climate—and the real question for policymakers now should not be whether to act on climate but how to do so effectively.”
  • “Innovation is and will always be the key to reducing the carbon intensity of these [energy intensive] sectors.”
  • “Over the past decade, manufacturers in the U.S. have reduced the carbon footprint of our products by 21 percent while increasing our value to the economy by 18 percent.”
  • A single, unified climate policy “…must be a holistic replacement for the current patchwork of federal, state and local laws and regulations that address climate change, and it must displace current and future climate liability suits (which make a lot of noise but do not actually solve the problem).”
  • “Commercialize and deploy carbon capture, utilization and storage technology.”
  • “Scale up investment in public- and private-sector energy and water efficiency.”

Manufacturers must be part of the climate change conversation if we expect to make any significant impact on this global challenge. They are already doing their part in reducing emissions and stand ready to work collaboratively with lawmakers on environmental policies that encourage and further the innovative technologies already in place. Climate lawsuits which hinder that progress and do little to move us closer to our goal of a cleaner environment, have no place in that conversation.