“Our focus is this: we want to have economic growth in the innovation era” — Chairman Upton
HAPPENING NOW: The Subcommittees on Energy and Power and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade are holding a joint hearing on “A Competitive Edge for American Manufacturing: Abundant American Energy.” The hearing is exploring how new technologies and innovation are unlocking domestic energy resources and helping to revive American manufacturing and bring high-paying jobs back to America.
Just hours before the hearing, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) addressed hundreds of manufacturers from across the country gathered for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2013 Manufacturing Summit. Upton highlighted how America’s changing energy landscape is helping to create more manufacturing jobs at home and making American businesses more competitive. “We now have a whole different theme on energy and that is because we have these abundant resources,” said Upton. “We can actually now talk about exports and talk about reducing the cost of operating your business, and in fact, we can be more competitive with the rest of the world as we work to create the good jobs that we want to have here.”
While the U.S. is attracting jobs and new investment, other countries are struggling to keep up as a result of their higher energy costs. TIME magazine featured a cover story in April titled, “How ‘Made in the USA’ is Making a Comeback,” which noted that, “U.S. factories increasingly have access to cheap energy thanks to oil and gas from the shale boom. For companies outside the U.S., it’s the opposite: high global oil prices translate into costlier fuel for ships and planes — which means some labor savings from low-cost plants in China evaporate when the goods are shipped thousands of miles.” Increasingly, these companies are looking to locate their manufacturing in the United States to remain competitive. For example, according to the Wall Street Journal, Alok Industries, which runs textile mills, is planning to open its first mill in the United States “in an effort to save money on energy costs.”
While the American energy boom is good news for American manufacturing, it is critical we have the right policies in place that will allow U.S. energy development to continue and encourage our nation of builders to thrive. Describing the committee’s work to support a manufacturing resurgence, Chairman Upton said, “Our focus is this: we want to have economic growth in the innovation era, we want to foster new ways of using our nation’s abundant domestic resources, we want to modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure that includes an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy… and we want to promote new manufacturing and economic activity.”
To learn more about how American energy innovation is helping to power a manufacturing renaissance, tune in to today’s hearing to hear firsthand from manufacturing executives who are seeking to capitalize on America’s newfound abundance of affordable and reliable energy supplies.
Note: Witness testimony, a Majority Memorandum, and a live webcast are available here.