Subcommittee Takes a Critical First Step To Boost American Manufacturing and Create Jobs

May 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), today approved a discussion draft of the Promoting New Manufacturing Act by a bipartisan vote of 14 to 8. As a key component of the committee’s effort to build the Architecture of Abundance, this legislation takes a critical step toward cutting red tape, supporting our country’s manufacturing renaissance, and creating thousands of high-paying jobs for hard-working Americans. The legislation facilitates the construction of new factories by increasing transparency and promoting more timely issuance of permits required under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) preconstruction permitting program.

Whitfield commented, “In the first quarter of this year Gross Domestic Product increased by one tenth of one percent; very anemic. We have been sputtering along with our economy for some time, and we must do everything we can to expedite the permitting process. The chemicals industry alone has proposed 177 new projects that continue to be put on hold because of federal red tape, which can be attributed to President Obama’s EPA. This President continues to say one thing, and then allows his administration to do another. We need to create jobs, and one way to do this is by promoting manufacturing. I agree that we must have a ‘can do’ attitude as Obama said last week, but we must have ‘can do’ opportunities for the American people and the spirit of this country.”

“The potential for manufacturing jobs to help turn around the economy has never been greater, but unfortunately the regulatory challenges have also never been greater,” said Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “In his State of the Union address, President Obama spoke of the potential for low natural gas prices to spark new factory construction, but he also warned of the red tape that needs to be cut before this can happen. I believe the Promoting New Manufacturing Act is what the president had in mind.”

As amended, the Promoting New Manufacturing Act will improve the permitting process for new U.S. factories and expansions by:

  • Increasing transparency by requiring EPA to publish agency’s estimates of the total number of major NSR preconstruction permits issued annually, the percentage of permits issued within one year of submittal of a completed application, and the average time for administrative appeals;
  • Requiring EPA to provide timely guidance when the agency issues new standards affecting the permitting process so businesses understand how to comply; and
  • Directing EPA to provide an annual report to Congress highlighting the actions the agency is taking to expedite the permitting process.