It was good to hear the president talk about the importance of U.S. manufacturing in a city renowned for its industrial heritage (“Obama Speaks in Pittsburgh About Tech, Jobs,” June 18). But it would have been far better to hear him advance policies that will actually strengthen manufacturing.
Instead, we hear administration officials advance costly regulations like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. By forcing the most affordable energy sources out of the system and replacing them with costlier ones, the EPA will impose significantly higher energy costs on manufacturing states. That would include states like Pennsylvania, whose affordable power has helped to sustain manufacturing and where coal supports more than 73,000 high-wage jobs.
The president might also reform the abysmally slow and redundant federal permit process that raises costs for U.S. manufacturers. Multiple agencies spend up to a decade reviewing permits, discouraging investment and keeping minerals and energy in the ground. Timelier permit decisions would bring energy and mineral resources to market sooner, keeping our industries competitive and manufacturing jobs here in the United States.
The president has used his executive powers liberally. He can use them to strengthen U.S manufacturing, too.
President and CEO
National Mining Association