This morning the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy released a new platform for energy reform, “Energy Works for US” (there’s a pun there). The plan is indeed a “revolution,” as the US Chamber is calling it, because it includes 64 policy and regulatory recommendations in nine key areas of energy concern that address that energy in the United States poses significant challenges and opportunities for businesses. Removing barriers to domestic energy sources; maintaining coal’s role as a vital part of a diverse energy portfolio; ensuring a competitive energy workforce; and reforming the regulatory process for balance, predictability, and transparency are just four areas that “Energy Works for US” includes. Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the US Chamber, says it in a nutshell: “America now has the opportunity to become an energy superpower, but our national energy policy is stuck in the past. The platform will allow us to realize our full potential.”
This is great news for Ohio, especially in regards to removing barriers to increased domestic oil and natural gas production and fuel manufacturing. Linda Woggon, Executive VP at the Ohio Chamber, talked about the Utica shale play in her video spot during the unveiling. “Today, manufacturing businesses represent more than 17% of our state’s economy and support nearly 700,000 jobs, but none of this is possible without abundant, reliable and affordable energy,” stated Woggon. “That’s why we’re so excited about the Utica shale play in eastern Ohio. Our state is now becoming a major producer of the energy we need to fuel our growing economy.” She goes on to note that there has been over $7 billion invested or committed for Utica projects which has created thousands of jobs and valuable contracts for state businesses.
Bottom line? Ohio has had success by making domestic energy more accessible for manufacturers in our state. Now we have to show at the federal level that government can work for us, not against us, with responsive and responsible energy policies and regulations.