Keystone XL pipeline rejection to damage job creation
Last week, the Obama Administration rejected a bid by Canadian energy company TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline, a $7 billion oil pipeline linking the tar sands of Alberta to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
Almost 1,000 U.S. companies in 47 states are suppliers of materials, equipment or services to support Canadian oil sands production. According to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, the development of oil sands in Canada will have an economic impact leading to more than 342,000 new American jobs in the next five years and add $34 billion to U.S. gross domestic product in 2015. The infrastructure to transport Canadian oil to the U.S. will also mean more tax revenue for state and local governments to fund critical services.
“The president’s rejection of the Keystone XL project is a serious blow to job creation and a major setback to energy security,” said National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers are critical to the American economy and use one-third of our nation’s energy supply. Consistent and affordable energy is critical to their ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.”
The Obama Administration has been delaying the construction of the pipeline since 2008, even though the administration has exhaustively reviewed the environmental impact of the pipeline, concluding that no significant risks stand in the way of constructing it.
EPA delays Boiler MACT regulations until May
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy has said that final Boiler MACT regulations won’t be issued until May. The Boiler MACT regulations have been creating a great amount of uncertainty for manufacturers and will cost jobs.
EPA released the revised proposed rules on Dec. 2. Two weeks ago, a judge removed the EPA’s stay on the original rules finalized in early 2011.
The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners estimates that the revised rules will put 232,078 jobs at risk and cost more than $14.5 billion in compliance costs.
Business up at S.C. ports in 2011
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) closed calendar year 2011 with volume increases across business segments, concluding a year highlighted by progress on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, record big ship traffic and the completion of major capital improvements.
In results announced last week at the SCPA’s regular meeting, December saw a slight increase in Charleston’s box volume, with a 2.4 percent uptick in container traffic. Charleston handled 109,472 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, compared to 106,866 TEUs in December 2010. Despite continued weakness in the economy, container volume for calendar year 2011 was up 1.2 percent from 2010.
Midway through the fiscal year that began July 1, container traffic is off slightly, with volume down less than one-third of one percent from the same six-month period last year.
"We are continuing to experience a flat economic environment here in the U.S.,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCPA.
Industry analysts predict continued weakness in retail imports until spring while exports, particularly agricultural products, are expected to grow throughout 2012. Read more.
Human Resources Professional of the Year nominees announced
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina SHRM State Council will honor five professionals in the human resources field who have made significant contributions to both their organization and the community. The HR Professional of the Year
reception and dinner, presented by Colonial Life
, is February 9 at the Columbia Marriott. Register now
, or view the sponsorship information
This year’s nominees are:
Melissa Anderson, Senior VP of Human Resources, Domtar
Donnie Brown, VP of Human Resources, Tindall Corporation
Linda Hannon, HR Director, Duke Energy
Steve Nail, VP of Human Resources, Hubbell Lighting
Barbara Rice, HR Manager, UEC Electronics
This year’s recipient of the South Carolina HR Management Award for Professional Excellence, presented by Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., will be honored along with the other nominees. Executives and HR managers from South Carolina’s most prestigious businesses will be gathered for this evening of recognition. For more information, contact Alexa Stillwell at 803-255-2621.
Safety Awards application deadline next week
The deadline to apply for a 2011 Safety Award is next week. Submit your application by Friday, February 3, 2012
Each year, the Safety, Health and Security Committee of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce honors South Carolina Chamber members who had a successful safety record. The 2011 Safety Awards program recognizes companies and their employees who have had a commendable Lost Workday Case Rate during the 2011 calendar year.
Save the date for the annual Safety Awards luncheon
, March 14 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Columbia. Take advantage of this unique way to promote enthusiasm for safe work practices among employees, and recognize them for their accomplishments. Bring your entire team, and reserve a table for eight for $750. Download an event registration form
, or register online
. For more information, contact Carolyn Tupper