Recently in the Energy Category


Women Impacting Public Policy joined a recent White House Business Council Meeting to share how various policies are affecting women business owners across the country. The meeting included several White House staff along with top officials from the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration.

 

At the meeting, WIPP stressed the importance of capital access as the critical issue for women business owners looking to start and grow their companies, and highlighted WIPP's 2013 Annual Survey finding that it takes an average of two attempts for women business owners to secure funding.

 

Commerce Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Mark Doms, agreed that the economy would be best served by giving business owners more access to capital. The Commerce Department's new strategic plan, America is Open for Business, reflects that priority by stressing innovation and investment.  

 

SBA Associate Administrator for Capital Access Ann Marie Mehlum concurred, saying her office will continue to identify opportunities to expand access while strengthening SBA's already available capital access programs. She went on to highlight the 7(a) loan program, which supported more than $15 billion in small business loans in FY13.

 

The meeting closed with a discussion of how trade can be used to fuel growth for businesses of all sizes. The Administration agreed there is a need for streamlining and simplification in exporting as well as engaging the women's business community on the value of selling goods and services abroad. Both of those priorities are at the front of WIPP's ExportNOW program that encourages women entrepreneurs to grow beyond our borders.

 

These meetings are open dialogues with policymakers, giving WIPP's advocacy team the opportunity to share ideas and concerns raised by WIPP's members.

Looking for a Healthy Mix of Energy Sources

11:55 AM February 25, 2014

Last week, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke at the National Press Club about the administration's "all of the above" energy strategy -a healthy mix of all types of energy sources to meet America's needs. The Secretary's speech disappointedly failed to discuss how our nation's export policies could spur growth and prosperity. There are over 20 LNG export applications waiting to be approved by the Department of Energy that could be a timely catalyst for jobs and economic growth to the country, if applications were expedited. Similarly, we need to export crude oil. For the first time in history, the U.S. has access to crude oil in such great quantities that we can and would benefit economically from exporting it. Unfortunately, Secretary Moniz sidestepped the question when he was asked about reexamining the obsolete, decades-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports. The Secretary also failed to give any indication of the future of Keystone XL, which would lower energy costs for people across the U.S. if approved, and the State Department's latest report has confirmed again that the pipeline's approval would not significantly impact carbon emissions, which the Secretary claims to be the administration's biggest concern with regards to its energy plan.  WIPP's Economic Blueprint calls for a comprehensive energy plan, one that incorporates the use and deployment of domestic energy and alternative energy sources.  We must put a greater emphasis on exports and moving forward with sensible projects.  

Even in the face of unnecessary headwinds created by things like a government shutdown or the still-present threat of a debt-limit default in February (despite the respite offered by the budget compromise), the economic recovery witnessed in recent years is real and encouraging. And near the center of this recovery has been the emergence of a natural gas boom the likes of which few could have predicted, but the breadth of this impact could be greater with policies in place like those that enable American producers to access global markets.


As business owners, one area that should be addressed concerns the need to move liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects forward in a timely manner. The United States has a great economic incentive to pursue increasing LNG experts, and the ability to do so. 

A recent economy in every market scenario examined. In fact, multiple studies show that increasing the exports would work wonders for our domestic economic outlook, and that our reserves can easily meet the elevated demand resulting from access to global markets. 

The economic benefits resulting from increasing LNG exports would be felt far beyond the energy sector. According to a recent ICF International study, the United States could add up to 452, 300 jobs between 2016 and 2035 by increasing LNG production, with total annual GDP growth expanding from $15.6 to $73.6 billion annually between 2016 and 2035.

We would like more clarity on why the DOE is delaying LNG exports. It's certainly not because of a lack of means or capacity to produce. 

The United States ranks #1 in the world in recoverable shale gas reserves. We have ample resources to meet domestic needs and export LNG for decades to come, and we have the political will - from Oregon to Texas to Maryland - to do just that.

Unfortunately, nearly all of these projects - and the permits that they require prior to starting to export - have been sitting in the queue, waiting for approval from the Department of Energy. Applications to export LNG to non-FTA countries have also been in queue before the DOE for months - and in many cases, even years, with no evident timetable for their approval or even their review. What's more, even among those few permits that have been approved, actual construction and competition is no guarantee thanks to the myriad hurdles that export terminals must clear, including, but not limited to environmental review, FERC permits, state siting, potential lawsuits, and financing. LNG export facilities take several years to finance, approve, and finally construct.

While we can all agree that a thorough review process is vital to any infrastructure project, it is clear to us that the delays currently being witnessed relative to the LNG exports are plainly contrary to our national economic interest. And as this delay continues, we run the very real risk of watching the window of opportunity close when it comes to LNG exports.

Market conditions in the United States and globally currently favor America's entrance into the export market. Domestic prices are low, while international prices are high. But this is not a permanent dynamic. Prices can shift. And more over, the United States is not the only nation that hope to export LNG. In fact, as recently as last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Canada to discuss Japan's significant need for imported natural gas. Canada would be more than happy to fill that need - particularly if they face no competition from American companies. 

Export is an important initiative for WIPP, and certainly for its members who are in the energy sector. They feel that it is essential that the DOE acts quickly to spur action on the pending applications. We need to urge the DOE to approve all pending applications for LNG export and let the market determine viability.

The U.S. has a rare opportunity to impact the global energy landscape while narrowing our trade deficit and adding domestic jobs and growth. Let's see if we can cut through the red tape that is holding up needed investment. 

by Barbara Kasoff, President, WIPP

By James Rivera, SBA Official

 

Many communities are still feeling the effects of Superstorm Sandy, including power outages and flooding. The importance of listening to instructions and safety information from your local officials and FEMA cannot be understated.

 

Federal response teams are already providing assistance to affected communities. SBA is closely coordinating with our federal partners to share information in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

 

- For the latest on the Federal government's response to Sandy, you can read FEMA's blog or follow updates on Twitter.

- If you need emergency shelter, you can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, or check your local media outlets. You should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. Finally, you can download the FEMA smartphone app or text SHELTER and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Standard rates apply.

- If you are not in an affected area, please consider donating blood, because numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm. To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

SBA plays an important role in disaster recovery efforts for businesses and homeowners. As disaster assessments and declarations are made, various SBA disaster recovery loan programs become available to eligible applicants. We will continue to highlight these programs as communities turn to longer-term recovery efforts.

 

For more information about SBA's disaster assistance programs, visit www.sba.gov/disaster or call our disaster assistance center at 1-800-659-2955.

 

#WIPP

 

Today, we ask you to add your support to WIPP's Economic Blueprint.
 
WIPP's mission is to carefully analyze and assess federal policy for small business owners in the following areas: Economic Principles, Access to Capital, Procurement, Healthcare, Energy and the Environment, and Technology and Telecommunications.

The outcome is the Economic Blueprint for the 112th Congress, which outlines the policy priorities of Women Small Business Owners.  The Blueprint is our call to action, which each one of us, regardless of political party or ideology, can unite behind.

By adding your name, YOU give this document strength and demonstrate your support of the Blueprint's principles to Congress.
 
As small business owners, we know time is precious. Please take one minute to add your name and strengthen a unified, national voice for women in business.  If you have already signed-on, thank you!

Click here to sign-on for no charge.

OR
For more visibility, click here to support the Blueprint at the level of your choice.

 

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