Read NFIB’s positions on climate and energy policies that affect small business.
Small business owners depend on energy supplies at globally competitive prices to operate and effectively run their businesses. According to NFIB’s Energy Consumption poll, energy costs are one of the top three business expenses in 35% of small businesses.
Small companies use energy for several business-essential purposes. The primary energy cost:
- For 38% of small firms is operating vehicles
- For one-third of small firms is heating and/or cooling
- For one-fifth of small firms is operating equipment.
Energy costs have increased rapidly over the last few years. Small business owners are not able to adjust the price of their goods and services quickly enough to match potentially steep energy cost increases without hurting their customer base. Plus, owners are not able to change business practices fast enough to offset the increases. For example, most owners cannot afford to buy new, more energy-efficient equipment if current equipment still has useful life. They are effectively caught in a squeeze that only time and/or good fortune will release.
It is critical for America’s small businesses to have access to affordable and reliable supplies of energy to remain competitive. NFIB recognizes its members’ concerns and is dedicated to working with lawmakers to find energy solutions that work for small business.
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NFIB’s infographic on Cap and Trade
With efforts to pass cap-and-trade legislation stalled for the foreseeable future, the Administration has turned to the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate GHG emission reductions.
So far, the effort has been focused on reducing GHG emissions from power plants via two rules. The first, covering plants to be built in the future, is expected to be finalized in January 2015. The second, covering existing plants, is due to be finalized by the summer of 2015.
NFIB opposes these rules because they will impose expensive costs on electricity producers, who will in turn pass on higher electricity bills to small businesses and consumers. In addition, the rules inhibit the use of reliable and cheaper fossil fuel energy sources in favor of cleaner sources such as wind and solar. Unfortunately, at the present time, these new sources are not advanced enough to offer the reliable energy small businesses need. NFIB has submitted Comments on the New Power Plant Rule.
Cap and trade is a legislative effort supported by environmentalists to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while also a way for the federal government to raise revenue (i.e. taxes) to pay for new programs. Cap and trade limits the amount of GHGs businesses may emit by requiring them to purchase government credits to offset their emissions.
- Virtually all businesses emit at least some greenhouse gases (carbon, carbon dioxide, methane, etc).
- Cap and trade’s hidden taxes will affect all businesses, even if they don’t have high emissions.
- If “low emitters” are exempt, they’ll still indirectly pay for the cap and trade system.
Current proposals would significantly raise energy-related costs and lead to considerable job losses. Although big businesses, like public utility companies and large-scale manufacturers, would likely bear the initial costs of the program, they will pass the cost on to small businesses and consumers in the form of higher prices.
The Keystone XL Project
NFIB believes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is important for reducing America’s reliance of foreign energy and helping to lower the cost of fuels small businesses use every day. In addition, the project has the potential to create thousands of jobs that will help create and support small businesses in communities where the jobs are created.