Expert analysis on the stalled energy bill and U.S. debt limit
The Small Business Rundown is NFIB’s podcast which offers expert analysis on current issues and news that directly affect small businesses. Recently, host Adam Temple hosted discussions with U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Steve Scalise and NFIB member Lucas Gjovig on the energy crisis, as well as NFIB’s Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg on the U.S. debt limit. These guests bring to life the real-world impact of these issues through their first-hand experience and expert knowledge.
Energy Costs Bill Awaits Action in U.S. Senate
The new episode of the podcast released on May 18, focused on the topic of energy costs and featured guests U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and NFIB member Lucas Gjovig discussing the Lower Energy Costs Act, or H.R. 1. This legislation would help small businesses nationwide by increasing energy production and streamlining the permitting process for energy-related projects.
“We brought a transformational bill, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to the floor and it’s really focused on a few things,” Scalise explained. “We increased domestic production to make more energy in America. We reformed the broken permitting process, not just in oil and gas, but across all industries. We revised Biden’s anti-American energy policies, and then we streamlined energy infrastructure and exports so that we can put shot-clocks on federal agencies.”
Small businesses are the backbone of the domestic energy business. Lucas started his business in 2011 and explained permitting process issues the industry encounters. “If we restrict permitting on federal lands and we take 10% of the wells out of production, or future wells out, it’s going to have a huge impact,” Lucas explained.
Lucas also discussed his recent testimony in front of the House Committee on Small Business’ Subcommittee on Rural Development, Energy, and Supply Chains. “It’s so much more powerful when members of Congress hear from you, the small business owner,” he said. “You who has the issue then somebody trying to speak on your behalf. When you can go and tell your side of the story it’s important too because somebody else is there advocating the opposite. If somebody there is advocating the opposite of what you think needs to happen if you’re not there telling your story, it’s possible no one is. So, it’s very important that we’re out there advocating for ourselves.”
U.S. Debt Limit Explained
NFIB Research Center Executive Director Holly Wade and Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg joined the podcast released on May 4 to explain the debt limit and what it means for the small business economy.
“However, this year, especially with the heavy spending we had with COVID and the amount of money that the government poured into the economy to help stimulate it, we’re now at the point where the government is up against this limit, more or less,” Dunkelberg explained. “And of course, it’s hard to calculate exactly in dollar terms how much there is on any given day, but they’re going to need to borrow more money to finance the commitments that the government has made, that the administration has made, for spending in the in the future.”
Wade and Dunkelberg also discussed the findings from NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends survey that’s conducted monthly. April’s survey showed that small business owners aren’t optimistic about business conditions in the next six months.
“Overall, they are pretty pessimistic about where the economy is,” Dunkelberg said. “The optimism index is well below its fifty-year average of 98. So, the index is around 90 and it’s been at 90 for the last 12 months or so. We’re not optimistic but in the meantime spending and sales have been OK, consumer spending has held up well.”
You can listen to new episodes of the Small Business Rundown every other Thursday on all listening platforms. Also, catch up on any episodes you’ve missed!
Take Action: Urge your Senators to pass the Lower Energy Costs Act to reduce energy costs for small businesses.