Teamsters, BIA: Make renewal of federal offshore leasing program a priority
Local 633, business organization say it’s an important step to help reduce energy costs
As leaders of Teamsters Local 633 and the Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire, we understand labor and business sometimes appear to stand on opposite sides of issues. But we stand united when it comes to energy, security and prosperity. Both groups support an all-of-the-above approach that invests in green renewables but also capitalizes on domestic sources of energy, including offshore gas and oil.
The BIA recently traveled the state to hold policy roundtables as listening and learning sessions with employers, chamber partners and members of the public. It became clear energy was one of the top pressing issues and challenges for business and commerce in New Hampshire. Rising electricity prices and spiking gas prices are eating away at profitability and driving higher costs across all sectors. Businesses will soon be paying double for the same electricity or gas use that they paid last year. This is crushing the bottom line for small businesses across the state and ripping through every part of our economy.
And as Teamsters Local 633, we know how rising prices at the pump hit many of our members disproportionately. While we work to provide fair wages and benefits for a fair job, it is fair to say some members of society can absorb energy and inflation costs much easier than Teamsters. Rising costs are also having an impact on the supply chain, which directly impacts work available for Teamsters in key sectors like transportation and manufacturing.
Members from both our organizations understand that adopting an all-of-the-above approach to energy will allow the U.S. to produce the energy it needs to make our transition to clean energy while still meeting our current energy needs. America needs to produce enough domestic energy to ensure it can remain safe from the threats of foreign regimes. We also know that by supporting domestic sources of energy we are providing good American jobs that keep money in working families’ pockets. There is no better way to serve consumers and workers than to tap into the energy resources we have here at home.
Teamsters Local 633 and the BIA strongly encourage our congressional delegation and the Biden administration to urgently focus on a priority renewal of our nation’s five-year offshore leasing program, which expires June 30. This program has been guiding domestic energy production for decades and has been renewed by every American president since the program started. The longer we go without a final program in place means the more uncertainty for industry and increases the likelihood that increased costs will be passed on to the consumer.
Today, labor and business come together to urge our delegation and the Biden administration to support a realistic all-of-the-above energy policy by renewing our nation’s five-year offshore leasing program. We understand this plan is not a panacea to solve high gas prices, but it is an important step our leaders can take to help reduce energy costs for businesses, consumers and working families across New Hampshire and America.
Jeff Padellaro is secretary treasurer of Teamsters Local 633. Michael Skelton is president and CEO of the Business & Industry Association.