Dear Business Leaders, Policymakers and Other Stakeholders,
The CEOs of the Business Roundtable believe that we are at a pivotal time in our nation’s history. America faces a number of serious economic and policy challenges, including unacceptably low economic growth, unacceptably high unemployment, unsustainable budget deficits, escalating health care costs, an uncompetitive tax code and an incoherent patchwork of regulation. Collectively, these challenges create a business climate that discourages the long-term investment that is needed to revitalize our economy and create jobs.
With these challenges in mind, the Business Roundtable released the March 2012 report Taking Action for America — a comprehensive plan to accelerate new business investment and remove barriers to economic growth. In that report, the CEOs of the Business Roundtable identified affordable, reliable energy as one of several critical strategies to revitalize economic growth and job creation.
Taking Action on Energy is designed to provide greater detail about the policies needed to make affordable, reliable energy a reality for U.S. consumers and businesses. To support this goal, the Business Roundtable Energy and Environment Committee embarked on an effort to re-evaluate U.S. energy policy and forge a long-term framework that has the potential to simultaneously advance the nation’s economic, security and environmental interests.
In short, our assessment is that America’s energy future is exceptionally bright. The nation’s energy outlook has improved substantially in recent years due to a confluence of factors that are fundamentally reshaping the U.S. energy landscape, including the development of technologies to unlock vast new domestic oil and natural gas resources and the application of innovative technologies to economically extract and deliver these resources to market. In addition, the United States remains a global leader in the research, development and commercialization of energy efficiency, renewable energy, new nuclear and advanced coal technologies.
The Business Roundtable believes that America should capitalize on these advantages and accelerate efforts to develop a portfolio of affordable, diverse and efficient options for meeting our energy needs in the 21st century. As major domestic energy producers, energy consumers and technology suppliers, our companies are uniquely positioned to help the nation make the most of this opportunity. The business community is prepared to lead the way, but the government has an important role to play in establishing a coherent, forward-looking energy policy.
Accordingly, the CEOs of the Business Roundtable call on U.S. policymakers, business leaders and consumers to take action on energy. We can no longer afford to sustain our current patchwork of policies. Instead, we need a more purposeful approach that looks beyond today’s headlines to forge a more enduring vision of how America will meet its energy needs in the coming decades.
Taking Action on Energy attempts to provide this vision. Our goal was to outline an energy policy framework that is both timely and durable — that is, one that is capable of addressing current issues as well as accommodating future developments. Accordingly, while many of our policy solutions speak specifically to the major issues of the day, we have also attempted to place them within a broader system of national energy policy goals, principles and strategies. We believe that the framework outlined in this paper represents a balanced approach to enhancing economic growth and energy security while also reducing the environmental risks associated with criteria pollutants, greenhouse gases and other emissions.
Despite our optimism, we remain realistic about the difficulty of replacing our ad hoc energy policy with a more purposeful approach. Making this change will require leaders who are willing to engage in an open and honest dialogue about our values and priorities as a nation, as well as the policy and regulatory approaches most likely to achieve them. This report is intended to contribute to that dialogue.
David M. Cote
Chairman & CEO
Honeywell International, Inc.
Chairman, Energy & Environment Committee