Opinion Polling Shows Small Business Owners Support Ending Government Subsidies to Oil and Gas Companies

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Original statement issued on March 29, 2012:

Small business owners strongly support ending government subsidies to gas and oil companies, with 73 percent agreeing tax breaks for oil and gas companies should be eliminated and 60 percent supporting the idea even if it means a small increase in gas prices, according to opinion polling released today by Small Business Majority.

The polling, which was conducted over the past week in six states (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia and Nevada), comes on the heels of a statement President Obama made in the White House Rose Garden Thursday urging Congress to end tax breaks to the largest oil companies. Despite this strong support, the Senate failed to pass a bill that would do just that in a 51-47 vote Thursday. The majority of senators stood with small businesses to end subsidies, however a 60-vote majority was needed to pass the bill.

Large oil and gas companies have been and continue to post record profits, while our primary job creators are struggling to stay afloat. Instead of providing tax breaks to these large firms we should be focusing on measures that will directly benefit small businesses competing in a modern, innovative, clean energy-based 21st Century economy. Lawmakers need to start listening to what small business owners are saying and act accordingly.

Additional findings include:

  • 41 percent strongly favor eliminating subsidies, while only 10 percent strongly oppose
  • 32 percent strongly favor eliminating subsidies even if it means an increase in gas prices, while only 18 percent strongly oppose

For more information on the poll, visit http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/small-business-research/clean-energy/

New Greenhouse Gas Rules Can Create Opportunities for Small Businesses

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Original statement issued on March 26, 2012:

Rules proposed today by the Environmental Protection Agency that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants will help spur innovation and provide opportunities for small businesses to grow. What’s more, rules such as these are supported by a majority of small businesses—our primary job creators.

National opinion polling we released in September found 76 percent of small business owners support the EPA regulating carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. Another 87 percent believe improving innovation and energy efficiency are good ways to increase prosperity for small businesses.

The Clean Air Act, under the direction of the EPA, has had a successful 40-year record of safeguarding our economic interests, along with the public health. It has created an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurism, spurred the innovation of new American technologies and supported a massive increase in our nation’s gross domestic product.

Small business owners know the future of small business depends on change and innovation, which is why they support bold policies that will provide new business opportunities for increased investment in low and no-carbon technologies, as well as those that promote energy efficiency. They realize change and innovation will help stimulate our flagging economy.

MATS Rule Can Create Opportunities for Small Businesses

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Statement by John Arensmeyer on February 16, 2012:

The Environmental Protection Agency today published in the Federal Register its final rule requiring power companies to clean up or close their dirtiest plants—a rule supported by small business owners across the political spectrum, and one that will create much-needed jobs.

National polling we conducted found 76 percent of small employers support the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, refineries and other major emitters. Additionally, 79 percent of small business owners support having clean air and water in their community and 61 percent support standards that move the country towards energy efficiency and clean energy.

A recent report by the Political Economy Research Institute found this new rule—called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)—is part of a suite of clean-air standards that will create 1.4 million new jobs over the next five years.

Despite strong support for these standards and their projected economic benefits, some have claimed they will actually stifle job growth. That opposition is misguided. The job market will not suffer from the new rules, and saying that it would is an exercise in political rhetoric that ignores a wide body of research indicating otherwise.

We are pleased to see lawmakers considering small business owners’ views on this issue and working to meet their needs.

Small Biz Sees Big Opportunity in Energy Efficiency

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Originally featured on allBusiness.com.

As the nation’s most prolific job creators, small business owners have a lot of expectations placed on them. Small employers in California have an especially tall order, with unemployment at a stark 11.9 percent — nearly 3 percent higher than the national rate.

Small business owners can help pull the economy out of its slump. But if we want our jobs engine to function properly, California needs to help its small businesses put the Golden State back on the road to economic prosperity.

High energy costs are a major problem for small business owners trying to grow and hire. Yet in order to help small firms save money that they can use to expand their businesses, we need bold policies that will not only help boost their bottom lines, but create new market opportunities.

New Fuel-Economy Regs Can Boost Small Business

The Obama Administration announced Wednesday its draft rule to require cars, SUVs, and light trucks to reach 54.5 mpg by 2025, and California is slated to announce new carbon emission standards soon. These standards will not only help California small businesses save money on energy costs, but will create new market opportunities that will help them thrive.

How do we know these policies will help small businesses? Because small businesses say so.

Businesses Support Higher Standards

On Nov. 14, Small Business Majority released an opinion poll that shows 80 percent of California small business owners believe it’s important to increase fuel efficiency in cars and light trucks, and 80 percent also support a federal requirement of 60 mpg by 2025 — a standard even higher than President Obama’s proposed 54.5 mpg standard.

In California, the Air Resources Board is about to release an outline for updating its clean cars program and strengthening carbon emission standards for light-duty vehicles sold in the state. According to our poll, 75 percent of California small businesses support requiring the auto industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What’s more, 65 percent of these employers say American car companies do not innovate enough, and 79 percent hope the federal government will do more to make them innovate.

Energy Innovation Creates Jobs

California has long led the drive for cleaner, more advanced cars and trucks. There’s no reason to break that trend now. In fact, now’s a better time than ever for the state to take advantage of the job creation opportunities that come with energy innovation.

California small business owners believe the top problem facing small businesses today is the rising cost of doing business, such as higher fuel and energy costs, but 82 percent say improving innovation and energy efficiency are good ways to increase prosperity for small firms.

It’s not just green businesses that believe energy innovation will help them, either.

A Win-Win For Businesses And Consumers

Just 12 percent of California business owners say their business generates revenue directly through the new clean economy. The majority of businesses owners — 82 percent — say they do not. But they overwhelmingly support energy innovation policies, because they know these policies will save them money and pad their bottom line.

Requiring automakers to innovate will drive down fuel and energy costs for Americans across the board; small business owners will have extra cash to grow their businesses, and consumers will have extra cash to spend. That’s a win-win.

In this highly-charged political climate, it’s important to note that survey respondents came from all across the political spectrum: 29 percent of respondents identified as Republicans, 28 percent as Democrats and 42 percent as independents.

The small business owners whose firms make up the backbone of our economy have made their views clear. Higher fuel economy requirements and stronger carbon emission standards will be a boon for small businesses and consumers alike; in California and across the nation, our economy will grow.

Small Businesses See Economic Opportunity in Clean Energy Laws

Huffington Post

As time passes and the economy remains stagnant, the sturm und drang grows ever louder over whether regulations are weighing down small businesses and making them unable to pull the country out its fiscal slump. Lawmakers continue to bang the anti-regulation drum, and auto dealers from around the country are heading to Washington, DC this week to press for legislation that would stall recently proposed fuel efficiency standards for at least a year.

But what do the actual small business owners who are purportedly being crushed by regulations think? They think its hogwash.

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