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TAM Statement On PUC's Recommendation To Create A Performance Credit Mechanism

The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers:

The Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) appreciates the diligent work by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to make progress on its electricity market redesign. However, TAM is concerned with today’s action by the PUC to approve a novel proposal that is not well understood, and has not been modeled, but appears to be designed to ensure a certain profit level for existing generation. We remain committed to market design changes that will preserve our competitive market while improving incentives for additional dispatchable generation. We are hopeful that a version of the performance credit mechanism can be crafted that would encourage this type of new investment and provide enhanced reliability for consumers without excessive costs.

Manufacturers have supported a comprehensive approach that includes (1) providing additional low-cost state-backed financing for dispatchable development, (2) creating temporary and limited property tax discounts for new or modernized dispatchable generation facilities, and (3) developing a new reliability service that directly rewards new, flexible, reliable and dispatchable electric generation for being available to address unexpected variations in demand and generation availability every day. Specifically, we support proposals that ensure market revenues would remain performance-based, consistent with the current deregulated market design, and would avoid a government-mandated capacity market or other similar electricity taxes or fees to support incumbent generators.

We will continue to promote positive and commonsense reforms to the Texas electric market, and stand ready to work with the PUC, the Legislature, and industry stakeholders.

Texas Association Of Manufacturers’ Top 10 Policy Priorities For 88th Legislature

Bennett: “Smart policy is key to attracting manufacturers and strengthening national, supply chain security.”

The Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) today released its “TAM Top Ten,” which details the Association’s policy priorities for the 88th Legislature in 2023.

“Global competition to attract manufacturing projects is fierce and our priorities are aligned with keeping Texas as the number one state to do business and the number one state for exported manufactured goods,” said Tony Bennett, president and CEO of TAM. “Smart policies related to economic development, taxes, transportation, electricity and workforce development are key to attracting and keeping large-scale manufacturing projects in Texas. Those projects will strengthen our national and supply chain security, as well as protect Texas’ leadership in emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing.”

TAM’s Top Ten policy priorities include:

  1. Preserve Authority to Offer Limited, Temporary Property Tax Discounts
  2. Equality in Business Taxation
  3. Business Personal Property Tax Reform
  4. Transportation & Critical Infrastructure
  5. Maintain a Reliable, Cost-Effective, and Competitive Wholesale Electricity Market
  6. Ensure that Monopoly Utility Rates are Transparent and Fair to Customers
  7. Career and Workforce Readiness
  8. Continue TCEQ, Support Commonsense Regulations and Sufficient Funding for Operations
  9. School and Workplace Health
  10. Tax Structures that Promote Economic Growth


Kyle Bush Named Government Affairs Specialist For The Texas Association Of Manufacturers

The Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) announced Kyle Bush as the Association’s new Government Affairs Specialist. Bush will assist TAM leadership with legislative and regulatory advocacy, political analysis, association operations, and representation on all matters affecting TAM members and the manufacturing industry in Texas.

Prior to joining TAM, Bush was a financial controller at Murphy Nasica & Associates, served as a field director and campaign manager for Texas House and city council races, and has held various leadership positions in manufacturing, including management, sales, and operations in the private sector.

“Kyle brings a wealth of experience from the public and private sectors that will serve our members well,” said Tony Bennett, president of TAM. “He’ll be a strong voice for Texas manufacturers and a great resource for lawmakers and staff.”

Bush holds a Master of Business Administration from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Liberal Arts Honors from the University of Texas at Austin.

CHIPS Act Bolsters America’s Economic and National Security

Tony Bennett, president & CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers, on passage of the CHIPS Act:

“Congress strengthened economic and national security in the United States today by passing the CHIPS Act to encourage domestic semiconductor manufacturing. This legislation is essential because semiconductors power almost every aspect of our lives and the chip shortage cost the U.S. economy more than $200 billion last year alone. Expanding manufacturers’ ability to make the products Americans need on American soil is good news for everyone.”


TAM Commentary: Pass The CHIPS Act Now

Opinion by TAM President & CEO Tony Bennett as published in the Dallas Morning News.

Texas Instruments’ new semiconductor wafer fabrication plant, and thousands of jobs, are coming to Sherman. On the heels of this good news, we learned that a subsidiary of a Taiwanese chip-making firm is also making plans to open a new facility nearby that is expected to create 1,500 jobs. The firm found Texas to be an attractive place to do business for many reasons, no doubt. One of those reasons was that the project was awarded a $15 million grant by the Texas Enterprise Fund. Last year, Korean chip maker Samsung announced it would create 2,000 jobs in Taylor for a project that was also spurred by a substantial Texas Enterprise Fund grant.

These positive developments will help strengthen our national security by alleviating the current supply chain disruption related to semiconductors, which power almost every aspect of our daily lives. If you are reading this on a smartphone or tablet, you are relying on semiconductor technology right now. The pandemic-induced chip shortage cost the U.S. economy more than $200 billion last year alone, and it still plagues our economy today. Read more.

Manufacturers On Proposed Electricity Market Changes: Reliability Is #1 Objective; Must Achieve Reliability At A Reasonable Cost To Consumers

The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president & CEO of Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM). TAM shared these perspectives before the Texas House State Affairs Committee :

“Electricity reliability is the number one objective for Texas manufacturers as we cannot operate without a reliable electric supply. As the Legislature considers the Texas energy market, manufacturers believe that Texas must achieve reliability at a reasonable cost to consumers and be mindful of how much risk is borne by customers versus generators.

There are many dedicated revenue streams today that specifically pay for dispatchable generation including ancillary services and Operating Reserve Demand Curve (ORDC) payments. The Texas Association of Manufacturers supports these mechanisms, which have been expanded since Winter Storm Uri, partly from the Public Utility Commission's “phase one” changes and from ERCOT's conservative operations. Using the IMM’s estimates, these changes have resulted in additional cost of about $3.5 million a year for a 100 MW industrial customer. Additional market design changes would be on top of those existing changes and costs.

We do not want customers to be forced to make fixed payments to companies that own dispatchable generation, just for owning a generator. That approach is bad for economic development and for customers. The state has wisely gravitated toward a pay-for-performance system versus a pay-to-exist model.

Manufacturers make multi-billion-dollar investments without guaranteed revenues. In a private competitive market, manufacturers bear that investment risk and those same core principles should continue to exist in the electric market."

TAM Statement: WTO's Proposed IP Rights Waiver Could Lead to Long-term Catastrophic Results

The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president & CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers:

"Lifechanging discoveries are made, developed, and commercialized in the United States and Texas because of our strong culture of innovation and the recognition that safeguarding intellectual property rights leads to innovation across our economy. Any lapse in the protection of intellectual property could lead to long-term catastrophic results, and the Texas Association of Manufacturers remains concerned the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) repeated attempts to waive these protections could begin to weaken a fundamental principle of our economy." Read more.

Samsung Semiconductor Plant in Taylor a Game-Changer for Regional Economy

The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president & CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers:

“The new Samsung semiconductor plant will invigorate this region’s economy and generate tremendous opportunities for this community for generations to come. The project will create thousands of high-quality jobs, generate millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue every year, and attract additional vendors and suppliers that will want to locate near the Samsung facility – creating multiple more jobs and added tax wealth to ripple through the region’s economy. Global competition is steep for advanced manufacturing projects of this caliber and the City of Taylor and Williamson County have certainly achieved a most-coveted prize. Congratulations to the community, and to Samsung, for making this huge opportunity a reality.”

Texas Manufacturers Prioritize Safety, High Standards And Community Outreach As Good Neighbors

The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president & CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers.

“As the Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency visits Texas to discuss environmental justice issues tomorrow, it is important to remember that Texas manufacturers have a long and successful track record as good neighbors in the communities where they operate. Rigorous operational standards and stringent regulations are working to keep communities, our workforce and the environment safe. For generations, manufacturers have invested locally, maintained strong relationships with neighbors, and supported a robust workforce, which has strengthened Texas communities.”

Manufacturers Applaud Gov. Abbott For Efforts To Bring National Semiconductor Technology Center To Texas

The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president & CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers.

“The Texas Association of Manufacturers thanks Governor Abbott for his efforts to bring the National Semiconductor Technology Center to Texas. Advanced manufacturing research and development and investment is the very future of the Texas economy and critical to the security interests of our nation. Texas has all the necessary ingredients to land both the semiconductor technology center and the advanced packaging manufacturing program. Our state has a long history with a robust and growing semiconductor industry, dating back to 1958 when Texas Instruments engineer Jack Kilby invented the microchip and revolutionized electronics. And we possess a world-class university research and technology community ready to take on the next evolution of this industry. Texas remains the number one exporter of manufactured goods in the nation, so our skilled and growing workforce is ready to take on this incredible opportunity.”

TAM Commentary: Texas employers need flexibility to maintain workplace safety

Opinion by TAM President & CEO Tony Bennett, as published in the San Antonio Express-News.

The Texas economy is strong because policymakers trust employers to run their businesses in ways that grow jobs and maintain a productive workforce. A healthy workforce results in a more productive workforce, and the ongoing pandemic reminds us how quickly illness can impact the global economy — resulting in slowed manufacturing, the inability to get goods to consumers, job losses and lost tax revenue.

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, Texas policymakers must allow Texas employers to decide their own best practices to maintain workplace health and safety. To do otherwise would establish a concerning precedent of state interference into determining what workforce health and safety policies are best, without regard for a particular industry’s needs or the differences in manufacturing work environments.

Specifically, Texas employers should have the ability to decide whether vaccines or other safety measures make sense for their workforce — and they don’t need federal or state mandates to make that decision. There are employers for whom vaccines make sense for their workforce and barriers to vaccine access for those employees should be eliminated. For employers who decide that other safety measures are appropriate for their workplace, these options should be available. Any one-size-fits-all approach to workplace safety has the potential to harm the economy. Read more.

Wroe Jackson Promoted To Vice President And General Counsel Of Texas Association Of Manufacturers

Since joining TAM in 2019, Jackson has overseen the Association’s strategic planning initiatives, legislative and regulatory advocacy, membership support and recruitment, and coordination among the Association’s executive leadership. In his new role, he will also serve as the primary legal advisor to the Association and its membership, providing counsel and analysis on policy and legislation, regulatory compliance, and internal legal matters. Read more.

ICYMI TAM Commentary: Legislation aligns workforce needs with education

TAM President and CEO Tony Bennett opined recently about the important work the Texas Legislature accomplished to align workforce needs with education in Texas. He wrote: "While the budget, pandemic and the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri dominated much of the 87th Texas Legislature, lawmakers made unmatched progress in education-to-workforce alignment issues that will have long-term benefits for students, employers and economy.

The new policies will ensure students have access to educational opportunities needed for the job market in Texas. Crafting quality workforce-development programs requires collaboration between employers, high schools, and community and technical colleges." Read Tony's full op-ed here.

Manufacturers Applaud Congressman McCaul’s CHIPS For America Act To Boost Semiconductor Production

The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president & CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers:

“Nearly every manufacturing sector in America relies on semiconductors, making the current shortage of serious concern. Our semiconductor manufacturers in Texas are working steadily to increase production in what is among the most complex, sophisticated processes in all of manufacturing. As their work continues, we strongly urge Congress to prioritize policies that will hasten expanded semiconductor manufacturing, and in turn, support all of American industry and our nation’s economy. We applaud Congressman McCaul’s CHIPS for America Act, which includes smart investments and an investment tax credit to incentivize the new domestic semiconductor manufacturing facilities our industry and our economy need.”