Monday, January 24, 2011

Verbatim: 'We Can Out-Compete Any Other Nation on Earth'

Periodically, GoodBiz113 puts its ear to the rail to listen to what politicos, pundits and others have recently said about small businesses and our integral role in growing the U.S. economy. Today -- just one day before President Obama's annual State of the Union address -- we share some select events and perspectives with you, our loyal readers.

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"As we continue to get this economy back on track, I am encouraged by this Administration’s commitment to reduce the regulatory burdens businesses in America face on a daily basis. Every day, we hear from small businesses that are bogged down with unnecessary paperwork and outdated regulations.

"As chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, I am committed to reducing burdens America’s entrepreneurs face -- beginning with the full repeal of the Form 1099 reporting requirement set to take effect in 2012. I will continue working with the Administration to pinpoint problem areas in the federal regulatory process that hinder job creation and economic growth, and I applaud their efforts to make tackling this problem a priority." -- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-La.], applauding the efforts of the Obama Administration to reduce the regulatory burdens facing businesses in America -- particularly, small businesses [U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Jan. 18]

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"Today's announcement reflects this Administration's commitment to promoting the development of advanced biofuels. Strong biofuels projects like Diamond Green Diesel can help to diversify our transportation fuel supply, while creating jobs and strengthening our economy." -- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, announcing the offer of a conditional commitment to Diamond Green Diesel LLC -- the proposed joint venture between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc. -- for a $241 million loan guarantee.

This loan guarantee will support the construction of a 137,000,000-gallon-per-year renewable-diesel facility in Norco, La. -- located about 20 miles west of New Orleans. Valero Energy Corporation plans to direct the design, construction and operation of the project, and market all of its output, while Darling International Inc. will supply feedstock to the project.

The company estimates that the project will create 700 jobs during peak construction, and over 60 jobs during operation. The project will reduce greenhouse gases by more than 80 percent over conventional petroleum-based diesel, and is expected to nearly triple the amount of renewable diesel produced in the U.S.

In addition, the facility will fulfill almost 14 percent of a national mandate to boost production for biomass-based diesel. Approximately 95 percent of the project components are expected to be produced in the United States. [U.S. Department of Energy, Jan. 20]

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"...In order to meet President Obama’s goals of a 28% reduction in federal greenhouse gas [GHG] pollution by 2020 and a net-zero-energy building requirement by 2030, GSA began sustainable construction and retrofit projects around the country, employing 500 businesses and creating jobs in all 50 states.

"Moving forward, all GSA construction projects will achieve at least a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for GSA’s use of cutting-edge and sustainable design and technology..." -- General Services Administrator Martha N. Johnson, reporting on GSA's 2010 achievements [The White House Blog, Jan. 20]

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"...Leading the world in innovation. Opening new markets to American products. That’s how we’ll create jobs today. That’s how we’ll make America more competitive tomorrow. And that’s how we’ll win the future...

"We’re living in a new and challenging time, in which technology has made competition easier and fiercer than ever before. Countries around the world are upping their game and giving their workers and companies every advantage possible.

"But that shouldn’t discourage us. Because I know we can win that competition. I know we can out-compete any other nation on Earth. We just have to make sure we’re doing everything we can to unlock the productivity of American workers, unleash the ingenuity of American businesses, and harness the dynamism of America’s economy." -- President Barack Obama [pictured above], during his weekly address [The White House, Jan. 22]

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Be sure to tune in to President Obama's State of the Union address tomorrow, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. EST. All of the major TV networks will broadcast it, as will a handful of cable channels.

You can also view live streaming video of the event, and interact with White House officials during the hours and days following. Engage yourself:

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, The White House [photo]

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