Engler talks energy policy in Houston

General Motors’ falling market share and the lure of low-wage countries like China are only part of the reason the U.S. has lost more than 3.2 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.
Productivity increases, and — believe it or not — rising energy costs are also to blame, said John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Engler, a former three-term governor of Michigan, was in Houston Wednesday to meet with members of the trade group and stress the need for Congress to hammer out a comprehensive energy policy that offers long-term solutions for improving access to energy supplies and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
“We need to work hard to have Congress understand this is about much more than scoring a political point,” he said in an interview with the Chronicle. “This isn’t just trying to have an environmental group say we’re happy with you because you’ve delivered on this promise. What’s at stake are literally thousands and thousands of jobs in the U.S. economy.”
We’ll run more excerpts from our conversation with Engler in Friday’s business section.