NEMA to President-elect Obama:  Technology helps U.S. efficiency, environment, jobs

NEMA offers electroindustry recommendations to President-elect Obama, such as modernized “smart” electrical grid for the country, and incentives for deployment of energy-efficient technologies and products.


Rosslyn, VA – In an open letter to President-elect Barack Obama on behalf of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Evan Gaddis, NEMA president and CEO,

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Technology role in Obama administration

“NEMA is the nation’s largest association representing 430 companies that manufacture electrical and medical imaging equipment. Our members serve a domestic market in excess of $100 billion annually, export $20 billion in goods, and represent about 350,000 U.S. jobs,” Gaddis reported.e change legislation, plus funding for advanced technologies to reduce greenhouse gases, NEMA says.
On the energy supply side, he recommended support for long-term production tax credits, research for renewable supply sources, expanded nuclear energy use, accelerating clean coal technology development, and ending the oil and gas exploration moratorium on the outer continental shelf. He called for funding Smart Grid provisions in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, enactment of 10-year accelerated depreciation for distribution equipment purchases, and changes to the rate recovery formula for transmission facilities to include power electronics and high-voltage direct current technologies.
The letter requested resources at the Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure promulgation of product energy-efficiency rules, incentives for states to adopt and enforce energy building codes, funding for the High Performance Green Building and Commercial Building Initiative, and more funding for DOE research on advanced solid-state (LED and OLED) lighting technologies. On the environmental front, he noted the industry initiative to reduce and eliminate certain hazardous substances from electrical products and urged that the administration support legislation to codify the industry’s commitments with a national standard in specified electrical products.
“Rising health care costs are one of the biggest challenges facing manufacturers,” Gaddis said. “A comprehensive approach to healthcare reform is vital to our long-term economic progress and future job growth. The Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, represents manufacturers of medical imaging technologies that play a critical role in early diagnosis of disease, improvement in patient care and outcome, and keeping people healthy and productive.”
Gaddis identified the role that trade agreements have played in opening markets to manufactured goods and removing barriers to export. He recommends that the President seek renewal of expired trade promotion authority, enhance the effectiveness of the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, and pursue all avenues for advancing free trade in electrical and medical imaging goods.
Counterfeit electrical equipment is a growing problem and represents a serious threat to public safety. Gaddis said public policy must be one of zero tolerance for those who manufacture and traffic in counterfeit products. NEMA recommendations focus on prompt implementation of the Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008, including naming of a White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and providing resources to protect the nation’s borders.
In areas of consumer and workplace safety, Gaddis called for full funding and staffing of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in line with the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008, and for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to reaffirm the current U.S. approach to electrical safety by maintaining the nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL) program and rejecting EU effort to change our system of safety.
On border and homeland security issues, Gaddis urged the administration to fully fund and support standards development of Digital Imaging and Communication in Security (DICOS) and to promote the adoption of DICOS for baggage screening in airports, with further expansion to ports and mass transit.
“NEMA will work with the new administration and the 111th Congress,” Gaddis promised, “to enact a pro-growth, pro-competitive agenda that addresses energy policy, the environment, health care, taxation, consumer safety, work force issues, and international trade.”
See a copy of the NEMA letter and .
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