NEMA’s Why the Wait Campaign to Encourage Action on Energy Bill

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has announced “Why the Wait?”—a campaign to encourage swift Senate action on S 761, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The bill sailed out of committee in May thanks to overwhelming bipartisan support, but has yet to be brought to the floor.

“This bill is a rare example of how lawmakers in Washington can find common ground on issues that matter most to the majority of Americans. We simply shouldn’t wait a minute longer to move this critical legislation forward,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis. “There are consequences to our economy the longer Congress delays the benefits of Shaheen-Portman,” he added. “We’re talking thousands of new jobs that aren’t being created, and energy that continues to be wasted, along with taxpayer and consumer dollars.”

In the hope of breaking through the legislative clutter and prompting quick action on a bill with popular economic and societal benefits, Gaddis said NEMA is launching a “delay meter” on its website counting the days since the bill’s overwhelming committee passage.

“We know there is broad support for this legislation across party lines in the Senate,” Gaddis explained. “It also has the strong backing of business and industry organizations and coalitions, as well as environmental and labor groups. Why? Because this legislation will have a positive impact on every aspect of the nation’s future we care most about—advancing America’s innovative manufacturing capability, saving energy, and helping to protect the environment.”

A study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy found last year that the bill would add approximately 80,000 jobs and save consumers $4 billion in energy costs by 2020. The bill will use a variety of low-cost tools to reduce barriers for private sector energy users and drive adoption of available technologies to reduce energy use and save consumers money.

It also will require the federal government—the single largest energy user in the nation—to adopt energy-saving techniques.

“We’re calling on our member companies, our allies, and the many supporters in the Senate to push this bill for a floor vote before the August recess,” Gaddis added.

NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its 400-plus member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $140 billion.

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