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Month: September 2008

What’s the Next Move?

What’s the Next Move?

Following yesterday's bipartisan defeat (subscription req'd) of the Emergency Economic Stability Act of 2008 (EESA, for short), many analysts are left scratching their heads and wondering "What comes next?" After equity markets tanked yesterday, some optimism has returned that Congress will come back later in the week and pass something, anything. Whether new provisions such as lifting deposit insurance limits are included remains to be seen. Should that fail, is there a Plan C? Read more [...]
IEEE Standards Board Approves Project to Develop Copycat Standard?

IEEE Standards Board Approves Project to Develop Copycat Standard?

From the "What could they have been thinking?" desk.   On December 7, 2005, the IEEE Standards Board approved a Project Approval Request (PAR) for a new project to develop a standard for "Ground Rod Electrode, Clamp & Coupling Specification" (http://standards.ieee.org/board/nes/projects/C135-30.pdf). The project was intended to revitalize a standard, C135.30-1988, which was originally developed by ANSI and allowed to expire back in 1993.  The scope of the project Read more [...]
Texas Commission Reduces Safety Rules in Unincorporated Areas

Texas Commission Reduces Safety Rules in Unincorporated Areas

On September 1, 2008, the Texas State Legislature passed House Bill 1038, which requires that residential construction, both new and remodel, completed by builders in unincorporated areas or in areas not subject to municipal inspections must have a minimum of three inspections conducted by a fee inspector.  This new inspection program will be administered by the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC).  The commission is comprised of nine members appointed by the governor including Read more [...]
“All This For A Turbine”

“All This For A Turbine”

Got juice? In Afghanistan power means, well, power, with international and Afghan forces recently going all out to bring a strategic source back on line. We’re talking about Kajaki, a lake and dam northwest of Kandahar that were key points-of-attack when the U.S. beseiged the Taliban in 2001. Now with the “students” (which, intriguingly, is the translation from Urdu of “Taliban”) pushing back in recent months, the challenge was to get the hydroelectric facility going again – the Taliban Read more [...]
Alternative Solution: Green Energy

Alternative Solution: Green Energy

Wall Street is, apparently, in melt down. Jobs are being lost daily, compounding the problems of the banks, homeowners, homebuilders, and, of course, electric manufacturers. The U.S. economy is in crisis, but pouring money at the top of the pyramid will reach the individuals and institutions that drive the economy-it's the old, "Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and you'll feed him for life." The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the Read more [...]
Water, Water, Where?

Water, Water, Where?

You may have noticed that the future of our water supply has been getting more attention lately. What does that have to do with electricity? Of course, quite a bit of electricity is generated by the flow of water and even more can be into the future. But electricity also plays a major role in whether populations have and will have adequate water at hand. This is the case not only because water pumps need electricity, but also in conversion of sea water to potable water. Read more [...]
The Heart of The Problem

The Heart of The Problem

Central to the credit market turmoil that has dominated the news in the last two weeks is the future direction of housing prices. As it stands, prices are expected to move lower as bloated inventories of unsold homes are worked off. However, inventories remain huge and, in some parts of the country, continue to swell. Getting foreclosed homes off the market, particularly in California, Florida and Nevada, which have been hit extremely hard by foreclosures, will help to establish a floor under prices. Read more [...]
Smart Grid – A Step Closer to Reality?

Smart Grid – A Step Closer to Reality?

Federal officials, electric utility execs, manufacturers and distributors, researchers, and a host of others from around the world have come to DC this week in honor of GridWeek, an annual gathering of "Smart Grid" stakeholders and thought leaders that is sponsored by DOE and the GridWise Alliance. NEMA is proud to be a co-sponsor. Judging by the size of the crowd and the quality of speakers -- including a number of NEMA members -- this is an issue whose Read more [...]
Gone for Good

Gone for Good

While fierce debate continues [subscription req'd] in Washington over the Treasury plan, one event overlooked somewhat occurred during the weekend - Wall Street as we once knew it disappeared. After seeing three storied investment banks either falter or get absorbed by another company, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley decided to ditch the investment bank model and will now have their own check cards. See here and here for a rundown of the changes and what the implications might be for the future. Read more [...]
ICC moves to require CO alarms

ICC moves to require CO alarms

Congratulations to the ICC and its members for mandating the use of Carbon Monoxide detectors and for the countless lives this decision will help to save in the future! On Sunday, September 21, 2008, the voting members of the International Code Council assembled at the Final Action Hearings in Minneapolis, MN and approved a historic step forward in home safety:  the provision for the installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms in most one and two family dwellings. This proposal was initially Read more [...]