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Author: Stephen Gold

Will Washington Take Manufacturing’s Loss Seriously?

Will Washington Take Manufacturing’s Loss Seriously?

Can the future be built in America? Business Week asks this question in an enlightening article this week -- and the answer is, "It depends." If we can't maintain our lead in large-scale high-tech manufacturing, don't expect future generations of Americans to experience anything close to the living standards that recent generations have enjoyed. The evidence for this is so clear it's irresponsible for policymakers to ignore it. Study after study has linked a vibrant manufacturing Read more [...]
What Should Make a "Green" Building?

What Should Make a "Green" Building?

Stop me if you've heard me say this before: Buildings are the single largest user of electricity in the nation.  According to the US Green Buildings Council, buildings account for 72% of electricity use in the United States.  So if you're going to try to conserve energy in our society, buildings would be a great place to start. That's why there are a number of ratings systems for "green" buildings.  USGBC's "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Read more [...]
Do We Lack the Political Will to Implement a Sound Energy Policy?

Do We Lack the Political Will to Implement a Sound Energy Policy?

Interesting proposal for an energy plan in the WaPo this week. David Crane, head of NRG Energy, observed that while visionary energy plans are nice to ponder -- take, for example, Al Gore's proposal to energize the entire country with 90-square-miles worth of solar panels in the Southwest desert -- Americans want a practical energy plan that will work today.  That means reliable, affordable -- and now more than ever, sustainable -- energy resources. Crane thinks he has a solution, Read more [...]
Health Care Reform We Can Afford

Health Care Reform We Can Afford

Finally, a form of health care reform that will save us money and lives. No, I'm not talking about the massive, complex, and costly bill that passed through the House Energy and Commerce Committee at the end of July.  I'm talking about efforts by the Obama administration -- and a multitude of supporters, including NEMA -- to jump-start the transition to health information technology (HIT).  Yesterday, Vice President Biden announced an infusion of $1.2 billion Read more [...]
With No New Transmission Lines, No New Wind Energy

With No New Transmission Lines, No New Wind Energy

An article in the latest issue of Renew Grid magazine (see page 5) adds to the chorus of concern about siting new transmission corridors.  According to the article, a survey by NRG Systems of attendees at the recent American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER conference shows that half of respondents cited transmission/interconnection issues as the single greatest obstacle to new wind generation.  Access to capital was a distant second in the survey. This is nothing new, of course.  Read more [...]
High Hopes for Wind Energy?

High Hopes for Wind Energy?

In an increasingly electrified world, the concept of harnessing reliable, inexpensive energy sources sits near the top of most policymakers' wish lists.  And there is no energy source more reliable than the wind at high altitudes.  The problem, of course, is how to inexpensively turn it into energy. That problem may be solved sooner rather than later.  With modern technology, according to an article by Erik Vance [subscription only] in the recent Nature Read more [...]
Going BANANAs

Going BANANAs

The energy industry in this country has long struggled to find suitable locations for plants and resource development.  That's because for decades they've faced NIMBY -- community activists who put up roadblocks to ensure such efforts were "Not In My Back Yard."  But the politics of the 21st century has taken this activism to a new level.  Now we have BANANA -- nationwide activists that demand we "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. " Read more [...]
NEMA Makes News — Via Podcasts

NEMA Makes News — Via Podcasts

Some good news from NEMA -- we're launching a series of podcasts, downloadable audio streams (6 - 10 mins) that will provide insights into some of our key issues. The podcasts can be found on our dedicated Podcast web page.  Our crack communications team has initially categorized these audio clips into several channels -- a Smart Grid Channel, an Energy Efficiency Channel, an Inside the Electroindustry Channel, and an Electric Minute Channel.  We'll add channels as we add Read more [...]
Will a New 4-Pt Plan Save US Manufacturing?

Will a New 4-Pt Plan Save US Manufacturing?

On his global blog "Manufacturing Crunch," Pat Cleary skeptically points to a plan by Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to jump-start the U.S. manufacturing sector.  Her four-point plan promises to: Transition manufacturers to clean energy production, by investing $30 billion for states to help manufacturers develop clean energy manufacturing. Provide $1.5 billion for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help manufacturers transition to clean-energy manufacturing Read more [...]
What is Health Care Reform? Depends on Who You Ask

What is Health Care Reform? Depends on Who You Ask

Health care reform is a big deal for U.S. businesses, including our electrical manufacturers.  Health care costs have grown steadily for more than a decade, and businesses -- which bear much of the cost for their employers -- have felt the strain on their bottom lines. (Of course, in that time medical diagnosis and treatment have also improved markedly, to the point that many formerly invasive diagnostic procedures are now painless and carry much-reduced risks due to dramatic progress in medical Read more [...]