NEMA Stresses Need for Energy Legislation

August 17, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA, Rosslyn, VA) reported that the massive power outage that affected the Midwest and Northeast clearly demonstrates the need for additional investment in the power grid, generation (including distributed generation near loads), and energy efficiency to increase reliability and reduce system electric load.

"President Bush's National Energy Plan of 2001 and energy legislation pending in Congress provide a framework for policy makers to resolve these issues, and Congress should promptly pass energy legislation," said NEMA President Malcolm O'Hagan. "The president's energy plan and energy legislation in Congress have been improperly characterized by some as focused mostly on oil drilling. On the contrary, it is a balanced plan, containing provisions for (1) energy production, including electricity production, (2) upgrades in the transmission and distribution systems, and (3) conservation, including standards for products to use electricity effectively and efficiently. While the precise reasons for this outage are under investigation, the inadequate investment in transmission has been known for some time and solutions should be implemented without waiting for detailed studies."