NEMA urged President-elect Obama and Congressional leaders of both parties to include clean energy, transportation, and health information technology (IT) pillars in the economic and infrastructure stimulus legislation now under development for action early in the next Congress. Energy infrastructure, traffic upgrades, and health IT are well-suited for stimulus legislation because they generate short-term labor needs and long-term benefits.
“Our electrical system powers today’s digital economy and will enable tomorrow’s green energy,” said Evan Gaddis, NEMA President and CEO. “To fully realize its potential, however, the backbone of our grid will require a significant overhaul. Additionally, accelerating the pace of technology development for transportation and healthcare are major goals of the Federal Government, and our proposal aligns well with the government’s agenda.”
The stimulative aspects of NEMA’s proposals are clear. The deployment and installation of technologies specified by NEMA in its letter will require a wide range of skill sets, including assemblers, laborers, contractors, mechanics, and engineers. In addition, the work force capabilities needed for an energy infrastructure build-out will remain relevant as the United States competes to provide efficiency and clean energy solutions to the rest of the world.
In the longer term, the reinforcement of the U.S. power grid as proposed by NEMA will provide the engineering feasibility to accomplish policy goals such as energy independence and carbon reduction. Efficiency improvements will continue to pay dividends as savings from reduced energy expenses can be reallocated to other priorities. In the medical field, the creation of a non-profit testing organization for Healthcare Information Systems (HIS) will remove market barriers and lead to improved patient care and decreased costs.
A copy of NEMA’s letter is available at http://www.nema.org/gov.