The National Association of Manufacturers on February 14 unveiled a comprehensive, forward-looking energy strategy, “Energy Security for American Competitiveness,” designed to diversify the nation's energy mix and lay a foundation for meeting the nation’s energy needs in the future.

 

“Our economy and way of life are dependent on reliable and affordable energy,” said NAM president John Engler. “We cannot rely on the future to take care of itself – we must be proactive and we must be vigilant in creating an energy policy to keep America strong and working. 

 

“Many dream of energy security, but the NAM's strategy lays a solid foundation to make that dream a reality. Nothing short of a robust, aggressive and comprehensive energy strategy will adequately address our energy security needs.”

 

The “Energy Security for American Competitiveness” proposal provides a blueprint of action items for Congress that:

 

●    Sets goals for U.S. energy efficiency

●    Raises energy intelligence of the American public

●    Strengthens research and development projects

●    Streamlines existing statutes and regulations

●    Increases our nation's electricity generation

●    Diversifies and increases domestic energy supply

 

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. Energy production will increase by 27 percent over the next 25 years.

 

“However, our energy consumption is forecast to grow by 34 percent during that time, leaving the United States more dependent on to energy imports and vulnerable to higher energy prices,” Engler said.

 

“Higher energy prices hurt manufacturing especially hard because manufacturing is heavily dependent on energy. But it also hurts those with the most to lose – senior citizens, small businesses and families. No one can escape the resounding effects of high energy costs – from the cost of filling up the family vehicle, to rising prices at your local grocery store, to the loss of good paying American jobs or the rising cost squeeze in family budgets.

 

A critical component of increasing our energy security is raising the “energy intelligence” of Americans through education, internships and research programs. The strategy also calls for more research and development into new energy programs and efficiencies.

 

“A healthy economy and a healthy energy policy go hand in hand,” Engler said. “When we talk energy, we talk about our economy. We have to be smarter about the choices we make, think beyond the near-term and invest in our energy future. As Congress struggles with these issues, the NAM provides a clear checklist of what must be done to ensure affordable supplies, future development and greater efficiency.

 

“Our nation's energy security will be a deciding factor in the elections of 2008. I urge each lawmaker who is serious about keeping American competitive to address the issues we have outlined today and support legislation advancing the components of this strategy.”

 

More information about the “Energy Security for American Competitiveness” plan is available at www.nam.org/manufacts.

 

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation’s largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.