PIA Applauds Congress for Taking First Step Toward National Energy Policy
Monday, August 13, 2001
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA (August 10, 2001) – Printing Industries of America (PIA), Incorporated, applauded the late July decision by Congress to create a national energy policy aimed at developing sustainable energy reserves and improving infrastructure for commercial enterprises and their customers. By a vote of 240-189, the U.S. House of Representatives on July 31 passed H.R. 4, the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Act. The measure now heads for the Senate when Congress reconvenes after the August recess. PIA favored a national energy policy, especially when members across the U.S. were paying increased fuel and utility costs between 31 and 50 percent and in some instances, 200 percent. As a result, PIA and a number of its members joined the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth, which urged U.S. decision-makers to develop a domestic energy policy. The alliance is a coalition of suppliers, commercial users, residential consumers, and unions seeking to ensure reliable energy resources for America's future. "Graphic arts companies everywhere during the second quarter of 2001 witnessed a sizeable percentage increase in their fuel and energy costs that cannot possibly be absorbed over the long term," said Ben Cooper, PIA senior vice president of government affairs. "Consequently, those added costs are going to be passed on to the consumer and thus print pricing will begin to spiral out of control. Fortunately, the House recognized a sound energy policy contributes to sustained economic growth. Hopefully, the Senate will quickly follow suit." The domestic energy policy issue came to the forefront in the Spring of 2001, as blackouts plagued the West Coast and gasoline prices skyrocketed. These market forces focused national attention on the glaring differences between energy supply and demand. Wendy Lechner, senior director of federal policy at PIA noted, "Energy use is growing twice as fast as production. Use is up 30 percent while production has only increased 14 percent since 1972. Printers and other manufacturers are bearing the brunt of increased prices, which will have a tremendous negative impact on our economic well being. By taking this first important step to safely increase supplies, improve the distribution chain, and further develop alternative energy sources, Congress is protecting our economy and our quality of life."