WDMA to Pursue Aggressive 2010 Agenda
by Michael O’Brien
Without a doubt, 2009 was unlike any other year most of
us have experienced in Washington. While it is not unusual for a new administration
to pursue its policy objectives, rarely has one undertaken so many at
the same time, while simultaneously dealing with two wars, a financial
system meltdown, a housing market collapse and the greatest economic downturn
since the Great Depression.
The issues facing us as a nation and as an industry are numerous and it
is clearly not a time for the faint of heart to be promoting an aggressive
agenda in Washington. Yet, that is exactly what we must do as an industry
if we are to promote and protect our interests in this recessionary period.
Thankfully, the WDMA’s 2010 National Policy Agenda (NPA) provides an excellent
road map to guide the association as we navigate the seemingly endless
twists and turns, and not to mention mine fields, that have become so
commonplace in the economy and in Washington over the last year. Simply
put, the NPA will lay out the important issues to the door, window and
skylight industry clearly and concisely and the principles we will use
going forward to evaluate whether WDMA will support or oppose an issue.
Policymakers and media will know exactly where we stand. The NPA is broken
into different issue areas such as energy conservation, building codes,
environmental stewardship, building safety, housing policy, product supply,
tax and trade, and workforce policy.
In 2010 we will be pursuing an aggressive agenda including revision of
the door, window and skylight tax credit to tie it toEnergy Star®
standards as well as seeking an extension into 2011. At the same time,
energy and climate change legislation has the potential for having a major
impact on our industry through the imposition of a national energy code.
Coupled with this is the migration of the Energy Star program for fenestration
products from the Department of Energy to the Environmental Protection
Agency and a potential new “Super Star” program, which will require active
industry involvement to assure industry concerns and issues are addressed.
We also must take advantage of national policy initiatives promoting energy
independence, building retrofits and green jobs to assure that fenestration
products are part of those efforts. And 2010 will be an active period
in the building code arena as the ICC completes its cycle for the 2012
If we are to turn the corner in 2010, the time for bold leadership is
now. The challenge for our industry will be pushing these issues to the
top a very long list of priorities being set by Congress and the Obama
Administration. We will need all industry members to actively engage their
representatives and senators on these issues if we want quick action.
WDMA’s new Legislative Action Center, accessed through the WDMA website,
has been set up to make it easy for members to contact their representative
and senators through a few clicks of the mouse.
There was never a more important time for your voice to be heard.
Michael O’Brien serves as executive vice president of the Window
and Door Manufacturers Association. His opinions are solely his own and
do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine.
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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.