Volume 11, Issue 2 - March 2010

WDMA Opens Ups

WDMA to Pursue Aggressive 2010 Agenda in Washington
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 I-Codes.

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.


© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.