May 10th, 2011
A Visit to Capitol Hill
The Northeast Window and Door Association (NWDA) held its annual Washington D.C. fly in last week. I had the opportunity of not only attending the event but leading several meetings with a handful of Pennsylvania Congressmen and their various staff members.
There were a few topics we discussed during each of the meetings. The first topic we addressed was the Energy Tax Credit. As window manufacturers, we all felt the strong surge of business at the end of last year. We wanted to let Congress know that it worked, and we also wanted to find out the cost associated with the Energy Tax Credit program. All the offices said they would get the information to us, and once we have it, we will get it out to you.
The second item we addressed were the federal energy policies. There seems to be eight or nine different energy policies adopted, and none of them seem to work together. Each of these energy policies has different goals and objectives. We asked for a more unified policy that our industry could get behind and promote.
We also discussed the Lead Renovation Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP). We discussed our displeasure and the challenges caused by the opt out being removed. This led to the discussion of the proposed third-party cleaning verification to the LRRP rule. My fear is this is going to be added to the lead law and if it is, I believe it will be catastrophic to our fragile industry. There is a view in D.C. that many of us do not think it matters whether this is added or not so I strongly encourage you to write to your lawmakers about the third-party verification.
Finally, I received a real education on how policy is made and how it is implemented in Washington. I also realize that our industry just can’t sit on our hands and hope others will look out for us. We, as business leaders, need to work hard at getting our points across to lawmakers. It may take many emails, letters, phone calls, visits to our local lawmakers offices, and even a trip to D.C. to personally see lawmakers.
I also encourage you to join and get involved in the industry organizations out there like NWDA, WDDA, WDMA and AAMA. They all have a strong and united voice for our industry. We all have the ability to make and influence policy for our industry, and we need to make sure we exercise these rights. We can and should make our voices count.