Chicago Manufacturers, Energized

By June 3, 2005General

energizeoureconomy.jpg Check out this picture, taken in Chicago yesterday, of a number of our small manufacturers and some good folks from the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA), gathered to provide a push for the energy bill. The guy at the microphone is Ron Bullock, NAM Board Member from Bison Gear, one of the great world-beating gear manufacturers. To the left is Greg Baise, President of the IMA, and to his left is Bert Miller, President of Phoenix Closures and another NAM Board Member, another small manufacturer and like Bullock, a real rocket.

Some facts on the energy bill:

— Since 2001, the House has passed three energy bills, the Senate has passed one. Hasn’t made it to enactment yet. As we’ve said before, imagine if you ran your business like that.

— In 2002, the bill died as it was in conference, i.e., as the differences between the House and Senate versions were being worked out.

— Last week, the Senate Energy Committee approved the bill by the squeaker vote of 21 to 1.

— Neither of Illinois’ two Senators (both Democrats, as it turns out), Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, are supporting the bill as of yet. We have high hopes for Obama, had a pretty good business record when he was in the Illinois legislature.

In any event, these good manufacturers gathered today to announce the push to get this thing across the goal line. They are circulating a petition to their employees to garner enough signatures to hopefully pressure these two Senators to support this bill and to begin to drive down energy prices. The petition is pretty simple, says among other things, “Partisan politics in Washington has delayed for too many years the energy policy progress that our economy and environment so desperately need. Record high energy prices have slowed considerably the pace of our economic recovery and job creation.” Amen. In Illinois, the price of natural gas has risen 44% in the past five years. What on earth does it take to blast people into action?

It takes manufacturers, that’s what. Congrats to Ron and to Bert and the rest of the gang. Let’s add a jolt of energy to the energy bill. Hope others will follow suit.

Here’s a local news article on yesterday’s event.