Electrical Contractors Stress Infrastructure Investment Must Include Electric Grid
The chief executive officer of the National Electrical Contractors Association, John M. Grau, issued the following statement upon examination of the Administration’s recently released Infrastructure Investment Plan:
"The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) recognizes the new plan announced by the President as a first step to address the nation’s aging and ailing infrastructure. As the voice of the electrical construction industry, NECA and our member contractors are acutely aware of the challenges facing the critical infrastructure that connects our country, especially the national electrical grid. A national plan to improving infrastructure safety and capacity is both essential and overdue, and the proposal to use financing alternatives and streamline completion of these repairs is welcome news.
"However, the President’s plan, which focuses primarily on transportation infrastructure, fails to address our national electrical grid. Electricity is our connection to modern society. It is essential to our national security, public safety, financial systems, healthcare and education. When that connection is severed, through either a natural disaster or a breakdown in the fragmented, overloaded grid, all aspects of our lives are affected. We cannot communicate, we cannot access vital information, and we cannot ensure safety and security for our citizens without electricity."
"While short term infrastructure repairs are needed, it is time to get serious about long-term investment in national grid maintenance and upgrades. Recent reports on grid infrastructure investment compared to needs reveal a $107 billion shortfall through 2020, or approximately $11 billion in new funding needed each year until the year 2020. NECA will continue to work with the White House, Congress and industry stakeholders to ensure that necessary repairs and capacity improvements to the national grid are prioritized as we strengthen our country’s critical infrastructure."