The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) awarded Jeff Bingaman Jr., the former senator from New Mexico and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with its prestigious Bernard H. Falk award at its 88th annual meeting. Established in 1991 in honor of the former NEMA president and CEO, the award acknowledges outstanding contributions to the electroindustry.
"Senator Bingaman was a true leader that tackled some of the biggest policy issues facing the electrical industry,” said Stuart W. Thorn, President and CEO of Southwire Company and former chairman of the NEMA Board of Governors. Evan Gaddis, retiring NEMA President and CEO, added that the senator was a pacesetter and accomplished legislator who worked in a bipartisan and collaborative manner. “He sought our industry’s perspective on matters under the committee’s jurisdiction and displayed a commitment to truly understanding the challenges facing our country and then addressing them,” he said.
In announcing this year’s award, Gaddis said important topics that Bingaman addressed during his 30-year Senate career such as energy efficiency, energy storage, energy infrastructure, smart grid, renewable energy, transmission corridor siting, appliance standards for lighting, electric motors, transformers, energy tax incentives, and natural resource conservation. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bingaman championed energy efficiency tax incentives including the Commercial Building Tax Deduction.
A press release on the award said Bingaman’s leadership has had a direct impact on NEMA manufacturers. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established for the first time a national policy on smart grid and advanced the cause of energy-efficient lighting, high performance commercial buildings, and advanced energy research and development. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 included federal building energy efficiency, appliance energy efficiency standards, transmission siting, and a next generation lighting research initiative.