CEA's Lobbying Priorities May Slow Green IT Growth

CEA's Lobbying Priorities May Slow Green IT Growth

Despite a high-profile drive to make its annual conference and expo a green gathering highlighting green gear, the Consumer Electronics Association continues to lobby for positions that could slow the adoption of green practices.

A blog post on EnterpriseITPlanet.com looks at the CEA's quarterly lobbying reports and finds that:

In all the association spent [$400,000] on lobbying members of Congress in the first quarter of 2010, and most of that was on green IT issues: e-waste and proposed changes to Energy Star.

According to a report in Consumer Electronics Daily (no link available), the group was instrumental in stalling proposed legislation that would have prohibited exporting e-waste to developing countries.... The CEA would also like to see a national e-waste bill to override the 23 state bills that are currently in place, but doesn't see much movement in this election year on this.

The PDF reports, which you can find by searching for "Consumer Electronics Association" in the U.S. Senate's Lobbying Database, include a number of reports from the CEA, including quarterly reports from January and April, covering the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010.

In those time frames, the CEA spent $490,000 and $400,000, respectively, on lobbyist activities. As this screenshot from the Q1 2010 report shows, the CEA was focused on a number of issues related to green IT (full-sized version here):



Of course, lobbying for national standards for e-waste and energy efficiency can certainly be in the CEA's members' best interests, and can even help buy a little time while those members develop comprehensive green strategies. And by all accounts, the electronics industry is hard at work on developing greener products, even if it is in fits and starts.

But as we reported last year, the CEA has been one of the big players in halting the implementation of New York City's ambitious e-waste law while pushing for a national law that would likely fall short in achieving the impacts of the NYC law and many other local and regional e-waste laws. And without regulatory pressure to move all firms -- not just green leaders -- toward designing greener products and taking back outdated gadgets, the electronics industry is certain to have a vastly outsized footprint.

More details about the quarterly lobbying report is online at the EnterpriseITPlanet blog.