Responding to falling share prices, and Wall Street rating concerns, the National Energy Marketers Association (NEM), together with several of the nation’s largest telecom, and digital technology companies, has launched a cross-industry task force to address the mounting concerns expressed by the government, Wall Street, and investors about the future of these industries.

NEM has tapped Kyle Priest, Vice President of Intecom, the premier provider and integrator of advanced voice communications platforms, to lead the association’s newly created task force.

“Current regulations are severely hampering growth for the major energy, telecom and digital technology companies. In addition, a lack of uniform technology standards has led competing firms to duplicate investments, over-build infrastructure and incur debt levels that are driving companies into bankruptcy,” said Craig Goodman, President of the National Energy Marketers Association and former high-ranking policy official in the Reagan and first Bush Administrations.

“By using regulations, barriers to entry and cross subsidies to set predatory rates and preferential tying arrangements, the local phone, cable and energy utilities are threatening to destroy the stunning productivity gains that have fueled America’s economic growth and worldwide technology leadership. The same policy mistakes must not happen to the nascent competitive energy industry,” said Goodman.

“We are reaching out to other major players in the energy, telecom, broadband and digital technology industries to join this task force and ensure this effort produces a well-thought-out plan to identify and integrate state-of-the-art telephony, Internet, and other high-speed and wireless applications that will add value to a restructured energy industry,” said Priest.

“The United States can no longer afford to sit passively by and let the engines of global economic prosperity follow the path of 19th century railroads and nose dive into the dust bin of history. If government regulation and lack of industry standards hamper world-class energy, telecom and digital communications industries’ ability to compete, it will take years, possibly decades to recover. We must find technology and policy initiatives to help these industries remain competitive,” said Priest.

Technology issues are also at stake and this cross-industry committee aims to influence change in a number of ways.

“With the implementation of high-speed wireless technology, the energy and telecom industries are in the middle of a true technological revolution. One of the fastest ways to reduce cost is to have real-time access to data, particularly energy consumption data. NEM members recognize the value and significance of these types of revolutionary technologies and wish to guide government policy to capture the benefits for the consuming public,” said Goodman.

For more information, contact NEM headquarters at (202) 333-3288, email to info@energymarketers.com or visit its website at www.energymarketers.com.