Less Noise, More Action on Energy and Climate Issues
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There’s enough noise rattling around in the energy and climate debate that it sometimes sounds like an off-pitch band marching past your office window (not that the Chamber knows anything about this). All of this become a distraction from the actual work being done in Washington to address energy and climate issues in a commonsense, bipartisan manner.
Today the Chamber sent a letter to leaders from both sides of the aisle in the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources calling for action on legislation that will achieve greater energy efficiency in furnaces, heat pumps, central air conditioners, heat pump pool heaters, commercial furnaces, reflector light bulbs and other appliances and commercial equipment. These “consensus standards” agreed upon by industry, consumer advocacy and, yes, environmental groups, will provide regulatory certainty for the manufacturers of these products while saving energy.
The bill is called the “Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act of 2011.” This legislation – introduced by both a Democrat and a Republican – promotes energy efficiency without imposing unnecessary costs or burdens on industry. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute estimates that the bill’s provision on central air conditioners and heat pumps would save enough energy to power 18 million households for a year. The federal preemption provided by this bill would also reduce the potential for a patchwork of duplicative or conflicting state efficiency standards, making it substantially easier for appliance, HVAC, and lighting manufacturers to focus on delivering quality products that save energy.
While Congress is on recess this week, some of the anti-business crowd wants to march around Washington mischaracterizing the Chamber’s views on energy and climate issues. This seems, dare I say, inefficient, as we’re working with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to address these important issues.