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Catherine Treadwell Perry, J.D., Director of Government Relations
|Why Manufacturers Should Care About Sustainability
Last week I attended a meeting at the National Association of Manufactures pertaining to sustainability. I am on the Sustainability Task Force, which focuses on the ways for manufactures to deliver responsible environmental stewardship and still be able to have strong economic growth.
This meeting centered on why manufactures care about sustainability. There were two main reasons, it’s the best way to do business and everybody wins. Sixty-two percent of companies have sustainable policies because it is their preferred business model, according to a recent poll of NAM manufacturers. This was followed by the next most common reason, consumer demand. This may be the preferred business model because it has less environmental impact and has cost reduction benefits, which brings it to the second reason- everybody wins!
Energy, recycling, and water conservation are the three big things that are contributing to manufactures being more sustainably friendly. Manufactures are using cleaner sources of energy and reducing consumption, they are reusing materials in invocative ways, and taking bold steps to reduce water consumption.
In this meeting I met with Daisy Letendre, Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategic Communications, Office of Policy, Environment Protection Agency. EPA has started a Smart Sector Program. This is a platform to collaborate with regional sectors and develop sensible approaches that better protect the environment and public health. This includes better EPA practices that streamline operations. The goal of this program is to highlight both environment improvements and economic growth.
In this program each sector gets a “snapshot” which will highlight jobs, capital expenditures, employment, carbon admissions and avoided, energy resources, and sales. This also includes environmental trends and data such as energy use, hazardous waste, product waste, recycling, and water discharges.. All the data is compiled and shared through the “snapshot.” This program lets you collaborate within your industry to help regions work together and find best practices within your specific industry and area.
If your company already has sustainable policies in place, then this is a good opportunity to show off what your facility is doing! Currently, Republican Whip Steve Scalise is pulling together a team to combat “The Green New Deal.” His team is called the House Energy Action Team, also known as the HEAT! Their goal is to talk about common sense energy policies. The team is looking for facilities to tour so please contact Catherine Treadwell Perry at email@example.com if you would be interested in having the HEAT visit and see what your company is doing to be sustainable and good environmental stewards.
In other news, our DRIVE SAFE campaign is still active! Please click here to let your Senators and Representative know that you support the DRIVE SAFE Act.
- Slightly more tax filers this year received a refund, 73.2 percent compared to 73.1 percent last year. The average refund amount was down $55 from last year to $2,725, according to Internal Revenue Service data. (The Washington Post)
- As former Vice President Joe Biden prepares to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, he's doing so as the front-runner, according to the latest Morning Consult/Politico poll. In a hypothetical matchup, Biden - who has held a consistent lead in Morning Consult's weekly tracking among likely Democratic primary voters - also leads President Donald Trump, 42 percent to 34 percent. (Morning Consult)
- Trump said he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene if House Democrats move to impeach him, though it's unclear how he would legally justify the move. Legal experts said the courts would be unlikely to intervene in such a dispute between the president and Congress. (The Washington Post)
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he is seriously considering a primary challenge to President Donald Trump. Speaking in New Hampshire, Hogan - one of America's most popular governors - said the president made "an attempt to obstruct justice," and criticized other Republicans for staying silent in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. (The Washington Post)
- President Donald Trump is leaning toward easing the transport of natural gas to places such as Puerto Rico and the Northeastern United States by waiving the Jones Act mandate that only allows vessels built, owned and manned by the United States to move wares between U.S. ports, according to people familiar with ongoing Oval Office discussions. Administration officials met over the issue on Monday, with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao opposing the waivers and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow in support, said three sources. ( Bloomberg)
- Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed legislation to require the state to increase the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard gradually to 50 percent by 2030, double from the current level. The bill's enactment comes two years after Sisolak's predecessor, Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed a bill that would have raised the RPS to 40 percent by 2030. (The Nevada Independent)
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the state introduced legislation to ban drilling offshore of Florida's coast and to require a review of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's ability to handle oil spills and increase oil companies' oil spill cleanup responsibilities. In a recent hearing, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt did not promise that any particular coastal areas would be exempted from the agency's new draft offshore oil and gas leasing program. (The Hill)
- Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will travel to Beijing to continue trade talks with China starting April 30. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will lead the Chinese delegation in Beijing, then come to Washington on May 8. (The Hill)
- The annual report by the trustees of Social Security and Medicare shows that the costs for the Social Security program will exceed its income next year for the first time since 1982. By 2035, reserves will be depleted, the report said. (The Wall Street Journal)
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) released a proposal as part of her 2020 presidential campaign that would forgive federal student loan debt for an estimated three-quarters of American households, according to an independent analysis that accompanied her plan. Warren's plan, which would also call for eliminating tuition at all public two- and four-year colleges, would cost $1.25 trillion over a decade and be funded with a new tax on multimillionaires and partly offset by economic growth fueled by consumers who are newly freed from their debt burden. (NPR News)
- The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced two new voluntary programs to shift primary care out of fee-for-service and toward a value-based model. The models, most of which will be launched in January 2020 under CMS' Innovation Center, will reward or penalize providers and health plans based on how their patients fare, and Trump administration health officials expect a fourth of traditional Medicare beneficiaries will be shifted into the new programs. (Modern Healthcare)
- Seventy-one additional cases of measles were confirmed last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bringing the total number of U.S. cases this year to 626 - 41 cases shy of the 667 cases confirmed in 2010, the worst year on record since measles was eradicated in the United States in 2000. The vast majority of new cases last week were in areas of New York where officials have declared a public health emergency. (CNBC)
- The House and Senate are back in session this week.
- ASA Advocacy will attend a tax roundtable with Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI)
- ASA Advocacy will meet with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to discuss the Higher Education Act.
- House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Members’ Day Hearing: The Committee will also be holding a Members’ Day Hearing for all members of the House of Representatives to highlight the issues of importance as the Committee moves forward with its legislative agenda. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.
| || NEWS FROM STATE AND LOCAL |
|News from State and Local
Update on State Bills Being Tracked
Colorado HB 19-123: New Appliance Energy And Water Efficiency Standards has had recent activity: Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments.
Hawaii HB 556: RELATING TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY. The Conference Committee recommends that the measure be Passed, with Amendments. The votes were as follows: 4 Ayes: Representative(s) Lowen, McKelvey, Takumi, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; 0 Noes: none; and 0 Excused: none. Forty-eight (48) hours’ notice issued for Tuesday, 04-30-19.
Illinois HB 3658 – Efficiency standards. ASA has opposed this bill due to the use of a “sell date” vs. a “manufactured date” in the compliance section of the bill. The bill is currently at the rules committee and appears that it will not progress during this session however, ASA has created a grassroots campaign to encourage ASA members in the State to let their state representatives know our concern.
Washington HB 1444: Concerning appliance efficiency standards. The bill has passed and is being sent to the Govenor. Go to final text of the bill to review final bill. ASAs opposition to the bill did not lead to the changes ASA requested.
Illinois HB 3445: LEAD SERVICE LINE REPLACEMENT has had recent activity: Removed Co-Sponsor Rep. Terra Costa Howard
Nevada AB 163: Revises provisions governing water conservation. (BDRÂ 48-798) has had recent activity: In Senate. Read first time. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources. To committee In Senate. Read first time. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources. ASA has submitted a letter in opposition to this bill and will follow up with a letter to the Committee on Natural Resources. ASA will also be setting up a grassroots campaign in Nevada to oppose this effort.
New York S 5334: a bill to enact a state drinking water bill of rights that establishes policy of the state that every New York state resident has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes. ASA will be communicating to the bill sponsor are support for the bill.
New York. A7253: Relates to potable water testing at schools and parks. Would required first-drawn tap testing of potable water systems to monitor for lead contamination.
Delaware HB 124: an act to amend title 24 of the Delaware code relating to the board of plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration examiners. Amendment would prohibit the Board, when considering a license application, from considering a conviction where more than 10 years have elapsed since the date of the conviction if there have been no other criminal convictions in the intervening time.
Louisiana. SB 228: TAX/TAXATION: Provides individual income tax credits for the purchase and installation of residential water saving equipment
Oil prices eased after Brent touched $75 per barrel on Thursday for the first time in nearly six months on the suspension of some Russian crude exports to Europe as investors second-guessed the market’s ability to rally further. Brent crude futures settled at $74.35, losing 22 cents, or 0.30 percent, after rallying for most of the day to a high of $75.60, the strongest since Oct. 31.
The New York Times
In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as homeland security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election.
President Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of the president.
Donald Trump’s February 15 emergency declaration to siphon about $6.5 billion from military, drug enforcement, and other budgets so he can build his long-promised wall along the Mexican border is still stuck in the courts.
But that isn’t stopping the Army Corps of Engineers, which handles most of the contracting duties for border wall construction, from getting ready to spend it anyway.
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