This message was sent to ##Email##
Catherine Treadwell Perry, J.D., Director of Government Relations
ASA Advocacy is on the Energy Task Force hosted by the National Association of Manufactures This task force is dedicated to making energy efficiency a priority, as manufactures use one-third of our nation’s energy and are directly affected by the cost of energy in making products, as well as, maintaining office operations. Improvements in energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector offer immediate and cost-effective opportunities to reduce energy cost inputs, reduce water use, stretch available energy supplies and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
There is an important federal role to be played in basic research and development of new high-risk energy efficiency and waste minimization technologies in energy intensive industries. Federal policies should provide a reliable investment environment for businesses of all kinds and sizes to pursue proven energy management technologies, practices and services.
ASA Advocacy along with this task force is taking the industry lead to empower consumers and the market through transparency, improving the existing national database of energy consumption information, supporting innovative approaches to energy efficiency financing, modernizing the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), and encouraging energy efficient investments, .
In order to improve the existing national database of energy consumption information the DOE should be directed to improve and enhance the voluntary system for collecting and organizing operational energy use data in buildings. Ensure that DOE databases (e.g., Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey, Residential Energy Consumption Survey) are fully representative of building stocks and that surveys are conducted on appropriate types of buildings (e.g., shopping centers, large commercial buildings, single family and multifamily dwellings, etc.). This will further empower innovative private market solutions and encourage manufacturers to install more efficient technology which will increase energy productivity.
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) needs to be modernized. Congress should modernize the broad statute that grants DOE authority to regulate the energy use and efficiency of over sixty categories of residential, commercial, and industrial appliances and equipment. Enacted in 1975, and amended in 1987, 1992, and 2007, EPCA has been incredibly successful in lowering the energy consumption of covered products. However, with many products on their third or fourth standard revision, the future opportunities for additional cost-effective savings are diminished. Modernization of the statute is needed to preserve the integrity of the standards program, including reforms such as ending mandatory rulemaking on products every six years, ensuring that test procedures are completed before a standard, defining a threshold of minimum national energy savings to proceed with a standard, and creating a process to determine if further rulemaking is needed on a covered product.
The task force also encourages energy efficiency investments, such as, partnering with the private sector to support research, development, and deployment and providing incentives for retrofitting homes and building. Energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings represents the largest short-term opportunity to reduce U.S. energy consumption and concomitant greenhouse gas emissions. To capitalize, policymakers should increase and preserve federal government investment to research, develop and deploy energy-efficiency standards and technologies, including supporting programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). The task force supports programs that encourage retrofitting older homes and buildings to improve energy efficiency. Congress should direct the DOE to provide financial and technical support to encourage retrofits. Moreover, any retrofit programs or incentives should be available for all to participate and not exclusive to specific organizations.
There also needs to be incentives for states to update building energy codes. While the current stakeholder-based model building code process for residential and commercial buildings has a successful track record in substantially raising energy efficiency over time, many states and localities fail to keep apace of code updates. Congress should direct the DOE to provide financial and technical support to states and localities for the timely adoption and enforcement of current stakeholder-developed energy-efficiency codes for both residential and commercial construction.
ASA Advocacy is excited to be part of the task force. We are dedicated to being YOUR voice on The Hill and in D.C. Please email Catherine Treadwell Perry, Director of Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org with any regulatory of legislative issues you may be facing.
- Democratic presidential front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden said if elected, he would revive the penalty for not purchasing health insurance - the individual mandate - which was struck down by President Donald Trump, effective the 2019 tax year. Biden also endorsed a Medicare buy-in plan to counter the "Medicare for All" proposals backed by a few of his competitors for the nomination, and said he supports undocumented immigrants' right to health care in emergency situations.
- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) of Indiana raised over $24.8 million in the second quarter of 2019, according to his presidential campaign. The figure more than triples his first-quarter haul, and brings his total number of donors to 400,000.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign said it raised $21.5 million over the same time period. The total puts him ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who announced an $18 million haul.
- Trump and affiliated committees raising money for his re-election campaign said they drew in $105 million in the past three months, significantly widening their fundraising lead over Democrats.
- Several Democratic presidential hopefuls came to the defense of fellow candidate Sen. Kamala Harris after Donald Trump Jr. amplified a tweet that claimed Harris is "not an American black." The California Democrat's campaign said the accusations were in the same vein as "birtherist" claims lobbed at former President Barack Obama, and some of her Democratic rivals called the claims "racist."
- Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan left the Republican Party to become an independent, describing the current state of the country's politics as "trapped in a partisan death spiral." Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Amash since the former House Freedom Caucus member called for his impeachment, said on Twitter that the switch by Amash - "one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress" - was "great news for the Republican Party."
- The House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service seeking access to Trump's tax returns. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had predicted the issue would land in the courts after the Trump administration refused to hand the returns over to Congress.
- Oral arguments in the lawsuit aiming to repeal the Affordable Care Act will begin ahead of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit tomorrow and could cause trouble for the GOP as 18 Republican-led states and the Trump administration argue the entire health law must be gutted on the grounds it is unconstitutional. Each side will have 45 minutes to present its position, and judges will try to come to a conclusion within two months of oral arguments, the court said. (The Washington Post)
- President Donald Trump said he plans to issue an executive order to reduce the cost of prescription drugs by mandating that the U.S. government does not pay more than other countries via a "favored-nations clause," a contract which guarantees that all buyers are offered the same best terms. According to two people with knowledge of White House planning, Trump may have been referring to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposal, currently under review, to link the cost of Medicare Part B drugs to costs abroad. (The Wall Street Journal )
- A federal appeals court rejected a request from 18 GOP-dominated states to delay the onset of oral arguments in the lawsuit seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act, meaning the hearing will begin Tuesday in New Orleans as originally planned.
- Ten U.S. states and Washington, D.C. sued the Environmental Protection Agency to begin working on rules to tighten oversight of asbestos, and reduce the health risks that the substance poses to the public. (Reuters)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued a proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2020, as well as the biomass-based diesel volume standard for calendar year 2021. This puts EPA on target to publish the final RFS Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) on time for the third consecutive year. This is in contrast to the previous administration, which frequently failed to release their RVOs by the date intended by Congress. (EPA Press Release July 5, 2019)
- The Environmental Protection Agency's final rule replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan was published this morning, kicking off a 60-day window to bring lawsuits over the regulation - something multiple state attorneys general have said they will do. The Trump EPA seeks to justify its interpretation of the Clean Air Act as the only legal interpretation - a harder argument to win in court but one that, if successful, could prevent future administrations from implementing stricter regulations on power plants' greenhouse gas emissions. (Bloomberg BNA)
- Senators, including Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), are considering writing legislation to make federal records more accessible in response to the EPA and Interior Department's recent changes to their Freedom of Information Act policies. Environmental groups oppose the agencies' policy changes, which give the agencies more control over the fulfillment of records requests. (The Hill)
- The United States and China agreed to resume trade negotiations after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka over the weekend, with Trump saying that he promised not to add tariffs on Chinese items and that China would buy American agricultural goods. Trump also said that American companies can continue selling products to Huawei Technologies Co., sales that Trump had effectively banned earlier this year.
- The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said it would consider tariffs on 89 additional European items worth $4 billion in annual trade value, including cheese, pasta and Scottish and Irish whiskies, as part of a wider dispute over a World Trade Organization case that had determined European Union's subsidies for Airbus SE were unfair. In April, the United States began the process of imposing tariffs on the European Union over the Airbus subsidies, while the European Union has proposed tariffs over a similar case regarding the United States and Boeing Co.
- The United States is now in a record-long economic expansion, reaching 121 months of growth. Economic growth, the beginning of which the National Bureau of Economic Research pegs to June 2009, has surpassed even the run of growth seen from March 1991 to March 2001 and is more than twice as long as the expansion seen after World War II.
- The Labor Department reported that payrolls grew 224,000 in June, stronger than economists had expected, while the jobless rate increased to 3.7 percent from the previous 50-year low of 3.6 percent. The report weakens Trump's case for lower interest rates, although it offers him another chance to tout the country's expanding economy.
- The House is in session Monday and Senate returns Tuesday.
| || NEWS FROM STATE AND LOCAL |
Update on State Bills Being Tracked
Massachusetts (S1986) - bill we require all plumbing fixtures with water efficiency standards sold after January 1, 2020 to comply with the existing water efficiency standards noted in the bill. The bill has been reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means
Wisconsin (AB 56) – the bill constitutes the 2019 Legislative Executive Budget; includes a revenue limit adjustment for a school district that incurs costs to remediate lead contamination in drinking water in the school district, including costs to test for the presence of lead in drinking water, to provide safe drinking water, and to replace lead pipe water service lines to school buildings in the school district. Governor signed on 7-3-19 with publication on 7-4-19.
New State Activity
No new activity
E & E News
A year ago this week, Scott Pruitt was spotted on the White House lawn for Fourth of July celebrations. By the following day, the then-EPA administrator was on his way out. On July 5, 2018, President Trump announced on Twitter that he had accepted Pruitt's resignation. That was the culmination of months of headline-grabbing ethics scandals, forcing Pruitt from office and subsequently the public spotlight.
The New York Times
Providing comprehensive health coverage to undocumented immigrants has long been nothing more than a wouldn’t-it-be-nice item on the far left’s wish list. But in the crowded field of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, nearly everyone supports it. Almost all of the 19 candidates who responded to a recent New York Times survey on health care positions said “yes” to a question about whether undocumented immigrants should be covered under a “Medicare for all” system, a public option or other government health programs.
Kamala Harris says she supports “Medicare for All,” and she has cosponsored legislation with Bernie Sanders. But unlike her Democratic presidential rival, she says the plan wouldn’t end private insurance. That’s misleading. The measure would outlaw all private insurance for medically necessary services but allow a sliver to remain for supplemental coverage. It would force the roughly 150 million Americans who are insured through their employer to switch to a government-run program.
House Democrats’ legal bid for President Donald Trump’s tax returns has been assigned to a district court judge appointed by Trump.
Trevor McFadden is slated to hear a suit filed Tuesday by lawmakers demanding the administration turn over six years of the president’s tax filingsMcFadden has previously ruled for the administration in another high-profile fight with Democrats, when he decided that lawmakers did not have the legal standing to sue to prevent Trump from reassigning money appropriated by Congress to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063