The House of Representatives passed the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act on Thursday by a vote of 249 to 171. The legislation is of particular interest to the glass and commercial window industries.
The bill includes a provision sponsored by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) known as “Blackburn/Schrader.” That provision, which was supported by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), better defines the Department of Energy’s (DOE) role in the development of new energy codes and guarantees that certain products and technologies are not given preferential treatment.
The “Blackburn/Schrader” language would force the agency to publish energy savings targets, code-change proposals and all supporting analysis and methodology in the Federal Register and accept public comment; prohibit DOE from advocating for certain products/technologies; and require any code or proposal supported by DOE to have a simple payback period of ten years or less.
WDMA, which represents both the commercial and residential window industries, says it will focus on the Senate and its efforts to pass comprehensive energy legislation that includes the House language defining DOE’s role in the code development process.
However, if the bill clears the Senate, it would face a huge hurdle – President Obama has promised a veto. The White House says it would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission more power to impose deadlines on agencies examining the environmental effects of the expansion of natural gas pipelines, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The newspaper reports that the Obama administration opposes the bill “because it would undermine already successful initiatives designed to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and increase our energy efficiency,” according to a White House memo released last week.
What are your thoughts on the new energy bill? How about the regulatory state in general? Leave your comments below.