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Legislative Download

November 26, 2007
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[Editor’s note: In an effort to keep readers informed about the ever changing international, federal, and state legislation arena, The NEWS has compiled a list of updates listed by location. Due to the unpredictable nature of lawmaking bodies, some actions may have already changed.]

China

The Chinese have passed an anti-monopoly law that goes into effect Aug. 8, 2008. The law will require monopoly checks and a national security investigation when companies try to merge with or take over Chinese businesses in some sectors.

Europe

The European Parliament postponed indefinitely a directive requiring the exclusive use of SI (metric) units on products sold in the European Union.

United States

The House passed bill H.R. 3221: New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act. This bill was designed to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing the energy infrastructure. It is currently in Senate committee.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman introduced S. 1115: Energy Efficiency Promotion Act of 2007. This bill would do away with the national minimum efficiency standards for heating and cooling equipment and allow states to set their own rules. It has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra introduced H.R. 1888: Cool and Efficient Buildings Act. This bill would accelerate the depreciation schedule for HVACR equipment, changing it from 39 to 20 years. It has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The House and the Senate have both passed H.R. 6. This bill is an act to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security. It includes Energy Committee-passed legislation on bio-fuels, energy efficiency, and carbon sequestration, along with provisions to increase the nation’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ).

Combined Efforts

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming joined the voluntary Climate Registry (www.theclimateregistry.org). It measures, tracks, verifies, and publicly reports greenhouse gases.

Connecticut, New Hampshire, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are currently working on bills that would establish a 90 percent minimum AFUE and a 2 percent electric efficiency ratio for gas furnaces. According to the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association, the Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, and Tennessee bills also include boiler standards.

Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are currently considering legislation to mandate installation of carbon monoxide alarms.

Arizona

Gov. Janet Napolitano signed a bill that requires employers to verify the legal status of their employees. Failing to do so puts the owner at risk of having their business license suspended. A second offense could result in permanent revocation of the state business license.

Kentucky

Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed into law Senate Bill 10. This expanded the mandatory initial installation permit requirements and now requires all new system installations be inspected by a state inspector. The new law takes effect July 1, 2008.

Maryland

Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill requiring Maryland Energy Administration to adopt regulations by Jan. 1, 2008, establishing minimum energy efficiency standards for new products sold in the state. This would set a 90 percent AFUE standard for furnaces sold and installed in Maryland.

Washington

Gov. Christine Gregoire signed bill S.B. 6001 requiring a return to 1990 greenhouse gas emissions level by 2020; a reduction by 25 percent by 2035; and a 50 percent reduction by 2050.

West Virginia

Gov. Joe Manchin signed bill S.B. 337 establishing a program to make an inventory of emissions, reductions, and sequestrations of greenhouse gases.

FEEDBACK REQUESTED: The NEWS is looking for more legislation information. If you know of any bills, statutes, or laws that have been passed or are being considered, please e-mail News & Legislation Editor Angela D. Harris at angelaharris@achrnews.com.

For more information, contact a representative from your local industry sector associations or e-mail angelaharris@achrnews.com.

Publication date: 11/26/2007

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