Friday, January 13, 2012

ASHRAE - Government Affairs Update

Happy Friday the 13th and welcome to ASHRAE's Government Affairs Update! Along with the Government Affairs Webpage, these periodic Email updates feature information on government affairs-related activities of interest to ASHRAE members and others interested in the built environment. Archives of previous updates are available from the Government Affairs Webpage (
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ASHRAEGovernment Affairs Update, 1/13/2012
·         State Legislatures Convene, Address Top-Line ASHRAE Policy Concerns
·         U.S. House and Senate Members Return Later this Month; Congressional Staff Peer Into Legislative Crystal Ball for 2012

State Legislatures Convene, Address Top-Line ASHRAE Policy Concerns

There is a buzz in state capitols right now as legislatures from coast to coast are beginning their 2012 sessions. To date (January 13), 33 of the 47 legislatures (including the District of Columbia’s Council) meeting in regular session this year – the legislatures in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas are not slated to meet in 2012 – have convened and are already discussing measures of import to ASHRAE at both a Society and chapter level.
As has been reported in past Updates, at ASHRAE’s Annual Meeting last summer in Montreal, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to develop grassroots advocacy programs at the state, provincial, and local levels within the Society’s membership. We are working to mobilize ASHRAE chapters and members in encouraging adoption of ASHRAE standards in their states, provinces, cities, and counties, as well as other public policies in line with ASHRAE advocacy priorities, including (but not limited to):
·         Building energy codes;
·         Building energy disclosure;
·         Engineering licensure (e.g., “Master’s or Equivalent” [as outlined in the November 18 Update], continuing education requirements, etc.)
·         Measures related to a higher-performance built environment; and
·         Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives.
By utilizing a new legislative monitoring service, ASHRAE Government Affairs staff has already identified nearly 400 state-level measures that address the above issues, with a view toward acting as a centralized resource and clearinghouse of legislative information to ASHRAE regions, chapters, and members so that all can help to shape positive public policy.
If you would like to be kept up-to-speed on the policy issues that matter the most to the HVAC&R professional in your state or region, please contact ASHRAE’s Government Affairs Office at or call (202) 833-1830 and ask for Mark Wills (Manager, State and Local Government Affairs).

U.S. House and Senate Members Return Later this Month; Congressional Staff Peer Into Legislative Crystal Ball for 2012
U.S. House and Senate members are back in their states and districts, meeting with constituents and campaigning, while their congressional staffers back here in Washington, DC are trying to see through the political fog and find a path to a legislative win for their bosses. Clouding their view are the upcoming U.S. Presidential and House and Senate elections, and President Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address and his budget request to Congress, both of which will outline the President’s 2012 legislative priorities.
Given the high degree of partisanship within Congress and between the President, there will likely be few chances for large-scale legislation to pass, and yet there will be opportunities. For instance, some Senate leaders would like to block out time to debate energy efficiency legislation on the Senate floor, and are meeting to discuss this in greater detail in the coming weeks. The exact legislation is yet to be determined, but there is a fair likelihood that it could resemble the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.1000), which ASHRAE and a large number of technical societies and organizations have been working on since April, 2011.
2012 is shaping up to be an interesting year, and even legislation that doesn’t pass will help set the stage for 2013.


ASHRAE Washington Office
1828 L Street, NW * Suite 906 * Washington, DC 20036
(202) 833-1830 * fax: (202) 833-0118 *

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