· So Many Opportunities for Grassroots Engagement – Where to Start?
· GSA Releases Core Competencies, Recommended Curriculum for Personnel Performing Building Operation, Maintenance, Management, Etc.
· House Passes Energy & Water Funding Bill
· Senate Committee Approves Funding Bill for GSA, Education
· World Leaders Set to Gather Next Week at Rio+20 Conference
So Many Opportunities for Grassroots Engagement – Where to Start?Next week, many a member will descend upon San Antonio. No event brings more HVAC&R professionals together than the Society’s Annual Meeting, and with so many members gathered in one location, there is no greater opportunity to talk about how ASHRAE regions, chapters, sections, and members can work together to accomplish great things in the public policy arena.
Though grassroots advocacy is a relatively new program for ASHRAE, many within the Society are already engaging – and on many levels.
· Although no state has yet adopted a law to require those sitting for PE licensure to have at least a master’s degree – known alternatively as “master’s-or-equivalent,” “MOE,” “bachelor’s-plus-30,” or “BS+30” – several states are potential battlegrounds in the months to come. In recent weeks, there have been rumblings about such proposals – to which ASHRAE is opposed – being discussed in Idaho, Maryland, and Nebraska. Although Nebraska regulators have gone on record as saying this will not be an issue in the near future, the Cornhusker State still bears watching. Conversations are just starting in Idaho and Maryland, but constant vigilance is required in every state, lest something come down the pike and catch ASHRAE and coalition partners by surprise.
· Members in several areas of the United States are discussing collaborative efforts in energy standards and codes advocacy with the regional energy efficiency organization, or REEO, in their region. The REEOs in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and South-central U.S. have already expressed enthusiasm in working in concert with the technical expertise of ASHRAE members – and some members are even slated to attend REEO events on ASHRAE’s behalf.
· Members are promoting use of ASHRAE standards at all levels of government. The adoption of our flagship energy efficiency standard, ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, is, unsurprisingly, at the forefront, with new resources being crafted as we speak.
· The Philadelphia Chapter is acting in coalition with a broad range of organizations to fight a state proposal to extend the cycle for all building code updates – including those to energy codes – from three to six years. That chapter also is working with other parties in the high-performance building space on city legislation to require energy disclosure and benchmarking for commercial buildings.
· Iowa members area applying for leadership positions in new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) “hubs” created by the governor to improve educational efforts in those subjects and, by extension, to stimulate those business sectors across the state.And this says nothing about all that ASHRAE’s U.S. federal advocates – members and staff – are working on!
There is so much to do and communication is key. To stay abreast of developments “inside the beltway” and beyond, keep reading Government Affairs Update (and encourage colleagues to sign up for Update); subscribe to Government Affairs staff social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter; bookmark the ASHRAE Government Affairs page for the most up-to-date advocacy resources; and let Government Affairs staff know of any developments in your area that could impact HVAC&R professionals.
GSA Releases Core Competencies, Recommended Curriculum for Personnel Performing Building Operation, Maintenance, Management, Etc.This week the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) released a list of core competencies for personnel performing building operations and maintenance, energy management, sustainability, water efficiency, safety (including electrical safety), building performance measures, and design functions. GSA also released a related recommended curriculum for facility management and operation of high-performance buildings.
These documents are part of GSA’s implementation of the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act (P.L. 111-308), which became law in 2010. The core competencies can be viewed at (PDF) http://ow.ly/bBuos. The recommended curriculum can be found at (PDF) http://ow.ly/bBu8L. GSA’s announcement of the availability of these documents can be found at the following address http://ow.ly/bBtow.
House Passes Energy & Water Funding BillThe U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 5325). This bill would cut funding for several programs and activities, including the Energy Information Administration (EIA) (cut by $5 million), State Energy Program (cut by $25 million), and Weatherization Assistance Program (cut by $13.4 million).
The Senate is currently proposing higher funding levels for all of these programs. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its bill in late April; it is unclear when the Senate may attempt to pass its version of the Energy & Water Appropriations Bill, and what the final funding levels will be. At this point it appears more likely that Congress will pass one or more continuing resolutions, which will fund all or most federal government programs and agencies at the current fiscal year’s levels.
For additional information, please contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 202-833-1830.
Senate Committee Approves Funding Bill for GSA, EducationYesterday the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2013. This bill would provide the U.S. General Services Administration with $56 million for construction and acquisition, and $514.7 million for the repair of federal buildings and courthouses.
The Senate’s bill would also provide $44.8 million to the U.S. Department of Education to create a new program called ARPA-ED that would be designed to promote advances in science and engineering.
The House is in the process of developing its version of this bill.
World Leaders Set to Gather Next Week at Rio+20 ConferenceRepresentatives from nations around the world, and thousands of private sector, and non-governmental organizations will meet next week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United National Conference on Sustainable Development, commonly called “Rio+20”. As its name implies, the conference will focus on sustainable development, including green jobs and trade, sustainable cities, science and technology development, and many other issues and themes.
For more information on the conference visit www.uncsd2012.org/index.html.