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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FORTENBERRY. Madam Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to offer this commonsense amendment to protect American jobs and reduce regulatory burdens. Quite simply, this amendment would block the Department of Energy from implementing unnecessary energy conservation standards for golf cart battery chargers.

Madam Chairman, I recognize that reasonable regulations are necessary to protect human health and the environment; however, we must guard against costly rules that provide no meaningful benefit to the United States but instead encourage this shift of American jobs overseas to lower-wage countries where environmental standards are minimal. The proposed golf cart battery charger rule is clearly such a regulation. The proposed standards would achieve minimal energy savings, and the Department of Energy itself acknowledges that they would result in U.S. manufacturing jobs being sent overseas.

While I support the overall goal of promoting energy efficiency, I am very concerned about this proposed regulation that directly affects more than 100 jobs right where I live.

Madam Chair, last week's unemployment figures highlight the economic challenges we face in our country. Job growth is slowing and unemployment is ticking up. In this kind of economic climate, why would we want to intentionally force American jobs overseas through increased and unnecessary regulation?

I would also like to emphasize that golf cart battery chargers should not even be included in this proposed rule, which is intended to cover consumer products. It is my understanding that about 90 percent of new golf carts are sold to businesses for fleets, while less than 10 percent of new golf carts are for personal use by individuals. This does not meet the significant standard necessary to be considered a consumer product.

It is clear that the proposed rule would make American manufacturers of battery chargers less competitive and it would cost American jobs, so we must ask what would we achieve by implementing this rule. According to the Department of Energy's calculations, making this change would result in energy savings of only about $6 per charger per year. That's because these chargers are already very highly efficient.

With that, Madam Chair, I urge my colleagues to support this amendment which will help protect American jobs, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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