On Tuesday, December 18, the President signed into law H.R. 6582, an energy package that included Congressman Westmoreland's bill, H.R. 5710 the Better Use of Refrigeration Regulations (BURR) Act. Congressman Westmoreland introduced the BURR Act in May, and the bill was adopted into the energy package H.R. 6582, the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act" in November.
The BURR Act lessens the regulatory burden on deli-style display cases by making Service-Over-the-Counter (SOTC) refrigerator units into a separate product classification. Currently, SOTC refrigerator units must meet the efficiency standards designed for commercial refrigerators called "reach-ins." These SOTC units are designed for maximum product visibility and presentation; therefore they require more glass and lighting than conventional reach-ins. Their inherent design makes it impossible to reach the minimum efficiency standards established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
"These SOTC units are what you would call display coolers, like what you would see deli meat or ice cream stored in at the grocery store," stated Westmoreland. "They have more glass and lighting that make reaching the energy standards virtually impossible. It's just another example that the one size fits all approach to regulations does not work. The BURR Act makes it that the SOTC units have their own product class with their own energy standards that American manufacturers can actually meet."
There are five different companies that will be affected by this regulation, totaling about 8,500 jobs across the country. One of those five companies is Lennox, located in Columbus. Overall, there are about 1180 jobs in the Columbus area that will be affected. By creating a separate product class for service-over-the-counter products, we can help save these jobs.
"I have had the opportunity to tour Lennox and meet with the owners and employees that would be affected by this regulation," stated Westmoreland. "With unemployment as high as it is, we need to focus on keeping production moving forward in America and protecting the jobs we have. Now that these technical changes have been sign into law, we can finally give the employees of Lennox and the four other companies some job security with no cost to the taxpayer."
H.R. 6582 passed the House by a vote of 398-2 on December 4, and the Senate on December 16 by Unanimous Consent.