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American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act

Floor Speech

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I do rise in strong support of H.R. 6582 today. I am so pleased to stand and to thank Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Aderholt for the work that they have done on this. Also, I want to thank Mr. Waxman for his efforts in this bill.

I also want to commend my colleague, Mr. Cooper, from Tennessee. He and I had authored a piece of legislation, H.R. 482, the Water Heater Rating Improvement Act of 2011, and it is now section 3 of the underlying bill.

Essentially, what this section 3 would do is to fix a regulatory problem related to the test methodology that the DOE uses to calculate the efficiency levels of water heaters, which even the DOE has acknowledged that the way they're doing this is broken and it does need to be fixed.

This legislation will also level the playing field for our domestic water heater manufacturers who are currently at a competitive disadvantage with the foreign manufacturers. Of course we all know our focus is on jobs and the economy and getting our domestic manufacturing back to the pace where it should be for global competition.

Essentially the problem is this: under the current standards, the small and large water heaters are divided into two categories under two separate Federal statutes. These statutes are based on an arbitrary gallon capacity and energy input ratings. The smaller water heaters are covered by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act and are rated using an Energy Factor, or an EF rating. Now the larger water heaters are within the scope of the Energy Policy Act and are rated using a Thermal Efficiency, or TE rating.

The problem facing American manufacturers is that under the current rules of the road, only the small water heaters are deemed eligible under the ENERGY STAR program. This is nonsensical. It's an outdated measure and disqualifies our large American-made water heaters from being covered by the ENERGY STAR ratings regardless of how advanced or how highly efficient they may be.

The legislation before us today would provide the necessary regulatory and business certainty that is needed by our manufacturers. This legislation has the potential of adding upwards of 1,000 jobs for domestic water heater manufacturers, many of them in my home State of Tennessee, where there are already 3,000 jobs directly involved in the manufacturing of water heaters.

I thank the chairman again. I thank the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Aderholt), and I also want to commend the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Cooper).

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