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Senate Passes Westmoreland Legislation to Save Manufacturing Jobs in Georgia


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Late last month, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 4850, the Enabling Energy Savings Innovation Act, which contained language from H.R. 5710, the Better Use of Refrigeration Regulations (BURR) Act I sponsored with Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01). The BURR Act would ease burdensome and expensive regulations on deli-style display cases by separating these cases into their own product classification. Currently, these refrigerators must pass the efficiency test of conventional refrigerators, called reach-ins. Creating a separate product classification for these deli-style display cases will lessen the regulatory burden that manufacturers across the country are facing.

Forcing these deli-style refrigerators to have the same energy-efficiency standards as regular refrigerators is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The purpose of deli-style refrigerators is to make the product visible. So, they use more glass and lighting than conventional refrigerators. With all of this glass and additional lighting, it's completely unrealistic to require they have the same energy efficiency as other refrigerators.

The Senate's action follows action by the House in June, when the language of the BURR Act was added as an amendment to H.R. 4480, the Domestic Energy & Jobs Act. H.R. 4480 passed the House with bipartisan support. Since the purpose of deli cases are to make the product visible, they require more glass and lighting than conventional refrigeration, making it virtually impossible to meet the conventional efficiency standards. In creating a class of their own, the BURR Act reduces the burden on the manufactures to spend more money to comply with a regulation that doesn't match the product.

When implemented, these regulations have the potential to affect up to 8,500 jobs across the United States, and 1,200 jobs in Georgia alone. At a time when 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, we can't allow even more jobs to disappear due to overregulation in Washington. I am proud to have sponsored the BURR Act in the House and pleased both the House and the Senate have acted on this legislation. I hope to see continued action on it in the future so that it becomes law as soon as possible.

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