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American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SHIMKUS. I also come down in support of H.R. 6582 and want to address the small duct, high velocity system provisions in this bill. But first let me talk about my friend and colleague, Russ Carnahan. The Carnahan name in my neighboring State of Missouri is well known and well respected. Russ added to that legacy, and I thank him for his service, and I thank him for his friendship.

Mr. Speaker, small duct, high velocity systems are a special type of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning used especially for older homes and buildings that don't have room for duct work. In terms of delivered efficiency, these units are more energy efficient than traditional HVAC units, a fact widely recognized, including by the Department of Energy.

Unfortunately, more than 10 years ago, these small duct units were incorrectly lumped into a rulemaking for regular HVAC units. Subsequent administrations have attempted to correct this error in the past through unrelated rulemaking regarding efficiency standards for different types of units. However, the rulemaking for these unrelated units was challenged and overturned. Because small duct, high velocity units were included, the court's findings applied to them as well.

The result of the court ruling forbids DOE efficiency rulemakings that ratchet down standards already in place, even if those in place were promulgated by mistake, as in the case of these units. Despite this ruling, DOE has recognized small duct high velocity systems as unique and that they should have their own set of efficiency standards. As a result, DOE has given these systems waivers to be sold as efficient products.

Mr. Speaker, the provisions of H.R. 6582 related to small duct high velocity systems are taken from H.R. 1499 that Mr. Carnahan and I have been working on. The language will codify these waivers already in place and set up a regulatory process so sellers of these systems can have relief from this regulatory burden. Furthermore, consumers will have peace of mind that these products are truly energy efficient while meeting their needs and not just operating under a waiver.

I urge my colleagues to support the entire bill, H.R. 6582. And to my friend, Mr. Waxman, who is very passionate on climate, he also knows that there are those of us who are just as passionate about jobs and the economy and the fossil fuel economy, and I hope that we can work together in the next Congress.

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