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January-February 2021 Government Affairs Updates
Tuesday March 9, 2021


January-February 2021 Government Affairs Updates

Engineers Week 2021
 
Engineers Week (February 21–27, 2021) was dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.  The Louisville ASHRAE chapter was able to secure E-Week Proclamations from the Governor of Kentucky and Mayor of Louisville.  For more information on Engineers Week click here.

View/Download Proclamations Here

Federal Government Affairs
 
President Biden Starts Process to Rejoin Paris Climate Accord
 
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden began the process of rejoining the Paris Climate Accord with a letter to the United Nations requesting U.S. membership. It will take 30 days for the U.S. to formally reenter the nonbinding global agreement to reduce emissions.

Biden has also laid out a series of actions he is going to take on Climate Change starting January 27. This includes initiating a series of regulatory actions to combat climate change domestically and elevating climate change to a national security priority. 
 
Energy Department Announces Winners of the Fall 2020 Geothermal Design Challenge
 
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office has announced latest winners of the Fall 2020 Geothermal Design Challenge™. Student team winners include:
 
ASHRAE Provides Testimony at Congressional Hearing on COVID-19 and the Transportation Sector
 
ASHRAE Presidential Member and Chair of the Epidemic Task Force Dr. William Bahnfleth will provide testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Thursday, February 4 beginning at 11:00 a.m. The hearing is entitled "Protecting Transportation Workers and Passengers from COVID: Gaps in Safety, Lessons Learned, and Next Steps."  2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. expressed his support to the committee for investigating this topic and offered ASHRAE’s continued technical assistance to inform policies and legislation to make transportation systems safer and healthier. The hearing can be viewed here.
 
ASHRAE Sends Letter with COVID-19 Guidance to U.S. Department of Education
 
2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Education Phil Rosenfelt, alerting him to ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force guidance on schools and universities. Disseminating this guidance is particularly important now as the Department of Education distributes federal funds to state education agencies to be used by local schools for a variety of purposes, including school facility repairs and improvements. Those funds were provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed into law on December 27. President Gulledge forwarded this letter to Dr. Miguel Cardona, the Connecticut Education Commissioner and President Biden’s nominee to be U.S. Secretary of Education. Gulledge also wrote to the Education and Workforce Committee of the National Governors Association so that they can distribute the ETF Guidance on Schools to their members. 
 
Copies of these letters can be found on the ASHRAE website here, under Letters and Testimony. 
 
ASHRAE Member Serves on Panel at NIST Workshop

On January 26, Dr. Drury Crawley served on a panel for a workshop hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) entitled, "Incorporating Climate Change Data in U.S. Building Codes and Standards." Dr. Crawley’s presentation focused on ASHRAE Standard 169, Climatic Data for Building Design Standards, and the work of ASHRAE Technical Committees 4.2, Climatic Data Information and 2.5 Global Climate Change. ASHRAE regularly updates and publishes climatic statistics for building design through its Handbooks and Standards, which is critical to good design practices. The NIST Workshop was held at the request of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, and included remarks by Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-8). 
 
House Leaders Request GAO Investigation of Federal Buildings and Energy Efficiency 
 
House Democratic leaders have written a letter to the Government Accountability of Office (GAO) requesting they investigate if federal facilities are complying with energy and water efficiency measures. The letter was sent by Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Bobby L. Rush, Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy, Kathy Castor, Chair of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and Carolyn B. Maloney  Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. To read the letter, click here.
 
President Joe Biden Signs a Series of Executive Orders
 
Since his inauguration, President Joe Biden has signed a series of executive orders related to energy, buildings and combating the climate crisis including:
  • E.O. 13990 - Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis
  • E.O. 14000 - Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers
  • E.O. 14007 - Reestablishing the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
  • E.O. 14007 - E.O. 14008 – Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
 
Global Government Affairs
IEA Report on Pathways to Decarbonize Heating and Cooling
 
In December of 2020, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and REN21 published a report on "Renewable Energy Policies in a Time of Transition – Heating and Cooling." The reports outlines five transformation pathways to decarbonize heating and cooling. To read the full report, click here
 
State and Local Government Affairs
 
New York Requesting Input on NYStretch Energy Code
 
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking input that will support and inform the state’s efforts to update the existing NYStretch 2020 Energy Code, through the development of NYStretch 2023. This update will support the climate and clean energy agenda outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and no less than 85% by 2050, from 1990 levels. NYSERDA developed NYStretch as a statewide model code for use by municipalities to meet their energy and climate goals by accelerating the savings obtained through their local building energy codes. NYSERDA seeks to make modifications and create new measures that will cost-effectively improve building performance while reducing energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. This includes input on code changes regarding priority topics, such as decarbonization, electrification and HVAC system performance, including Total System Performance Ratio (TSPR), indoor air quality and others. Responses to this Request for Information are due February 16, 2021 by 3:00 p.m. ET. For additional details, please visit NYSERDA’s RFI 4590 Detail Page.
 
Massachusetts Governor Vetoes Major
Climate and Energy Bill
 
This week, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts vetoed S. 2995, A Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy. The legislation, considered the state’s most sweeping measure to address climate change since the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008, would have required the state to reduce its emissions by 50% below 1990 levels by 2030, and by at least 85% below 1990 levels by 2050. The bill also set emissions targets every five years with mandates to create new regulations for renewable energy. The Governor stated that he is still committed to getting the state’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, but disagreed with certain specific provisions of this bill. The Massachusetts House Speaker and Senate President have already announced their intention to refile the bill and ultimately send it back to the Governor’s desk.
 
Washington State Bill Would Require All New Buildings be Zero-Carbon by 2030
 
House Bill 1084, the Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act, would require all new buildings in Washington to be zero-carbon by 2030 and eliminate fossil fuel consumption in existing buildings by 2050. If passed, this would put Washington on track to become the first U.S. state to implement statewide restrictions on natural gas infrastructure in new construction, while simultaneously tackling retrofits in existing buildings. The legislation reflects recommendations from the draft state energy strategy, including requiring zero-energy, zero-carbon and all-electric construction in the state's 2027 energy code. This is important because if code updates stay on their current trajectory, they will not prompt fossil-fuel-free construction by 2030, which means buildings will not meet decarbonization targets until the mid-to-late 2030s. 
Des Moines, Iowa Approves Pledge for 24/7 Clean Energy by 2035
 
On Monday, the Des Moines City Council approved a resolution outlining a series of carbon emission goals, including a 24/7 clean energy by 2035 pledge. This is modeled after a similar 24/7 clean energy plan that Google announced in late 2020. Des Moines is already well on its way to 100% clean energy, according to the resolution; 83% of the city's energy came from clean sources in 2020. This resolution may make Des Moines the first city in the nation to achieve 24/7 clean energy. A copy of the resolution can be found here
 
Other News and Events
 
ACEEE Releases Clean Energy Study of 30 U.S. Cities
 
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) conducted an analysis of clean energy efforts by 30 small cities. It found that several leaders are taking significant steps to cut energy waste and embrace clean energy. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy examined cities’ efforts to make homes and buildings more energy efficient, to scale up the use of renewable energy and to ensure community involvement in developing equitable clean-energy policies. The cities analyzed, with populations generally between 16,000 and 100,000, are in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota and New Jersey. San Luis Obispo, California received the top score of the group for its policy incentivizing all-electric equipment and appliances in new buildings, and for participating in a program that offers carbon-free electricity to residents. The 30 cities volunteered to be evaluated as part of the Community Energy Challenge sponsored by ACEEE, the Sustainable States Network, Sustainable CT, Green Cities California, Sustainable Maryland, Minnesota GreenStep Cities and Sustainable Jersey. More on the Community Energy Challenge can be found here
 
National Academies of Sciences Publishes Report on Decarbonizing the U.S.’s Energy System
 
On February 2, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report on Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States Energy System. The report "outlines the key technological and socio-economic goals that must be achieved to put the United States on the path to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050." To learn more, click here.
 
New Study Ranks Countries Making Fastest Progress in Achieving Low-Carbon Goals
 
The Green Future Index, a new study by MIT Technology Review along with CitrixMorgan Stanley and Salesforce, ranks 76 countries and territories on the progress they are making toward climate goals by reducing carbon emissions, developing clean energy, and innovating in green sectors, as well as the degree to which those governments are implementing effective climate policies. According to the study, Iceland, Denmark, and Norway are at the top of the index in terms of limiting greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning energy to renewable sources. Another key finding is that Costa Rica and New Zealand have also made major progress in their renewable energy goals and have ambitious agendas for decarbonization. The full Green Future Index report can be found here




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Breaking News

2021 Louisville ASHRAE Chapter - Golf Outing
   
 
2021 Louisville ASHRAE Chapter - Golf Outing
Monday May 10, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Save the Date

Wildwood Country Club

5000 Bardstown Rd | Louisville, KY 40291
 
Please join us on Monday, May 10th for the annual Louisville ASHRAE Golf Outing benefitting ASHRAE Research Promotion

 
Click Here to Register

Contact Kyle Browning (kbrowning@b-g.com or 513-489-5225) for sponsorship and volunteer opportunities!
 




ASHRAE West Virginia, Louisville, and Bluegrass Chapters Webinar
   
 
ASHRAE West Virginia, Louisville, and Bluegrass Chapters Webinar (UPDATED TIME)
Thursday, April 29, 2021
 
Please join us for a joint webinar put on by the West Virginia, Bluegrass, and Louisville ASHRAE chapters! 


Presenter: Stet Sanborn

Topic: Electrification of Heating and Rapid Decarbonization

Learning Objectives:
With the US's plan set to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, our country's governance at all levels will need to accelerate decarbonization strategies to meet reduction goals of the Accord. Our presenter will provide an overview of strategies adopted across North America and challenges we will face including those unique to the WV/KY area. Will provide a background on the development of national decarbonization policies and the transition to electrified buildings. Hear about emerging technologies, like CO2 heat pumps, that are helping drive the rapid electrification of the built environment, including complex buildings like research labs and carbon-intensive applications like space heating and domestic hot water production. He will also explain load-shifting strategies needed to enable a resilient, carbon-free utility grid.
 
UPDATED Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Cost: Free

Please consider making a donation to ASHRAE Research Promotion. Donations can be made in $5 increments by selecting "ASHRAE Research Promotion Donation" and a quantity on the Louisville ASHRAE website. 

Registration Link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1067956057512493582

Donation Link:
 http://www.louisvilleashrae.com/default.asp?q_areaprimaryid=3&q_areasecondaryid=0&q_areatertiaryid=0&q_eventid=184

Please contact info@louisvilleashrae.com if you have any questions

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