NBC News
Jan. 24, 2019

Americans increasingly believe climate change is real, that humanity is largely responsible for it and that something needs to be done to fix the problem.

But even as two new surveys confirm the public's growing awareness of global warming, they also indicate that the issue is still not a front-burner concern and that taxpayers don’t want to pay very much to rein in the greenhouse gases that are at the root of the problem. More . . .

More than 30 companies, trade associations, environmental organizations, and energy efficiency advocates are urging Congress to make sure that any infrastructure proposals they consider include energy efficiency provisions.

In the letter, the groups argue that " Energy efficiency would improve the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of any investments in infrastructure, including critical improvements across the entire buildings sector, water and wastewater treatment facilities and distribution systems, the power grid, and our increasingly-connected transportation systems."

The letter specifically calls for promoting the adoption of updated building energy codes, high-performance buildings, and high-efficiency equipment; expanding opportunities for public-private partnerships to finance projects; and applying life-cycle cost-effectiveness analysis to all appropriate projects. 

Washington Post
Jan. 18, 2019

Dozens of military installations around the country already are experiencing the impacts of climate change, and rising seas, wildfires and other climate-fueled disasters are likely to cause increasing problems for the armed forces, the Defense Department said Thursday in a report to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The 22-page document comes in response to a request from Congress in an annual funding bill , which required defense officials to provide a list of the 10 most vulnerable sites that each military branch faces over the next two decades, and an analysis of what could be done to protect them.

But while the report calls climate change “a national security issue” and highlights individual bases that face potential impacts, it did not include such a list of the most at-risk installations -- an omission that drew quick criticism on Friday.

“It seems like they have not made it past anecdote to analysis,” said John Conger, director of the Center for Climate and Security and former acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and the environment. “It’s concerning to me because Congress was looking for the department’s best judgment on how to prioritize the risks.” More . . .


Sponsor: Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)
Introduced: Jan. 30, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
Introduced: Jan. 30, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)
Introduced: Jan. 29. 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
Introduced: Jan. 29, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Introduced: Jan. 24, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
Introduced: Jan. 24, 2019


Energy Dept.
Jan. 29, 2019

On November 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) published in the Federal Register a notice of petition for rulemaking and request for comment regarding whether DOE should issue an interpretive rule stating that DOE's proposed energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters would result in the unavailability of “performance characteristics” within the meaning of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended, and withdraw its proposals for amended standards for those products/equipment based upon such findings. In the intervening period, DOE received two requests from interested parties seeking an extension of the comment period in order to develop additional data relevant to the petition. DOE has now published a  Federal Register notice announcing an extension of the public comment period for submitting comments.

Energy Dept.
Jan. 30, 2019

On July 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) published a final rule adopting new energy conservation standards for residential furnace fans. DOE has now issued a final rule; correction notice addressing typographical errors that appear in both the preamble of the July 2014 final rule and regulatory text in the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”). Neither the error nor the corrections in this document affect the substance of the energy conservation standards rulemaking or any conclusions reached in support of the final rule.

DOE will send a follow-up e-mail when the notice publishes in the Federal Register to announce the effective date of this notice. Find more information pertaining to residential furnace fans at: https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/standards.aspx?productid=54&action=viewlive

Energy Dept.
Jan. 29, 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE) is publishing this final rule to amend its current regulations regarding certain aspects related to its energy conservation standards and scope of coverage for external power supplies. The contents of these technical amendments correspond with provisions enacted by Congress through the Power and Security Systems Act and EPS Improvement Act. DOE is also correcting a misprint related to a table detailing certain statutorily-prescribed requirements .

Energy Dept.
Jan. 28, 2019

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) has issued a Request for Information ( DE-FOA-0002070 ) to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, building owners and operators, builders, utilities, and other stakeholders on key issues related to building technologies that have significant and demonstrated potential to be utilized as cost-effective solutions to respond to grid conditions through demand-side management (DSM). This information will be used by BTO for strategic planning of the broader grid-interactive efficient building technologies R&D portfolio.

This RFI is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement; therefore, EERE is not accepting applications at this time.

Energy Dept.
Jan. 23, 2019

T he U.S Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication notice announcing the next round of public meetings for the Variable Refrigerant Flow Mu lti-Split Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps working group that will be held February 21-22, 2019.

  • Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, Room 7008, 250 E St SW, Washington, DC 20427.
  • Friday, February 22, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, Room 7008, 250 E St SW, Washington, DC 20427. 

If you plan on attending the meeting in person please register by sending your name and company information via email to [email protected] . In addition, you can attend the public meeting via webinar. To register for the webinar please visit the VRF Working Group page.


Do you have a news item or announcement that would be of interest to the sustainable building policy community? Email it to [email protected] and if appropriate we will include it in a future Washington Word.
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