WASHINGTON – American Wood Council (AWC) Vice President, Government Affairs Sarah Dodge has issued the following statement regarding today’s passage of the “North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015” (H.R. 8) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Language was included advocating product neutrality in building energy codes and redefining the role of the Department of Energy (DOE) as a technical advisor in the development of model energy codes and subsequent state adoption. Reps. Marsha Blackburn (TN) and Kurt Schrader (OR) introduced a stand-alone bill (H.R. 1273) earlier this year with similar language.
H.R. 8 also included an amendment from Rep. Bruce Poliquin (ME) that would ensure that all power sources are able to compete on a fair playing field, particularly biomass energy, by revising the Clean Power Plan for all fuels so as to not favor one over the other.
“Wood construction is inherently capable of providing good thermal performance, helping to meet even the strictest energy requirements, while at the same time sequestering carbon from the air. AWC has simply asked that DOE not indicate product preferences in the model energy code development process, but allow all materials to compete to meet targeted energy efficiencies. The language in the House-passed energy bill will help ensure product neutrality so that all building materials have equal opportunity to contribute toward achieving building energy efficiency standards.
“AWC is also very pleased that Representative Poliquin’s biomass energy amendment was included in H.R. 8. The creation and use of biomass energy in wood products mills is integral and incidental to the manufacture of products such as lumber, panels and engineered wood products. The forest products industry has created a highly efficient, market-based system with significant biomass carbon benefits.
“The leadership of Chairman Upton, as well as Representatives Blackburn and Schrader, got this bill to the floor. AWC urges the House to retain its version of the energy language in any final energy efficiency legislation that is approved by the U.S. Congress and sent to the President for his signature.”