(House of Representatives - June 26, 2012)

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[Pages H3984-H3985]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 4850) to allow for innovations and alternative 
technologies that meet or exceed desired energy efficiency goals.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 4850

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Enabling Energy Saving 
     Innovations Act''.


       Section 342(f) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 6313(f)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``paragraphs (2) through 
     (5)'' and inserting ``paragraphs (2) through (6)''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(6) Innovative component technologies.--Subparagraph (C) 
     of paragraph (1) shall not apply to a walk-in cooler or walk-
     in freezer component if the component manufacturer has 
     demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the 
     component reduces energy consumption at least as much as if 
     such subparagraph were to apply. In support of any 
     demonstration under this paragraph, a manufacturer shall 
     provide to the Secretary all data and technical information 
     necessary to fully evaluate its application.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) and the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Castor) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of the Enabling Energy Saving 
Innovations Act, H.R. 4850, which was introduced by Representative 
Aderholt of Alabama. This bill fixes a problem with section 312 of the 
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 relating to newly 
manufactured walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. The legislation 
resolves a problem by providing the Secretary of Energy authority to 
waive certain component specifications of section 312, so long as the 
manufacturer demonstrates that that product meets or exceeds DOE 
energy-efficiency standards.
  I would urge all Members to support this commonsense piece of 
legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H3985]]

                              {time}  1450

  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Madam Speaker, the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce 
Committee asked me to convey that he has no objection to the bill. Mr. 
Aderholt's bill provides the flexibility for walk-in coolers and walk-
in freezers to meet the applicable energy-efficiency standards with 
technologies other than foam insulation. The bill ensures that the 
alternative technology reduces energy consumption at least as much as 
the insulation that is currently required. We think this is a 
reasonable approach, encourage Members to support the bill, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Speaker, at this time I would like to yield 6 
minutes to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Aderholt), who is the author 
of this legislation.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, when Congress passed the Energy Independence and 
Security Act in December 2007, it inadvertently did not allow a 
procedure for technologies which may provide greater energy 
efficiencies than even what is required in the bill. The legislation 
before us this afternoon simply makes a small change in relation to 
walk-in coolers and freezers.
  Section 312 of the Energy Independence and Security Act regulates the 
efficiency standards of walk-in coolers and freezers. The section 
mandates that cooler and freezer doors meet a certain R-value as a 
measurement of their ability to retain temperature and use less energy. 
The problem is that an R-value is a measurement based primarily on the 
thickness of foam. Therefore, requiring products to meet an R-value 
prohibits technologies that are just as efficient, but utilize 
alternative materials or technologies.
  These types of statutes typically provide the Department of Energy 
with a waiver authority. This bill simply provides the Department of 
Energy with the authority to waive the R-value requirement if they 
determine a product meets or exceeds the desired energy-efficiency 
goals. This bill is supported by the American Council for an Energy 
Efficient Economy. Furthermore, we have spoken with officials at the 
Department of Energy who recognize the need to consider the energy 
savings of nonfoam products.
  Madam Speaker, this situation offers a prime example of how making an 
adjustment in a government regulation can maintain standards and at the 
same time allow flexibility for businesses and retailers to purchase 
superior products to enable their businesses to use less energy and 
therefore save more money. The law as it currently stands is preventing 
this mutually beneficial transaction from taking place. Furthermore, 
without a waiver authority, the law will continue to limit future 
innovations in this important sector. It would be, as if in the 1950s, 
Congress had mandated that the record industry only use a certain type 
of vinyl. Therefore, there would be no cassette tapes, CDs, or iPods.
  With this simple bill, Congress can fix this oversight, allowing more 
eco-friendly innovations and a freer marketplace. This is one way we as 
Representatives can help continue to create an environment for economic 
growth. For those reasons, this bill enjoys wide bipartisan support, 
and I urge a ``yes'' vote on H.R. 4850.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Madam Speaker, if the other side of the aisle 
has no further speakers, then I'm prepared to yield back.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. We have no further speakers.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. I urge a ``yes'' vote on the bill, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Speaker, I just want to thank the gentlelady 
from Florida and the ranking member for working with us on this 
legislation. I urge its passage, and I yield back the balance of my 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 4850.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.