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Category Archives: Legislation

Minimum efficiency standards for electric motors will soon increase

“Nearly half of the electricity consumed in the manufacturing sector is used for powering motors, such as for fans, pumps, conveyors, and compressors. About two thirds of this machine-drive consumption occurs in the bulk chemicals, food, petroleum and coal products, primary metals, and paper industries. For more than three decades the efficiency of new motors has been regulated by federal law. Beginning in mid-2016, an updated standard established this year by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for electric motors will once again increase the minimum efficiency of new motors. The updated electric motor standards apply the standards currently in place to a wider scope of electric motors, generating significant estimated energy savings. DOE’s analyses estimate lifetime savings for electric motors purchased over the 30-year period that begins in the year of compliance with new and amended standards (2016-45) to be 7.0 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu). The annualized energy savings—0.23 quadrillion Btu—is equivalent to 1% of total U.S. industrial primary electricity consumption in 2013. Legislation has increased the federal minimum motor efficiencies requirements over the past two decades, covering motors both manufactured and imported for sale in the United States. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) set minimum efficiency levels for all motors up to 200 horsepower (hp) purchased after October 1997. The U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 updated the EPAct standards starting December 2010, including 201-500 hp motors. EISA assigns minimum, nominal, full-load efficiency ratings according to motor subtype and size. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 also requires DOE to establish the most stringent standards that are both technologically feasible and economically justifiable, and to periodically update these standards as technology and economics evolve.”

Congress.gov: Removing the Beta Label and New Enhancements

Via Emily Carr - Andrew Weber‘s news: The Library of Congress launched Congress.gov in beta two years ago.  Today, I’m happy to announce we officially removed the beta label. That’s roughly three years quicker than Gmail took to remove its beta label, but we won’t give you the option of putting it back on Congress.gov.  URLs thatContinue Reading

Systemically Important or “Too Big to Fail” Financial Institutions

CRS – Systemically Important or “Too Big to Fail” Financial Institutions. Marc Labonte, Specialist in Macroeconomic Policy. September 19, 2014. “Although “too big to fail” (TBTF) has been a perennial policy issue, it was highlighted by the near-collapse of several large financial firms in 2008. Financial firms are said to be TBTF when policy makers judge that their failure wouldContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Prisons, CFPB, ID Theft, Oil and Gas Transportation, Affordable Care Act

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: The Corps Needs to Take Steps to Identify All Projects and Studies Eligible for Deauthorization, GAO-14-699: Published: Aug 21, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2014. BUREAU OF PRISONS: Management of New Prison Activations Can Be Improved, GAO-14-709: Published: Aug 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2014. CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU:Some Privacy and Security Procedures for Data CollectionsContinue Reading

Americans’ Trust in Executive, Legislative Branches Down

Gallup: “Americans’ trust in each of the three branches of the federal government is at or near the lows in Gallup’s trends, dating back to the early 1970s. Americans’ trust in the legislative branch fell six percentage points this year to a new low of 28%. Trust in the executive branch dropped eight points, toContinue Reading

H.R.1232 – Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act

Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act - Title I: Management of Information Technology Within Federal Government - (Sec. 101) Modifies the current framework governing the management of information technology (IT) within the federal government to require presidential appointment or designation of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the following federal agencies: Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department ofContinue Reading

Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act

CRS – Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act, C. Stephen Redhead, Specialist in Health Policy; Janet Kinzer, Information Research Specialist. September 12, 2014. “Congress is deeply divided over implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health reform law enacted in March 2010. Since the ACA’s enactment, lawmakers opposed to specific provisionsContinue Reading

H.R. 4387, FSOC Transparency and Accountability Act

CBO – As ordered reported by the House Committee on Financial Services on June 20, 2014 “H.R. 4387 would allow all members of the governing bodies of certain agencies that are represented on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)—the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Board of Governors ofContinue Reading

Diplomatic and Embassy Security Funding Before and After the Benghazi Attacks

CRS - Diplomatic and Embassy Security Funding Before and After the Benghazi Attacks, Susan B. Epstein, Specialist in Foreign Policy. September 10, 2014  “As Congress investigates the issues surrounding the September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, some Members have questioned whether security funding was adequate or was a factor that may have contributed to inadequateContinue Reading

Federal Open Payments Database Tracking Pharma Arriving September 30

KFF – Shefali Luthra: “Despite technical glitches, the federal “Open Payments” database – which tracks pharmaceutical company contributions to doctors and teaching hospitals – remains on track for its scheduled Sept. 30 launch, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed. It was mandated by a sunshine act included in the federal health law seeking to ease concerns that pharmaceuticalContinue Reading

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation. Brian T. Yeh, Legislative Attorney. September 5, 2014. “A trade secret is confidential, commercially valuable information that provides a company with a competitive advantage, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information, and chemical formulae. (Well-known examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola, the recipeContinue Reading

Paper- Changes to Equity Markets Require Structural Reforms

“Regulatory policy has not kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in our stock market within the last few decades, according to a CFA white paper on market structure. The white paper analyzes those market changes and proposes reforms that are designed to foster transparency, ensure high market quality, minimize conflicts of interest, guaranteeContinue Reading