June at-a-glance … energy

NAFEM opposes revisions to 2020 Process Rule

After submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to rescind the 2020 Process Rule, NAFEM continues to advocate on behalf of members for giving the new Process Rule a fair chance to be implemented and applied to future rulemakings before contemplating further adjustments.

In a June 3 meeting with EPA staff, NAFEM’s Vice President, Regulatory & Technical Affairs Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, reiterated that the 2020 Process Rule provides consistency and certainty that will accomplish many of the goals of the Biden administration. He also shared that test procedures must be finalized before proposed standards are established, consensus standards are key, and DOE should consider new product standards ahead of existing products because of the potential energy savings. Also attending this meeting and providing similar insights were the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

“NAFEM is disappointed that the NOPR seeks to suddenly reverse significant progress that DOE, NAFEM and many other stakeholders have invested into modernizing the Process Rule to address necessary improvements established through two prior, full comment periods and significant engagement by all interested parties,” Souhrada said.

NAFEM also has met with the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (SBAOA) to discuss the challenges DOE’s decision to revisit the Process Rule places on member companies. NAFEM will continue communicating with the DOE and working collaboratively with others to advance members’ concerns about rescinding the 2020 Process Rule.

Despite Process Rule discussions, DOE initiates review of test procedures

The DOE issued requests for information to determine whether it should amend test procedures for commercial refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers (CRE), and walk-in coolers and freezers (WIC/WIF). This process is advancing despite current efforts underway to rescind the final 2020 Process Rule (see article above). CRE comments are due by July 26.  WIC/WIF comments are due by July 19. These are among the 25 consumer and commercial equipment products for which DOE has failed to meet rulemaking deadlines under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).

Oil companies called on to more proactively address climate change

Two of the world’s largest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, are under fire for not more aggressively addressing climate change. Shell has been ordered by a district court in The Hague to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45 percent by 2030 from 2019 levels. This is the first such ruling against a company and could become precedent setting. Shell is expected to appeal the ruling.

Activist investor Engine No. 1 successfully secured three seats on the 12-person ExxonMobil Board of Directors, ousting three tenured directors up for reelection. Engine No. 1 is advocating for a shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. “A refusal to accept that fossil fuel demand may decline in decades to come has led to a failure to take even initial steps toward evolution, and to obfuscating rather than addressing long-term business risk,” said Engine No. 1 in its investor presentation.

National Energy Codes conference scheduled for July 20-22

Registration is open for DOE’s virtual and free National Energy Codes Conference. July 20-22 sessions will focus on how energy codes are shaping the clean energy economy. Topics include net-zero energy, decarbonization, workforce development, and increased equity in the built environment.