The 2015 Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association’s Legislative Conference in Washington, April 22-23, saw more than 100 contractors, trade press and association executives visit their congressional members to discuss issues that affect them every day. PHCC National President Kevin Tindallstressed that few members of Congress have experience in small business, making these face-to-face meetings critical to building relationships and establishing credibility.
The three issues this year’s conference focused on are:
• The DOE recently issued proposed changes to efficiency ratings in multiple classes of HVAC products. The proposal for a new efficiency standard for residential nonweatherized gas furnace products would establish a single national standard efficiency level of 92% and eliminate gas furnaces that meet the current 80% efficiency standard by 2021.
• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking a new rulemaking to dramatically expand the definition of “waters of the United States.” The EPA intends to increase federal authority under the Clean Waters Act so it can regulate ditches as tributaries, snow and rain runoff from equipment and storage areas, ponds and impoundments, and any area in which any water may drain into any other water. The House recently passed legislation blocking this rule.
• For every four skilled workers that leave the construction industry, only one is entering the field. Between 2010 and 2025, 95 million Baby Boomers will leave the workforce; only 40 million Gen X’ers and Y’ers will be available to replace them.
Mark Riso, PHCC director of government relations, told members the best way to educate their senators and representatives is to tell their story.
“You resonate on Capitol Hill,” he said. “Your message will resonate, but you will resonate more. Tell people your story. Own what you say and say it with pride. Win them over.”
Keynote speaker Stephen Hayes, FOX News contributor and senior writer for “The Weekly Standard,” discussed President Obama’s administration, the dissatisfaction with government, the upcoming presidential race and the role of millennials in the future of politics.
The annual congressional breakfast at Charlie Palmer’s restaurant on Capitol Hill included remarks from Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.
Read more about this event here.
Pictured above: The PHCC California delegation at Capitol Hill (left to right): Plumbing & Mechanical
Associate Editor Nadia Askar; Tracy Threlfall; Guy Tankersley; Mike Barker; Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif.; Steve Rivers; Patrick Wallner and Brenda Barker. Photo credit: The office of Rep. Mimi Walters