Industry Reacts to Senate Decision to Halt Cap-and-Trade
July 26, 2010

For some time now members of the float glass manufacturing industry have expressed their concerns about the American Clean Energy & Security Act, which passed the House of Representatives last summer. Manufacturers and those representing the industry said the legislation would require those in the glass industry to either absorb the increased cost of carbon emissions (via cap-and-trade) or the increased cost of having to deal with additional state and federal regulation. But last Thursday Senate Democratic leaders announced their decision to halt efforts to place cap-and-trade on greenhouse-gas emissions (CLICK HERE for related article).

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that neither he nor the White House had managed to line up 60 senators to support even a limited proposal seeking to cap carbon-dioxide emissions from electric power companies … Mr. Reid refused to declare the idea dead. But Thursday's decision called into question when or whether any legislated cap on greenhouse-gas emissions would reach Mr. Obama's desk."

Over the past year, glass industry organizations such as the Glass Association of North America (GANA), have taken an active stance against climate change legislation, as it could impact flat glass manufacturing significantly.

"In our meetings this year on Capitol Hill, GANA was repeatedly told that CO2 emission legislation this year (before the November elections) was unlikely. However, I believe that it is likely that the issue will re-emerge after the November elections. So, this development seems to be a temporary refuge at best," said Bill Yanek, executive vice president of GANA. "GANA is working in concert with the Energy Future Coalition to try and attach the Building STAR initiative to whatever energy legislation emerges from Congress. Unlike CO2 emission regulation, incentivizing energy-efficient retrofits will inject some needed energy into an economy teetering on the brink of a double-dip recession. GANA is also closely monitoring CO2 emission efforts that are still plodding forward in California, at the EPA and at the behest of the Western Climate Initiative."

Officials at Guardian Industries say the legislation that they are excited about is a bill that will include incentives for the use of natural gas and the Home Star program.

"The United States can significantly reduce its energy use by promoting home retrofits that rely upon proven techniques and materials manufactured in the United States," said Guardian Glass Group President Russ Ebeid. "We support Home Star because is will save energy and lower homeowner's energy bills."

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