by Eric Lanke, NFPA CEO
Not too long ago, I wrote about NFPA’s day on Capitol Hill—when several NFPA members and I met with 20 or so Congressional offices to advocate for a new research program within the Department of Energy focused on fluid power in off-highway vehicles.
The Good News: Language friendly to this new program was included in an appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Senate: “The Committee recognizes that the commercial off-road vehicle sector, including industrial, mining, and farm equipment, consumes over 2 Quads of energy per year and directs the Department to establish a dedicated activity to reduce the energy consumption of commercial off-road vehicles. The Committee recommends not less than $5,000,000 to support improving the energy efficiency of fluid power systems for commercial off-road vehicles.”
The Bad News: The House version failed to pass, not because of the merits on this proposed program, but for other, politically motivated reasons.
A conference committee is now working on a compromise bill that we believe will be passed later this summer or fall. If you’re interested in seeing DOE investment in this area, you are welcome to contact your representatives to express your support of the Senate language.
The staffers in the offices of the following Senators and Representatives were briefed on this subject when we met with them in February:
Sen. Alexander (TN), Mackensie Burt (Mackensie_Burt@alexander.senate.gov)
Sen. Baldwin (WI), Colleene Thomas (Colleene_Thomas@baldwin.senate.gov)
Sen. Boozman (AR), Philip Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jimmy Harris (email@example.com)
Sen. Brown (OH), Jonathan McCraken (Jonathan_McCracken@brown.senate.gov)
Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL), Lyron Blum Evitts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sen. Casey (PA), Kichelle Webster (email@example.com)
Rep. Charles Dent (PA), Dennis Petersen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sen. Durbin (IL), Jasmine Hunt (Jasmine_Hunt@durbin.senate.gov)
Sen. Feinstein (CA), Trevor Higgins (Trevor_Higgins@feinstein.senate.gov)
Rep. Bill Foster (IL), Samantha Warren (email@example.com)
Sen. Franken (MN), Blaise Sheridan (Blaise_Sheridan@franken.senate.gov)
Sen. Graham (SC), Virginia Boney (Virginia_Boney@lgraham.senate.gov), Scott Graber (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sen. Grassley (IA), Kurt Kovarik (email@example.com)
Sen. Kirk (IL), Jon VanderPlas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sen. Klobuchar (MN), Anne Knapke (Anne_Knapke@klobuchar.senate.gov)
Sen. Schumer (NY), Oumou Ly (Oumou_Ly@schumer.senate.gov)
Rep. Terri Sewell (AL), Rob Nuttal (email@example.com)
Sen. Shelby (AL), Dayne Cutrell (Dayne_Cutrell@shelby.senate.gov)
Supportive messages from constituents in these states and districts may be especially helpful at this point. Please reference the “Commercial Off-Road Vehicle Program at DOE” in the “Fiscal Year 2017 energy and water appropriations conference report” in your correspondence.