Federal bill would improve mechanical insulation on federal buildings

Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) Executive Director Pete Ielmini joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and explained the purpose of the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act, which he believes will be introduced into Congress in late November.

If passed, the bill would amend existing federal regulations to require mechanical insulation as a line item in a federal energy audit, Ielmini told AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc on Nov. 23.

The bill has the support of the National Union Insulation Contractors Alliance, he added.

In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act mandated energy audits for all federal buildings, but the law does not explicitly mention mechanical insulation as a requirement for the energy audit, Ielmini said.

He estimates that federal buildings are missing an average of 10 percent to 30 percent of the mechanical insulation necessary to be efficient, which causes excess greenhouse gas emissions and wastes billions of dollars in energy costs.

He noted that too often, mechanical insulation is ignored while billions of dollars are spent on alternative energy options such as solar and wind power. Ielmini emphasized that mechanical insulation needs to play an essential role in the fight to limit climate change.

LMCT hopes bill receives bipartisan support

The LMCT is currently communicating with House Ways and Means Committee members to get more co-signers onto the bill, Ielmini said. He hopes Congress will take up the bill during its lame-duck session, but remains optimistic it will receive bipartisan support when Republicans take control of the U.S. House this January. The LMCT has approached numerous Republican Representatives to explain the bill’s benefits. 

If it passes, the bill will save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create jobs for about 90,000 Mechanical Insulators, Ielmini said.

Listen to the entire interview.


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