- New Energy & Commerce Chair Ensures Busy Year for HVACR
California Congressman Henry Waxman unseated long-time Chairman John Dingell of Michigan to become the next chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee. Waxman, a staunch environmentalist representing the massively hypocritical über-environmentalists of Beverly Hills and Malibu, has long been a proponent of very aggressive climate-change legislation, energy conservation mandates and generally business-unfriendly regulation. Many also believe that Waxman will tap Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey to be the Committee's ranking member. A Waxman-Markey team will most likely result in the most aggressive environmental and energy policy to have ever come out of the U.S. House of Representatives. From this, the HVACR industry may find even greater opportunities for high-efficiency products, but it may also find regulation strangling its profits.
- Too Many Card Check References to Count
Whatever comes out of the automakers' bailout pleas, it won't be good for the UAW. Even before that, one could drown trying to wade through all of the news stories and references to the Employee Free Choice Act or “card check.” If you didn't believe before that this was labor's No. 1 priority for 2009, you had better believe it now. This will not be a pleasant fight and will make petty class-warfare arguments seem insignificant compared to attacks that employers who oppose EFCA will receive. HARDI members in some areas may need to spend more time on internal PR than sales and marketing to ensure employees really understand what's at stake here.
- Olive Branches and the 41 (Maybe 42) Most Important People in Washington
At deadline for this article, the Minnesota Senate race was still undecided leaving the minority party only one vote from being filibuster-less. Never having been a real unified group to begin with, Senate Republicans and moderate Democrats are now the most important people in Washington. If points No. 1 and No. 2 weren't enough, this simple fact provides all the reasoning you should need as to why HARDI is partnering again with PHCC, ACCA and ASA on a 2009 Congressional Fly-In. Last year was a fun warm-up, but this year may be for survival. HVACR business executives will need to be in full sales mode this April.
- Positioning for the Fast and the Furious
I'm expecting 2009 to be extremely busy, with proposed state and federal legislation and regulation affecting the HVACR industry and business almost constantly. To ease your In boxes and speed information distribution, HARDI has established “Wholesale Observations,” the association's first blog. Go to www.wholesaleobservations.blogspot.com, where you can set up an RSS feed to your computer or PDA so every time there's a new posting, you'll know the latest threat or opportunity for your business.
Talbot Gee is vice president of HARDI. Contact him at 614/345-4328 or tgee@HARDInet.org.