ALA to Meet with Legislators During Annual D.C. Trip
 
(From left) Fred Oberkircher from the Illuminating Engineering Society, Terry McGowan from ALA, Alex Baker from the EPA, Dick Upton from ALA, Clark Linstone from Pacific Coast Lighting and Peter Banwell from the EPA discuss lighting legislation during last year's trip to D.C.

A group of representatives from the American Lighting Assn. (ALA) will travel to Washington, D.C., on April 18 and 19 to talk with government officials about legislation concerning the lighting industry.

ALA President and CEO Dick Upton says ALA makes a trip to Washington, D.C., every year.

“We try to go in the spring, because if you’re going to influence any legislation, you need to be there in the first part of the year,” Upton says. “[With legislation] we’re going to make sure we get the best outcome we can, and there’s only one way to do that and that’s to be in Washington interfacing with the people who write the legislation or regulations.”

Upton says ALA has a working relationship with legislators in several key Congressional committees as well as on both sides of the aisle.

“There’s a possibility that leadership may change in the next election, so it’s important to work with both parties,” Upton says.

While in D.C., the group will call on nine members of Congress that ALA works with, all of whom Upton refers to as ALA’s champions: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). ALA has also set appointments with the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

There are several issues that the ALA group will discuss with lawmakers concerning legislation. The ALA contingent’s number one priority, according to Upton, is working with the EPA to get lighting controls classified as Energy Star®-qualified products.

“We’re trying to convince them that instead of limiting the power of the fixtures, we can get better applications of lighting by using controls to save energy,” Upton says.

The ALA group is also working with the EPA to revise Energy Star lumen output requirements for residential fixtures.

“Right now, if you change the shade, you have to test the whole fixture again, we we’re going to try to take out that requirement,” Upton says.

ALA is also concerned over possible changes to ceiling fan regulations. Specifically, the ALA contingent will explain to the DOE why they oppose additional energy efficiency requirements like third party air movement testing for ceiling fans, and why they support eliminating the 190W power limiters from three-socket candelabra light kits or integral lighting on ceiling fans.

“We’re trying to move ALA’s agenda instead of just responding to someone else’s agenda,” Upton says.

Besides Upton, the ALA contingent consists of

-       Clark Linstone, Lamps Plus CFO and Chair of ALA’s Government Affairs Committee;

-       John McKiernan, Vice Chair of Lutron and past Chair of ALA;

-       Ron Milam, owner of the Lighting Emporium in Springdale, AR;

-       Tony Davidson, President and CEO of Kichler Lighting and current Chair of the ALA board;

-       Drew Bevolo, President of Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights;

-       Dave Shiller, President of Lighting Solution Development and Co-Chair of ALA’s engineering committee;

-       Jack Fleischer, President of Hermitage Lighting Gallery and Chair of ALA’s Political Action Committee;

-       Eugene Ansbaugh, owner of Idaho Lights in Coeur d'Alene, ID;

-       Eric Jacobson, ALA’s Vice President of Membership; and

-       Terry McGowan, ALA’s Director of Engineering and Technology. 

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