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Under Congressman Roger Williams’s (R-TX) leadership, the House Committee on Small Business has raised concerns about a recent proposal from the Department of Energy (DOE) to modify energy conservation standards for ceiling fans. Williams, joined by Representatives Van Duyne (R-TX), Salazar (R-FL), Ellzey (R-TX), and Bean (R-FL), issued a letter to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm expressing apprehension about the potential impacts of the rule on small business fan manufacturers.

The crux of the concern revolves around the change that seeks to decrease the maximum estimated energy consumption allowable for certain ceiling fan categories, specifically large diameter and belt-driven variants. This proposed shift could compel many small business fan manufacturers to undergo extensive redesigning of their products. Even more alarming, the Committee estimates that the rule might push 10 to 30 percent of small business ceiling fan manufacturers out of the market entirely.

The House Committee on Small Business emphasized the importance of ensuring federal agencies comply with mandates such as the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. These legislations are in place precisely to safeguard small businesses from undue regulatory burdens and overreaching rulemaking that can hinder their operations or even lead to shutdowns.

An excerpt from the letter elaborated, “This rule would require numerous small business fan manufacturers to redesign their products and may put between 10 and 30 percent of small business ceiling fan manufacturers out of business. It appears that the Department of Energy (DOE) may not have properly considered small entities during this rulemaking process.”

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Highlighting the essence of small enterprises, the letter pointed out, “It is important for agencies to examine small businesses interests—which make up 99.9 percent of all businesses in the United States—when passing any new rule. America’s small businesses deserve to have their voices heard and considered.”

To provide some background on the signatories, Congressman Roger Williams leads the committee, and he is accompanied in this effort by Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL), Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-TX), and Rep. Aaron Bean (R-FL).

The situation brings forth critical considerations for small business owners, particularly those in the ceiling fan manufacturing sector. On the one hand, energy conservation measures are pivotal for environmental and economic efficiency. Conversely, when these measures threaten the very existence of small businesses, a careful evaluation is essential to strike the right balance. The Committee’s stance underscores the importance of impartial consideration, active involvement of stakeholders, and the dire need to prioritize the interests of the nation’s vast network of small businesses.

As the proposed changes are debated and discussed in the coming days, the small business community, environmental advocates, and policymakers will keenly observe the outcomes. The challenge lies in creating rules that align with energy conservation goals without jeopardizing the backbone of America’s economy – its small businesses.

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