The Truth about Cap and Trade

Cape and Trade Exposed

Have you heard the news?  Cap and Trade, the cliche for the bill that would clean up the environment, establish long-term energy goals and regulations, is actually HR 2454.  This bill, which has not yet been acted on by the Senate, has been the subject of numerous articles, blogs and emails indicating that if passed it would require all homeowners who wish to sell their home to undergo audits, make repairs, and spend potentially thousands of dollars….just for permission to sell the home.

Here’s the straight scoop, direct from NAR. 

NAR Myths and Facts The American Clean Energy and Security Act
National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20001 On June 26, the House of Representative approved H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Since then, there have been many reports about the bill and NAR’s position that are based on incomplete information. Here are the facts:

“NAR supports a “Cap and Tax” bill”

As passed, the bill:

• Does not create a federal energy audit requirement for real property;

• Exempts existing homes and buildings from any federal guidelines for new construction energy labeling.

• Leaves the decision to state government whether to pass a law and label, but specifically prohibits any labeling during a sales transaction.

• Prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions from residential and commercial buildings under the Clean Air Act;

• No longer includes provisions to bolster a private right of action under the Clean Air Act that would have allowed citizens to halt construction over minor risks – whether real or imagined;

• Offers property owners with matching grants and diagnostic tools to make property improvements that saves energy; and

• Provides green building financial incentives for HUD housing, including a loans, block grants and credit in underwriting for energy improvements.

NAR takes a position on legislation, or provisions within legislation, that have a direct affect on real estate. Working with our Congressional allies, NAR stripped the Energy Bill of provisions that would have adversely affected our industry. At the direction of the NAR Board of Directors and Land Use, Property Rights and Environment Committee and the Climate Change Presidential Advisory Group, NAR concentrated on the real estate provisions in the bill. NAR was successful in getting harmful federal energy audit requirements and point-of sale triggers dropped from the bill.

“The bill mandates energy audits and labeling before any home in America is sold.”

• Does not create energy audit requirement for real property at time of sale.

• Exempts existing homes, multifamily and commercial buildings from any federal energy labeling guidelines such as the existing federal Energy Star label program (section 204(m)), and

• Leaves the decision entirely to state governments whether to pass a law to require labels, but expressly prohibits labeling during a transaction (Section 204(h)).

The bill does not create a federal energy audit or labeling requirement. As introduced, the original bill would have required energy audits and labeling at the time of sale. However, Realtors succeeded in making many positive changes before the bill passed. Many published reports are not based on the version of the bill that was considered by the House. As approved, the bill:

“The bill federalizes building codes.”

Throughout the bill’s development, NAR has worked as part of a broad real estate coalition to address concerns with the House bill’s building-code provisions. NAR and the real estate coalition were unable to secure committee passage of amendments to limit these provisions. An amendment to strike the provisions defeated along a party line vote. NAR will redouble its efforts in the Senate where the energy committee has reported bipartisan alternative to the House’s that sets more realistic energy reduction targets while preserving state and local

The bill would create a national building code standard that improves upon building energy efficiency. States would be given 1 year to bring their state codes into compliance with the new national standards. If a state fails to do so, the federal government would set and enforce the state’s energy codes.

NAR Myths and Facts The American Clean Energy and Security Act National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20001 authority. If and when the Senate takes up its bill and it reaches a House-Senate conference to resolve the bill differences, we will undertake…….


Regulations continue to drown us in things all of us used to undertake on our own, or with the help of our neighbors.  But scare tactics never work, at least for long.  If you hear something about real estate that sounds perilous or injust, take a few minutes to write a comment here, or send me an email. We’ll get to the bottom of the rumour…or fact…because only the facts count.




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