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Realtor Association Addresses Misinformation About Cap-And-Trade Bill

Written by on Monday, 10 May 2010 7:00 pm

"You'll need a license to sell your home!"

"Every house - both new and existing - must undergo an 'energy audit' to determine if it is in compliance with the new energy standards."

"Each home will receive an energy-efficiency rating that will be made a matter of public record."

"If your rating is below the EPA standards it can't be sold until it has been retrofitted to meet them."

It is both a charm and a curse of the Internet that nothing seems to die there. The same rumors, warnings, inspirational stories, and calls for sympathetic action have a way of reoccurring and reoccurring as they boomerang through cyberspace.

Over the past year or so, one of the most persistent Internet real-estate themes has been the alleged disastrous impacts of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454) -- the "Cap-and-Trade Bill" that passed the House June 26, 2009. (Presently, it awaits action in the Senate.)

In response not only to the misinformation being bandied about, but also to occasional charges that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) had been "asleep at the switch" while this onerous bill was working its way through Congress, NAR has published on its website a fairly extensive discussion of those issues. Much of it is in a "facts-and-myths" format.

It is hardly true that NAR leadership and staff were either unaware or unconcerned about the real-estate related provisions of this legislation. In its original form the bill did contain some very undesirable elements. Included among them were "federal energy audit requirements and point-of-sale triggers." That is why NAR's Land Use, Property Rights, and Environment Committee worked with staff to address the real estate portions of the bill. A membership "call to action" (phone, letters, and email campaign) was issued, and the concerns were part of the talking points given to members for their Capitol Hill visits during the 2009 Midyear meetings held in Washington, DC.

Not only did NAR work "with our Congressional allies to strip the Energy Bill of provisions that would have adversely affected our industry," but also, "NAR was directly involved in the development of the 308-page amendment" to the original bill.

Among the most salient points noted in NAR's web site discussion:

  • The bill does not contain point-of sale retrofit requirements.

  • The bill does not create a federal energy audit requirement.

  • The bill exempts existing homes and buildings from any federal guidelines for new construction energy efficiency information labels.

  • The bill prohibits the implementation of any labeling during a sales transaction.

On the other hand, the bill does leave to the states the power they have now to decide whether to require energy audits, disclosures, retrofits, etc. And it does provide property owners with financial incentives to voluntarily make energy-efficient improvements.

Don't believe all this? Think it's just more NAR propaganda? Check it out on Snopes . Everybody believes Snopes.

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  About the author, Bob Hunt

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.