October 19, 2018
Capitol Update

In this issue:


ASME recently hosted a briefing in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to celebrate the release of the latest Manufacturing USA report. Following the briefing, all 14 Manufacturing USA Institutes presented the latest technologies they are working on to help take U.S. manufacturing to the next level at a technology expo. Following opening remarks by ASME President Said Jahanmir, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley of Michigan joined the briefing and provided a compelling account of how the Manufacturing USA program has positively impacted his state.

In efforts to inform congressional staff and invited guests on the achievements of the Manufacturing USA program, Institute members participated in two panels. Senior leadership at CREE, Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO), and GE Global Research discussed Industry Advances in Technology Enabled by Manufacturing USA Institutes. Michael Molnar, NIST Founding Director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing (OAM), moderated the discussion. Emily DeRocco, Vice President of Education and Workforce at Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), later moderated a discussion with representatives from Lockheed Martin Corp, Ohio Manufacturers Association, and 3D Veterans on Developing an Advanced Manufacturing Workforce.

Following the Congressional Briefing, directors from all 14 of the Manufacturing USA Institutes attended a technology expo to showcase the latest technologies their institutes have developed. These technologies include the YuMi robot, a development from the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute member ABB. The YuMi robot is a dual arm robot designed to transform automation.

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) displayed its Covisus technology. Like a human fingerprint, Covisus uses tiny surface features of an item to uniquely identify it from all other items of its kind, keeping supply chains secure from counterfeit parts. General Mills, in conjunction with Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII), enlightened expo participates of its work to implement digital systems to ensure that their gluten free products were truly gluten free — from the harvest field, to shipment containers, to various storage containers, and finally the manufacturing of Cheerios.

The full list of institutes that attended the expo and comprise the Manufacturing USA program is available at https://www.manufacturingusa.com/institutes

To view the newly released Manufacturing USA report, click here: https://www.manufacturingusa.com/resources/manufacturing-usa-annual-report-fiscal-year-2017


A new report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provides a sobering forecast of the consequences of climate change. If greenhouse gas (gHg) emissions continue at the current output rate, the report notes that the atmosphere’s temperature will increase up to 2.7°F (1.5°C) above preindustrial levels by 2040. This could lead to more severe weather patterns that will consequently have social effects such as stronger storms, increased coastal flooding and longer drought periods.

Previously, scientists believed that the turning point for such severe climate change was an atmospheric temperature increase of 3.6°F (2°C). The Paris Accords is an international agreement seeking to mitigate the rise and dangerous effects of gHg. It was signed in 2016 by 55 members, including the US, and was written assuming that 3.6°F was the threshold for the most severe effects of climate change. However, this new report asserts that these severe effects will be felt with an increase of only 2.7°F instead. Since the 1850s and the mainstream practice of coal burning for energy, the atmospheric temperature has already increased 1.8°F. For every further 1.8°F temperature increase, the report estimates the U.S. will lose approximately 1.2% of its gross domestic product.

The report states the only way to curtail this increase in gHg is to reduce ghg levels 45% from where they stood in 2010, by the year 2030. By 2050, these levels need to have been reduced 100%. Furthermore, use of coal will need to be significantly reduced. To reach these markers coal would only need to comprise between 1 and 7% of energy. This is an approximately 40% drop from current coal use.

Earlier this year President Trump announced his intentions to withdraw from the Paris Accords, and released a memo directing grid operators to purchase electricity from specific power plants at risk of closing. The Environmental Protection Agency recently also unveiled a new “Affordable Clean Energy” proposal that weakens pollution limits on coal-fired power plants through pushing more of the regulatory burden on to the states.

The U.S. delegation was one of more than 180 states that accepted the report’s summary when it was released. However a State Department statement released shortly following noted “acceptance of this report by the panel does not imply endorsement by the United States of the specific findings or underlying contents of the report.”

To view the report in full, click here: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/


The Senate recently passed the Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, sending the legislation to the President to sign into law. The bill was introduced to congress by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in June and, was passed by the Senate in early September without amendment by unanimous consent. The House passed the bill with amendments nine days later.

Among the provisions, the bill authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure improvements are made to the Nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure. The legislation also provides substantial funds to improve the U.S’ drinking water infrastructure.

The bill has received support from both sides of both chambers. “This bipartisan legislation will authorize water infrastructure projects developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will strengthen our coastal communities, help keep us competitive in the world economy, and restore our coastal environment. These critical water infrastructure projects will improve our Nation’s ports, harbors, and waterways, and create and sustain thousands of good-paying American jobs. I applaud my colleagues for their bipartisan work, and I look forward to getting this bill passed and signed into law.” House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio explained following the passage of the legislation from the House.

To view the bill in full, click here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/3021


The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that it has selected seven projects to receive $11.4 million in funding to focus on accelerating the research and development (R&D) of innovative geothermal energy technologies in America. The selected projects will focus on early-stage R&D that will seek to identify new innovative technologies for drilling geothermal wells with an end goal of that show the ability to reducing non-drilling time, improving rates of penetration, and identifying methods to accelerate the transfer of geothermal drilling.

“Geothermal energy is a clean and efficient base-load energy resource, making it an important part of our nation’s diverse energy portfolio,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said. “Developing new, efficient drilling technologies will reduce these costs and increase the availability of this domestic renewable energy resource.”

Geothermal electricity production in the U.S. is currently only located in the western states. One of the aims of these new projects is to expand the scope of electricity production sites beyond this. Through innovative new technologies, there is the potential to expand the current scope of hydrothermal and geothermal systems, and tap into a whole new set of currently inaccessible resources.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be phasing out an air pollution review panel tasked with keeping agency leadership apprised of the latest science surrounding soot and particulate matter in the air.

As it currently stands, the Particulate Matter Review Panel is comprised of 20 experts in the field of air pollutants that contribute to breathing problems for many Americans. A key component of their role on the review panel is to determine what percentages of specific pollutants are safe for humans to breathe in without serious side effects.

Over the next year, this 20-member panel will be pared down to a 7-member panel that will be renamed the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). The role of this new committee will include many of the previous responsibilities of the Particulate Matter Review Panel.

Effective communication, consent and data protection of our members, customers and volunteers are top priorities of ASME’s. A new European legislation impacting consent and data policies with global implications went into effect in May 2018 therefore, ASME is updating our policies to require permission to contact you.

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