Mathew Aracich was recently elected to the position of Business Manager of the Heat and Frost Insulators, Local Union 12, after his time as Financial Secretary there. Aracich is in a unique position to promote the importance of his trade as he has been part of the movement to weatherize America and has spent time educating people about the importance of new, money-saving techniques in insulation. In 2011, Aracich presented before ConEd and the Long Island Power Authority:
Some of the facts he presents are that mechanical insulation contributes to annual energy savings of $4.8 billion, creates 89,000 jobs annually and eliminates 43 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
“About 77 percent of emissions originate from buildings, but executives of many companies don’t necessarily equate mechanical insulation with energy efficiency. However, we inform them that if they just insulated one inch of their mechanical network, they could realize significant emission reductions and dollar savings.”
The Times Union quoted Aracich at the time:
“The bipartisan Power New York Act is an important achievement in Albany that will further entice businesses to open in New York, thus creating jobs for New Yorkers” stated Matthew Aracich, Financial Secretary of Insulators Local 12.”
Labor in the region should be rightly excited to have someone with proven ability to work both sides of the aisle on behalf of pro-worker legislation in their corner. In 2010, Aracich was part of a team that visited the White House to discuss how mechanical insulation can create green jobs and contribute to energy conservation. Legislation has since been introduced by U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo (R-IL) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), along with U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) as House Bill HR 2866 and Senate Bill S. 1526. According to an Aracich press release,
“This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would cut energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and put Americans back to work through a tax incentive encouraging the use of mechanical insulation.
The bill would create up to a 30 percent tax deduction to encourage commercial and industrial entities – like manufacturing facilities, office buildings, schools, hospitals, power plants, hotels, and universities – to go beyond minimum mechanical insulation requirements in new construction and retrofit projects and increase their maintenance activities.
Conservative estimates indicate that over a 5-year implementation period this legislation could save $35 billion, reduce 170 million metric tons of CO2, and create more than 25,000 jobs for skilled craftsmen in all 50 states within weeks or months – not years. While similar incentives have been developed for walls, roofing, windows, lighting, and other energy efficiency options, there are no existing tax incentives tailored for mechanical insulation.