Alliance to Save Energy to Congress: Pass Bipartisan, Non-Controversial Energy Efficiency Provisions, Then Use Efficiency to Tackle Oil Dependence, Electricity Reliability
With the energy bill on hold, the Alliance to Save Energy urged U.S. lawmakers to enact the bill's non-controversial energy efficiency provisions - agreed to months ago on a bipartisan basis - when they return in January.
Then, the Alliance said, Congress must craft a broader energy policy that uses efficiency to tackle persistent problems such as U.S. oil dependence and electricity reliability.
"Congress should pass the energy bill's non-controversial efficiency provisions right away. They include new appliance efficiency standards and tax incentives for highly efficient buildings and hybrid gas-electric vehicles," said Alliance Acting Co-President Mark Hopkins. "Consumers, the environment, the economy, and national security will immediately reap the benefits."
The Alliance also called on lawmakers to extend authority for the federal government to enter into Energy Saving Performance Contracts with private-sector firms. That authority, which ran out at the end of September, was in both the House and Senate energy bills and in the conference bill.
"We all win with this successful public-private partnership program," Hopkins said. "The federal government saves money on its energy bills when private-sector companies finance energy-saving projects, and no taxpayer funds are involved.
"Once Congress has passed the consensus energy efficiency provisions, it must then address the urgent energy challenges facing the country - reliability, security, and oil dependence," Hopkins said. "Higher fuel economy standards would dramatically address oil dependence. Electricity efficiency standards and a federal public benefits fund to support energy efficiency and smart energy behavior by consumers would improve electricity reliability."