Alliance to Save Energy Elects Sen. Susan Collins as New Vice Chair

Release Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine), a strong voice for energy efficiency and bipartisanship in national policymaking, has been elected the new vice chair of the Alliance to Save Energy. The first woman to hold the office, she joins Alliance Chair Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Co-Chair Dean Langford, and prominent business, consumer, and environmental leaders in guiding the Alliance.

Sen. Collins will carry on the Alliance’s tradition of bipartisan leadership, begun in 1977 by its founder, then-Sen. Charles Percy, Republican of Illinois, who brought aboard Democratic Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota in this energy efficiency venture.

“Sen. Collins brings to the Board of the Alliance to Save Energy astuteness in making the connection among a sound national energy policy, economic growth, and national security,” said Alliance President David M. Nemtzow. “In addition, Sen. Collins’s career has encompassed the business, consumer, and environmental sectors, reflecting the components parts of the Alliance itself.”

In a Senate floor statement in the wake of the September 11 attacks, Sen. Collins noted that the U.S. can achieve greater and more immediate energy security through increased energy efficiency. She also noted that the country could cut reliance on foreign oil by more than 50 percent by increasing energy efficiency, and that such a policy would benefit U.S. consumers with reduced energy prices.

Earlier this year when the Senate debated national energy legislation, Sen. Collins supported energy efficiency in four separate votes — three on improving vehicle fuel economy and one on air conditioner efficiency. She also has championed higher efficiency standards for clothes washers and water heaters, as well as the federal government’s Energy Star labeling program.

First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Senator Collins is the 15th woman to be elected to the body and occupies the leadership post of deputy whip. Before holding elective office, she worked for 12 years on the staff of Maine Republican Sen. William Cohen. She also has served as New England administrator of the Small Business Administration.