Budget Agreement Crucial Victory for Energy Efficiency, Bipartisanship
Release Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Statement from Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan
"Federal energy efficiency programs were spared the budget axes being wielded by House and Senate appropriators as they reached agreement on an omnibus spending bill, proving yet again that energy efficiency investment is a bipartisan “sweet spot” that reaps significant national economic, security and environmental returns. The omnibus spending agreement reached last night shows strong commitments from both sides of the aisle to critical energy efficiency programs administered through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
"While we are heartened to see a return to this commitment to saving energy, the agreement also includes an ill-advised rider preventing the Department of Energy from enforcing new light bulb standards that would reduce U.S. energy bills by more than $10 billion a year. Thankfully American manufacturers already support these new rules and have innovated and invested right here in America to make better light bulbs, so this short-sighted proposal will not prevent U.S. consumers from cashing-in on more efficient lighting.
"Funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs is taking a significant step forward today, with a bi-partisan agreement to provide more than twice as much to the EERE office as the House proposed back in June. We commend the leadership of House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and his Senate counterpart Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), as well as the support of our Honorary Vice Chairs who serve on the Appropriations Committee --Sens. Pryor (D-Ark.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Coons (D-Del.), Collins (R-Maine), and Murkowski (R-Alaska) – for protecting and advancing federal investment in our country’s cleanest, cheapest and most abundant energy resource.
"This agreement is a crucial victory for U.S. families and businesses and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure this bipartisan progress is just the beginning of a very successful 2014 that will include the passage of the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill."