Congress Moving Forward to Make the U.S. Economy More Energy Productive
A Statement from Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan
“Both Chambers of the U.S. Congress took action this week that demonstrates, yet again, that energy efficiency policy is the bi-partisan ‘sweet spot’ in our national energy policy debate. This is good news for American consumers and businesses, now that our national policy makers are one step closer to putting in place strong, effective energy efficiency policies that will improve the energy productivity and competitiveness of our economy.
“On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee reported a package that would extend 50 different tax incentives including the reinstatement of several important energy efficiency credits and deductions to help American consumers and businesses to make energy efficiency upgrades, and to encourage the construction of highly efficient new homes and buildings. We are encouraged by the overwhelming, bi-partisan vote of 23 – 3 in favor of this package and urge the House to follow suit immediately so that the legislation can be forwarded to the White House for signature into law.
“Today, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee favorably reported an energy bill that contains a number of effective energy efficiency provisions including support for federal data center efficiency, assistance to public schools for efficiency retrofits and deployment of distributed generation, and a provision promoting efficiency in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Importantly, several provisions that would have ‘rolled back’ gains we have made in energy efficiency were stripped from the bill before it was approved via voice vote by the Subcommittee. Again, we are encouraged by the strong bi-partisan support for provisions that drive energy efficiency forward into the economy, and we look forward to working with both the House Energy and Commerce Committee as it considers this legislation and the Senate Energy Committee which has embarked on its own initiative to advance a comprehensive energy bill that includes energy efficiency as a central pillar.
“Getting energy efficiency across the Congressional 'finish line' has been done once this year already with the passage of S. 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act. The opportunities for delivering energy and financial savings to Americans through enactment of additional energy efficiency policies are immense. Congress should act with urgency to build upon the momentum this week to move cost-effective, bi-partisan energy efficiency measures through the legislative process as quickly as possible.”