Efficient Energy of the Future Scores Victory Over Polluting Energy of the Past
After a cliff-hanging 213-212 loss on a roll call vote on the floor of the House of Representatives Tuesday night that would have restored Department of Energy funding for energy efficiency, the makers of the bipartisan Fox-Skaggs Amendment pulled a victory out of the jaws of defeat.
"As a heat wave engulfs the nation and puts a drain on utility company energy resources, the polluters initially won by one vote," noted David M. Nemtzow, president of the Alliance to Save Energy. "Now, the American public is the clear winner of the tireless fight by two congressmen to expand the development of smart, new technologies and products that use less energy and cut pollution. It ensures a cleaner, more efficient energy future."
Rep.David Skaggs (D-CO) and Rep. Jon Fox (R-PA) secured $45 million for energy efficiency on Wednesday by working with Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ralph Regula (R-OH) to reach a compromise that funds both efficiency and fossil accounts at acceptable levels.
Under the agreement, which was adopted as an amendment to H.R. 4193 by voice vote, energy efficiency accounts will receive an extra $45 million. Of that amount, $34 million should go to research accounts and $11 million to state programs. The amendment will also provide $45 million for fossil accounts. Funding comes from the Department of Energy's oil overcharge accounts.
"This is a step in the right direction," said Dean T. Langford, president of OSRAM SYLVANIA Inc. and Co-chairman of the Alliance. "Investing in energy efficiency is sound government policy: it's good for American business and good for consumers."
"This was not a battle between Democrats and Republicans. It was a battle between the polluting energy of the past and the clean energy of the future," said Nemtzow.