Industrial Energy Efficiency Bill Marked Up in Senate Committee; Will be Incorporated into Larger Energy Bill
Washington, D.C., March 31, 2009 - Today the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources considered S. 661, the Restoring America’s Manufacturing Leadership through Energy Efficiency (RAMLEE) Act of 2009, which aims to transform the U.S. industrial sector by embracing clean energy technologies. No substantive amendments were recommended, and the bill will now be sent to the Senate floor, where it will be incorporated into a broader energy bill to be introduced at the end of April.
The RAMLEE Act would make use of innovative financing mechanisms and public-private partnerships to encourage both enhanced research and development and increased implementation of energy efficient manufacturing technologies. The Alliance, along with other organizations interested in energy efficiency, is endorsing the bill, which it played a role in crafting. The Alliance worked with committee staff prior to the bill’s introduction, and provided commentary to committee staff on various provisions that were incorporated.
"We are pleased that the committee has recognized the importance of industrial energy efficiency, especially at a time when American manufacturing is experiencing severe challenges in competitiveness,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “We believe that energy efficiency will help American industry realize very substantial energy savings in the near future if it is fully deployed.”
The Alliance particularly praised a provision in the bill that would expand the Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), regional centers based at academic institutions that counsel industrial facilities on increasing their energy efficiency, while training engineering students in the clean energy careers of the future. Under RAMLEE, the IAC program would reach more small- and medium-sized manufacturers, those who otherwise do not have the resources to determine the energy efficiency improvements that could increase their productivity.
Other highlights of RAMLEE include the creation of a joint partnership between DOE and the industrial sector; DOE grants to establish regional revolving loan funds for manufacturers; and the establishment of partnerships between the Industrial Technologies Program and other Federal applied technology programs to engage in early-stage manufacturing technology development. These provisions and others in the bill would ensure that the development of energy efficient technologies for the industrial sector continues, and that these technologies are increasingly made available for implementation by manufacturers both small and large.