Senate Dems Push Energy-Efficiency Policies

by | Jan 28, 2013

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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill to improve energy efficiency in federal buildings, and says she plans to introduce legislation to set up a program to fund energy-efficiency improvements in communities.

According to Politico, the bill Boxer introduced last week would require the General Services Administration to conduct energy audits of buildings it owns, identify efficiency improvements, calculate potential savings and propose ways for the buildings to pay for themselves within 10 years.

Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, told Capital Public Radio that buildings contribute 11 percent of annual GHG emissions.

Politico also reports that Boxer will introduce a bill to use the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program as a model for community-based programs to fund energy-efficiency projects, save money, and toughen public works to respond to disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy.

Boxer’s push for energy-efficiency legislation follows President Barack Obama’s focus on climate-change issues in his Jan. 21 inaugural address.

In his confirmation hearing last week, Secretary of State nominee John Kerry (D-Mass.) said the US should encourage renewable energy generation and pursue policies to increase energy-efficiency, The Huffington Post reports. Kerry called clean energy a “job creator,” and said it’s the fastest growing sector in his home state and others, including California.

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