In a speech on the Senate floor, Klobuchar said passing bipartisan energy efficiency bill is the right thing to do to put America on more secure energy footing, strengthen economy
Klobuchar highlighted provision she introduced with Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) that would help keep energy affordable for rural communities in Minnesota by allowing rural electric providers to continue to use large, energy-efficient water heaters in ‘demand response’ programs
Klobuchar also urged colleagues to include amendment she sponsored with Hoeven that would help nonprofits, including hospitals, faith-based organizations and youth centers, reduce energy costs by increasing efficiency
Washington, D.C. – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said passing the bipartisan energy efficiency bill introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Robert Portman (R-OH) is the right thing to do to put America on more secure energy footing and strengthen the economy. Klobuchar highlighted a provision she introduced with Senator Hoeven (R-ND) that would help keep energy affordable for rural communities in Minnesota by allowing rural electric providers to continue to use large, energy-efficient water heaters in “demand response” programs. Klobuchar also urged her colleagues to include an amendment she sponsored with Hoeven that would help nonprofits, including hospitals, faith-based organizations and youth centers, reduce energy costs by increasing efficiency.
“The bipartisan energy efficiency bill is good for consumers, good for our economy, and good for the environment,” Klobuchar said. “This bill would help create jobs, make our country more energy independent and save consumers money all while reducing harmful emissions. It is a great first step, and I will continue to support efforts to promote energy efficiency and keep energy affordable.”
Klobuchar and Hoeven’s provision to allow for the continued manufacture of large capacity water heaters that are part of a demand response program comes after the Department of Energy issued new rules to phase out such water heaters by 2015. Demand response programs use off-peak electricity to conserve energy and reduce costs to consumers. The Senators’ provision will provide regulatory certainty that rural electric providers can continue to provide efficient, reliable electricity to farms and small businesses in Minnesota and across the country. The provision is supported by the rural electric cooperatives and is similar to the Water Heater Efficiency Act, which the Senators introduced last fall.
The other provision that the Senators worked on together would provide $10 million each year for the next five years to create a pilot grant program so that nonprofits can save money through energy efficiency and ultimately serve more people. It is supported by the National Council of Churches, the YMCA of the USA, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations. Senators Blunt, Pryor, Stabenow and Mikulski are cosponsors of the amendment.
According to a study by the Department of Energy, in 2009 roughly 125,000 public and non-public K-12 schools in the United States spent $12 billion on energy. However, due to funding constraints, many nonprofits cannot afford to make the investments necessary to upgrade their facilities and reduce energy costs.
Broadcast-quality video of Klobuchar’s remarks is available here.