Initiative To Encourage Local Efforts To Reduce Energy Consumption Passes Senate Committee

Initiative To Encourage Local Efforts To Reduce Energy Consumption Passes Senate Committee

Sen. Menendez's program included in Energy Committee's legislation

Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today hailed the inclusion of his Energy and Environmental Block Grant (EEBG) Program in the Energy Committee's mark-up of energy legislation. The program's aim is to contribute to a national, comprehensive energy efficiency strategy by providing grants to local governments and states to support energy saving initiatives. The Menendez initiative was included in the bill passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee which will be referred to the full Senate for consideration.

"Enabling initiatives to be developed at the local level will help us find innovative and sensible solutions to improve energy efficiency," said Menendez. "As a former mayor, I know how much can be accomplished at the local level, especially with the help of federal incentives. These grants will not only provide resources for such initiatives, but will enable cities and counties to be the building blocks for a national, long-term solution on energy conservation and environmental protection."

Menendez's measure creates a grant program to support local and state efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions, reduce total energy use, and improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and other appropriate sectors. The language directs new federal resources to local governments and all states to support locally-crafted solutions that improve energy efficiency to curtail overall energy use in the short-term, while ramping up longer-term strategies that will fundamentally reduce future energy needs in local areas and regions across the nation.

The grants may be used to develop and implement projects such as energy audits and retrofits for existing buildings, changes to increase energy savings in new buildings, installing solar panels and expanding use of solar energy, and the creation of community-based transportation programs. The measure, which emphasizes local and state initiatives, is supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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