Home Star Energy Bill Update

Wed, 2010-08-04 10:52

Senate Energy Bill Timeline

The Senate will likely vote in the coming days to end debate on both the Republican and Democratic proposals for an energy bill. The Democrats bill, the Clean Energy Jobs & Oil Company Accountability Act, was introduced last week by Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) and contains the Home Star program. Each side will need 60 votes to end debate on their bill, and if that is secured, the Senate will then need to vote to pass the bill. After this week, the Senate goes on recess for the month of August, and with a full agenda for the coming days, it is unclear if they will have time to vote on passage. See the attached article for more on the bills.

Business Continue Climate Momentum

While the Senate has ceased its push for a climate and energy bill – at least for the near future – a coalition of businesses will launch a media and lobbying campaign to resurrect the effort. Representing over 5,000 businesses, We Can Lead, American Business for Clean Energy, American Sustainable Business Council, and other organizations will place ads on the Politico and Hill websites starting this week. The ads will focus on the loss of clean energy investment and jobs if the Senate fails to pass a comprehensive bill.

Opportunities to Support EE

Legislation to Protect PACE

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is an innovative financing mechanism that has received the support of local and state governments, the Department of Energy, and NGO's as a way to spur energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits that would create jobs and save energy. However, opposition from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has shuttered many programs and halted the development of others. In response, the California Attorney General, Sonoma County, California, and the Sierra Club have filed suits to stop the mortgage lenders from stopping PACE programs. The PACE Protection Act of 2010 has been introduced in both the House and the Senate and is the best opportunity to quickly save PACE programs. You can support this legislation by sending this template letter to your representatives. For more information and resources you can visit www.pacenow.org.

Thermal EE and RE Sign-on Letter

Last week Senators Franken (D-MN) and Bond (R-MO) introduced a bi-partisan bill, the Thermal Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act (TREEA). It was also introduced in the House by Reps McCollum (D-MN), Inslee (D-WA) and Tonko (D-NY). TREEA is very important to the district energy, combined heat and power (CHP) and waste energy recovery sector, providing a Production Tax Credit for clean, renewable thermal energy; expanding eligibility for tax exempt funding for new systems, and funding to help our nation’s cities, colleges and universities move to cleaner, more efficient district energy/CHP systems. If interested in supporting this bill, please sign-on to the attached letter by emailing ResearchIDEA@districtenergy.org with your name, organization name, city and state. 

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