Senate Democrats

Reid Remarks On Energy Efficiency Legislation

“The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act before the Senate will spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in private homes and commercial buildings, as well as in the industrial sector, all at no cost to taxpayers.”

“Investing in energy efficiency is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to grow our economy.” 

“Reducing the government’s energy use will not only be good for the environment, it will also save taxpayers money.” 

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the importance of passing energy efficiency legislation. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

America has the most brilliant and imaginative scientists in the world – many of them hard at work developing new environmentally friendly energy sources.

Every year I host an energy summit in Las Vegas where some of the smartest and most creative inventors and investors in the world show off their latest discoveries. I learned about one American company developing high-tech batteries to store solar power for use long after the sun goes down. I met the inventor of a flying wind turbine that looks like a cross between a giant kite and a small plane. And on the Nevada-California border a record-breaking new project is using hundreds of thousands of mirrors and three very tall towers to harness the power of the sun. I am constantly amazed by the ingenuity of the clean energy industry, which has been a bright spot even during the darkest economic times.

But Americans can’t just rely on scientists and inventors to solve our energy dilemma and break our reliance on polluting fossil fuels. We need to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. That will mean reducing our energy consumption at home and at work.

Being more efficient at home can start with small choices – replacing a burned out light bulb with an energy efficient one, buying more efficient appliances or installing a thermostat that turns the heat or air down when you’re not home. The effect of those choices is real. But we also need to make the buildings we live and work in – as well as the technology inside those buildings – more efficient.

Much of the electricity we use in this country is wasted just heating and cooling our homes and offices with outdated technology.

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act before the Senate will spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in private homes and commercial buildings, as well as in the industrial sector, all at no cost to taxpayers. I commend Senators Shaheen and Portman for their persistence and dedication to bringing this bill to the floor.  And I thank Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Murkowski for their able management of this measure.

Investing in energy efficiency is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to grow our economy. This legislation will make our country more energy independent and protect our environment. But it will also save consumers and taxpayers money by lowering their energy bills.

In fact, this measure will save families and businesses about $14 billion per year. It will create more than 150,000 new jobs, according to a new study. And by 2030, this legislation will reduce America’s CO2 emissions as much as taking nearly 17 million cars off the road.

This bipartisan bill makes it easier for the private sector to adopt efficient technology.  The bill creates incentives for companies to use technology already available right off the shelf – technology that can be used in every state in the nation and will pay for itself right away through energy savings.

The federal government also has an important role to play in saving energy, since it is the nation’s single largest energy consumer. Reducing the government’s energy use will not only be good for the environment, it will also save taxpayers money.

I am aware that a number of Senators wish to offer amendments to make this bipartisan bill even stronger. I look forward to work with them, with Senators Shaheen and Portman and with the bill managers to help American businesses and consumers play an active role in reducing our nation’s energy consumption. Because, while some of the answers to America’s energy dilemmas will come from inventors and researchers, others must begin in the places we live and work.

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