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Mr. DEUTCH. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Madam Chair, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act is an important bill that will create jobs, lower energy bills, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Improving efficiency is one of the cheapest and quickest ways to reduce pollution, and I am pleased to support a bill that encourages consumers to consider a more energy-efficient option when retrofitting or repairing existing appliances or systems.
Residents of south Florida and other disaster-prone regions know far too well the process of home repair, as my constituents have had to replace roofs and windows after powerful and damaging storms.
The underlying bill offers rebates for renovations, and my amendment simply ensures that the program will still apply if a natural disaster removes or destroys existing equipment. If a repair is required as a result of a hurricane or other natural disaster, the repair may no longer involve existing equipment and would therefore be ineligible for a rebate. For people who are making these repairs, we should ensure that it is our policy to encourage them to consider the most energy-efficient equipment. That is the purpose of this amendment.
The amendment is limited in scope and will not alter the intent of the underlying bill. It will only apply to federally declared disaster areas and only extend eligibility to an appliance or system destroyed by the disaster. For example, if a hurricane takes off a roof, this amendment will ensure that the homeowner still has access to a rebate for purchasing an energy-efficient roof even though there is no longer a roof to retrofit.
Fire season just began in California and hurricane season is right around the corner. We ought to be mindful of the challenges faced by Americans who live in regions vulnerable to natural disasters. This amendment ensures that a south Florida family can rebuild to a higher energy efficiency standard after a disaster and does not have to wonder why they don't receive the same tax incentive offer to any other homeowners who choose to renovate their homes.
I would like to commend Mr. Welch, Chairman Markey, and Chairman Waxman for this important energy and jobs legislation and for accepting this amendment. I respectfully request that my colleagues join me in supporting this valuable, commonsense amendment and the underlying bill.
I reserve the balance of my time.
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