U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and former Chair John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills requesting a response regarding the Agency's progress in addressing 12 energy efficiency initiatives contained in P.L. 110-140, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Signed into law in December 2007, the legislation contains a number of incentives to encourage small businesses to become more energy efficient, such as a venture capital program addressing the equity investment needs of small businesses, on-bill financing, the availability of energy efficiency audits, government-wide education programs, and additional technical assistance. In their letter, Senators Snowe and Kerry urged the SBA to discuss program implementation, as well as describe obstacles the agency has encountered to fully implementing these measures.
"It is frankly outrageous that the SBA has yet to fully implement the Energy Independence Act in the three years since it was signed into law," said Senator Snowe. "According to the SBA's Office of Advocacy, small entrepreneurs are charged approximately 35 percent more per unit for their electricity than the sector average. Combined with the disproportionate tax and regulatory burden shouldered by small business and the lingering economic recession, the SBA's delay in implementing these vital provisions puts our nation's entrepreneurs at further disadvantage. The SBA must utilize every resource to help foster an economic environment in which small businesses can simultaneously reduce energy cost and consumption while creating jobs and expanding operations."
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they're on the cutting edge of innovation in the energy sector," said Senator Kerry. "There are countless more reasons we need to ensure that small businesses have the tools and incentives today to ensure their competitiveness tomorrow."