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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PETRI. I join with my colleague, Representative Hank Johnson, in offering this amendment today.

The budget year 2007 Defense Authorization Act created a statutory goal that 25 percent of the energy utilized by the Department of Defense facilities come from renewable energy sources by 2025.

The budget year 2010 Defense authorization act modified that goal to explicitly include renewable energy technologies like geothermal heat pumps that do not first convert energy to electricity, but instead use the energy directly to accomplish a task such as heating or cooling a building.

One technology--direct solar--is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout our economy, but that was left out of the changes made in the budget year 2010 act. Direct-use solar energy technology channels solar energy in the form of sunlight into a building using light pipes to provide interior lighting that is similar to traditional electrically powered lighting. Direct solar allows much of a building's internal lighting to come from sunlight, relying on electrical lighting only in the off-peak evening hours or when sunlight is diminished.

The amendment before us would simply clarify that direct-use solar energy, like geothermal heat pumps and other direct-use technologies that are now included, is considered a renewable energy source for the purposes of this requirement. This change was included in the House NDAA bill last year; however, it was unfortunately not included in the final conference report.

These changes will provide the Department of Defense with the flexibility to meet its energy requirements more quickly and in a more cost-effective way.

I respectfully request that my colleagues support this amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. PETRI. This is not a window or a skylight. This is a technology that gathers the light through a lens, moves it through a light pipe, which then a fiber optical cable moves electrical light around the building. So it goes from the first floor, sometimes to the third or fourth floor down in the building. It is used by Coca-Cola and many other companies in the private sector. It's modern technology. It saves energy. It will save money so that we can meet our important defense needs without wasting money on unnecessary technology that moves it from solar to electricity and back to light, wasting a lot of energy in the process.

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Mr. PETRI. I urge that this House not prefer one particular technology, which is currently the case, but allow a variety of technologies to meet the goal of a more energy-efficient society.

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