The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed legislation that makes time-sensitive reforms, provides regulatory direction to manufacturers of certain appliances and strengthens the industrial and federal agency energy efficiency programs. The American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (H.R. 6582), combines many of the provisions of two bills cosponsored by U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.): the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act
(S. 398), which improves the energy efficiency of certain appliances and equipment, and the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000), which promotes energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
"Continuing to develop our industrial energy efficiency standards will better ensure American manufacturing remains competitive in today's international market," Senator Coons said. "Energy efficiency has enormous potential that can change our future, our environmental footprint, our technology, and the country our children and grandchildren will inherit from us. It will create new jobs and new industries and will strengthen our standing with foreign competitors. This legislation is a strong, bipartisan step forward, and I'm proud that it will become law, and I look forward to continuing to build on these efforts in the next Congress.
"Our manufacturing sector is the backbone of our economy, and it's imperative that we do all we can to help our businesses succeed and create jobs. President Obama's proposal is an investment in our economy, our environment, and our energy security. I applaud President Obama for this Executive Order and look forward to continuing to advocate for the development of clean, safe, reliable energy sources."
The legislation will extend the success of the 25-year old Department of Energy appliance efficiency program. It is estimated that by 2030, the DOE program, as amended by H.R. 6582, will reduce national electrical demand 12 percent below what it otherwise would be -- all at virtually no cost to the American taxpayer.
Senator Coons, who is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has emerged as a leading voice in the Senate on energy efficiency issues. He was named a Congressional vice chair of the Alliance to Save Energy in June.
"We are at a critical moment, and if America is going to lead, we have to work together to set a long-term strategy that moves us toward an efficient, clean energy economy," Senator Coons said. "Energy efficiency is one of the smartest, strongest ways that we can see progress in the country. It should be the one thing that allows us to bridge all of the competing interests and concerns because it promotes energy independence and American employment."