Matheson Says Energy Bill a Move towards Energy Independence
Congressman Jim Matheson said today's passage of a bipartisan, comprehensive energy bill will lead to savings at the gas pump for Utahns and a bright future for the renewable energy industry in Utah. Matheson, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Science and Technology Committee, contributed important energy efficiency and energy conservation sections of the bill.
"For the first time in more than 20 years, the fuel efficiency standards in our vehicles will increase. That provision alone will save Utah families between $700 -$1000 a year at the pump by the year 2020. Utah is blessed with abundant renewable resources, especially solar, wind and geothermal. The federal incentives for renewable energy included in this legislation will benefit businesses and homeowners alike," said Matheson.
Matheson - as a member of the Energy and Air Quality Subcommitteewrote a provision calling for a national goal to reduce commercial building energy use and achieve energy-efficient commercial buildings from 2025 and beyond. It provides for 50 percent of all commercial buildings to be retrofitted to achieve that standard by 2035.
He also worked on the Science and Technology Committee to promote more research and development into the capture and sequestration of carbon, and more federal funding for research into the use of cellulosic ethanol.
Matheson said he worked hard to eliminate a section of an earlier version of the energy bill that he said would lead to higher home energy prices for consumers and would have hampered Utah's economy.
"Energy independence is a matter of national security and economic security. I believe this legislation provides a market-based, balanced, comprehensive step towards that goal," said Matheson.