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McNerney Introduces Major Renewable Energy Initiatives

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Putting his expertise in renewable energy to work, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11) has introduced a major renewable energy initiative in the form of three bills. The bills are H.R. 1774, the Smart Grid Advancement Act, H.R. 1730, the Vehicles for the Future Act, and H.R. 1775, the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation Act, or the GREEN Act.

"These three bills are an important step towards creating a sustainable energy plan for our nation," said Rep. McNerney. "They also lay the groundwork for development of an economy fueled by clean energy and the next generation of green collar jobs."

"During these tough economic times, it's more important than ever to jumpstart the creation of a green economy," continued Rep. McNerney. "California families need the jobs that initiatives like this will help create."

H.R. 1774, the Smart Grid Advancement Act, would initiate development of a more efficient electrical grid. The bill would task states and utilities with establishing goals for reducing electrical use during peak times through the use of smart grid technologies. Smart grid refers to systems or technologies that help reduce use during times of peak consumption such as in the afternoon versus late at night.

"This bill is part of the foundation of a more sustainable energy plan for our nation," said Rep. McNerney. "Smart grid technologies will both save consumers money and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

This bill would also improve the Energy Star Program - an initiative that gives consumers the tools to purchase energy efficient and cost-saving appliances. Currently, the program labels commonly used appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators with information about their efficiency. The Smart Grid Advancement Act would better integrate smart grid features into the Energy Star Program.

The second bill, H.R. 1730, the Vehicles for the Future Act, lays the groundwork for the more widespread use of plug-in hybrid electric and electric vehicles by creating the electrical infrastructure needed for these cars.

"We need to make the use of energy efficient vehicles more convenient," said Rep. McNerney. "This bill plans for the electrical infrastructure needed to run these cars, the development of which will also spur job creation."

Currently, one significant barrier to the widespread use of plug-in hybrid electric and electric vehicles is that charging stations are not readily available. This bill would task public utility commissions with developing plans to improve the infrastructure needed for these cars by installing charging stations in commonly used locations such as gas stations and parking garages.

The third bill, H.R. 1775, the GREEN Act, would help create a workforce ready for a green economy. The bill would provide $100 million in competitive grants for the development of career and technical training in the field of renewable energy. Post-secondary institutions and career and technical schools could use these grants to enter into public-private partnerships to develop these training programs.

"These grants will ready the next generation of workers for good-paying, green collar jobs," said Rep. McNerney. "This bill goes hand in hand with the others because it will help create the workforce needed to build our nation's green energy infrastructure."

H.R. 1774 and H.R. 1775 were introduced on March 30, 2009. H.R. 1730 was introduced on March 26, 2009.

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