Today, in a Senate Energy Committee hearing, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) touted his "Back to Work Minnesota" retrofitting initiative as a way to grow energy efficiency markets and to help keep America competitive in the global energy industry. The hearing examined a recent report from the American Energy Innovation Council -- made up of business leaders and CEOs like Bill Gates and Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric -- which warns that if the U.S. fails to invent new energy technologies and create new markets for the technology, the country will lose its competitive edge in the $5 trillion global energy industry.
"America can't afford to lose out on the opportunity to lead the global energy market; too much money is at stake," said Sen. Franken. "In order to remain competitive in the energy sector we must increase demand for innovative energy technologies. I started my 'Back to Work Minnesota' initiative to make it easier for building owners in Minnesota to retrofit their properties and to create jobs by increasing the demand for innovative, energy-efficient products. Adopting this initiative nationwide will help America compete in the global energy efficiency market."
Sen. Franken started his "Back to Work Minnesota" retrofitting initiative to help building owners make improvements to the infrastructure of existing buildings to increase their energy efficiency, safety, health, and durability. By making it easier for building owners to retrofit, Sen. Franken's initiative is intended to create a new market for innovative energy-efficient products and create jobs in related industries and construction. His initiative combats obstacles to retrofitting buildings by connecting municipalities and building owners with local and federal programs, along with banks and other companies offering new, creative ways to finance retrofits.