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Public Statements

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GARDNER. Mr. Chairman, this amendment which I'm offering along with my colleague, Mr. Welch from Vermont, addresses an important issue relating to Coast Guard facilities.

We've offered this same amendment to the two other appropriations bills this week, and they've passed by a voice vote. And while my colleague from Vermont is not here this evening, I want to commend him for his hard work on these amendments, and energy savings performance contracts in general.

I think the passage of these amendments sends a clear signal that Congress understands the importance of saving energy and, therefore, saving costs for the Federal Government.

This amendment does one simple thing. It says that the Coast Guard should provide an inventory of ways to improve efficiencies in their buildings, which is already a directive under current law.

Under current law, energy savings performance contracts, or ESPCs, are provided as a mechanism for private companies to come into Federal buildings and make energy efficiency upgrades. ESPCs result in savings for the Federal Government and create well-paying private sector jobs at no cost to taxpayers. It creates a win-win situation of reducing debt and creating jobs. The private sector company must guarantee the project improvements will produce energy savings sufficient to pay for the project.

In this fiscal climate, there is no reason we shouldn't be helping the Federal buildings find ways to save money and upgrade Federal buildings with cleaner and more efficient facilities.

I urge adoption of this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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