Senate ENR Committee Advances Gardner Energy Bills

Washington, D.C. — The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee approved multiple bills this week authored by U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). The Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act encourages the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) in federal buildings. ESPCs and UESCs are innovative public-private partnerships in which private companies use their own money and resources to make energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings at no cost to the taxpayer. The private companies receive a portion of money saved as a result of the increased efficiency in federal buildings.

The Reliable Investment in Vital Energy Reauthorization (RIVER) Act would reauthorize an existing Department of Energy (DOE) program which provides funding for retrofitting existing dams and river conduits with electricity-generating technology, or upgrading the technology where it is already installed. According to DOE reports, there are up to 12 gigawatts of untapped hydropower development within the nation’s existing dam infrastructure, and only three percent of the United States’ 80,000 dams are used to generate clean hydroelectric power.

“These bills will lead to more energy efficiency, more energy generation, and more jobs in the energy sector,” said Senator Gardner. “Promoting energy efficiency and clean alternative power sources is one of my top priorities, and I’m pleased to have the chance to continue shaping federal energy policy in the Senate.”

Other Gardner sponsored bills that were approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee are:

• S. 143, the Department of Energy Veterans’ Health Initiative Act – authorizes the DOE’s national lab system to use their high performance computing abilities to crunch veterans’ health data provided by the Veterans Administration from voluntary participants, including DOE Secretary Rick Perry, to further our understanding of the health challenges veterans face.

• S. 1286, the Energy Technology Maturation Act – accelerates technology spinoffs coming out of the national lab system to the private sector.

• H.R. 347, Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act – extends the lifetime of the DOE-operated mill tailings storage facility in Grand Junction, CO, through 2031.

 

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