Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 2088, a bill introduced by Rep. Greg Stanton (AZ-09) and Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33) earlier this year, to reauthorize and increase funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG). This legislation provides the EECBG program with $3.5 billion annually for the next five years to provide states, local governments, and Indian tribes assistance to reduce fossil fuel emissions and conserve energy.
"I'm proud that our bill to help municipalities achieve their goals of lessoning their carbon footprint is one step closer to being considered on the floor," said Representative Veasey following today's passage. "This legislation is crucial for cities like Dallas in the district I represent. The city used their grant money to finance energy efficiency improvements of 248 city-owned buildings resulting in more than a million dollars a year in lowered energy costs."
"To compete and lead in today's economy, our communities need to invest in sustainable infrastructure and find ways to become more energy efficient," said Representative Stanton. "This bill empowers local governments to do just that. It's an investment in a block grant program with a proven track record for success that will support sustainable initiatives and create good jobs. I'm proud H.R. 2088 earned the support of the Energy and Commerce Committee today."
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program represents the largest nationwide direct investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at the community level in U.S. history. Since 2008, the EECBG Program has rapidly increased the number of communities directly engaged with the Department of Energy on initiatives to increased renewable energy capacity, technical knowledge, and energy efficiency projects at the local level.
H.R. 2088 includes modifications to the original program to help diversify local energy supplies by promoting clean energy sources. It would specifically authorize grant recipients to use funds on infrastructure for delivering alternative fuels, such as natural gas stations, electric vehicle charging stations, and other next-generation charging technologies.