Creating energy solutions in this day and age carries the weight of two challenges: mitigating climate change and revitalizing the economy. With those challenges in mind, it is particularly important to develop policies that give results without compromising on those two important issues. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 761) is a bipartisan policy that may achieve the right results without compromise, set to be considered by the U.S. Senate soon. Among the potential amendments it already carries is the All-Of-The-Above Federal Building Energy Conservation Act of 2013 (S. 1199), which details a path to more efficient federal buildings. This article contends that the S. 1199 amendment must be included in the S. 761 act if we want to continue to access the benefits of clean and economically-viable resources.
S. 1199 has earned the support of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and also the Alliance to Save Energy. The amendment is an alternative to Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) passed in 2007 that requires federal buildings to phase out fossil fuels by 2030. Critics of Section 433 worry that it could actually discourage more viable energy solutions and innovation in the federal government. The Executive Director of the ACEEE, Steven Nadel, recently testified to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy Hearing that Section 433 is not workable and that S. 1199 would have a greater result of energy savings than repealing Section 433 would lose.
Part of the problem with Section 433 is that it prohibits the use of natural gas from the sources of potential energy that federal buildings will be allowed to use by 2030, while the use of natural gas will reduce emissions, reduce costs, and allow the federal buildings to be more efficient. On the other hand, S. 1199 gives federal building energy managers more flexibility and will allow them to reach energy goals more easily, while also encouraging the adoption of new energy efficient technologies.
Read the full article here: S. 1199 is a Route to Results for Our Environment and Our Economy