Dear Board and Associates:
Senators Daschle, Bingaman and other Democratic Senators today introduced new comprehensive energy legislation. Attached, please find a copy of the Alliances quick analysis (http://www.ase.org/media/newsrel/dashbinganalysis.htm or see below for complete statement) and reaction (http://www.ase.org/media/newsrel/dashbingbill01.htm or see below for complete statement). The Energy and Natural Resources Committee is doing an analysis of the bill which they indicate will be available "sometime tomorrow" on their homepage, http://energy.senate.gov ; attached is a Reuters article on today's introduction:
You'll note that the bill does not include specific provisions for fuel economy (CAFE standards) or for tax provisions; these are to be added after the Commerce Committee and the Finance Committee, respectively hold hearings and produce language.
As always please do not hesitate to contact us with your thoughts, questions or comments.
Introduction of Daschle-Bingaman Energy Legislation
Statement by David M. Nemtzow
Alliance to Save Energy
December 5, 2001
"This legislation offers nice appetizers, but we await the main course.
"We commend Senators Daschle and Bingaman for their leadership in pulling together national energy legislation - legislation that, when complete, can play a vital role in strengthening America's economy, national security, and environmental protection.
"We applaud the provisions to strengthen air conditioner energy efficiency and lower energy bills for federal facilities. We appreciate the sponsors' commitment to include provisions to significantly improve vehicle fuel efficiency, which is essential to help lessen our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. In addition, the bill that goes to the Senate floor must include tax incentives for highly efficient homes, cars and other products, to stimulate the economy. We also call upon the Senate to include strong efficiency provisions in the electricity title.
"We look forward to the 'main course' - vehicle fuel efficiency and tax incentives - when the Senate considers this important legislation."
Alliance to Save Energy
Analysis of the Daschle-Bingaman Energy Legislation
The energy efficiency provisions of the Daschle-Bingaman bill would save millions of dollars and avoid the need to build hundreds of power plants by 2020. It is imperative that the Commerce committee recommend a substantial increase in vehicle fuel economy standards to help wean our nation from its growing dependence on foreign oil, and that the Finance committee include energy efficiency tax incentives that will stimulate the economy and strengthen electricity reliability.
The following provisions are not in the bill today:
Vehicle Fuel Economy: No provision in the energy debate can decrease our dependence on foreign oil as much as vehicle fuel economy. Current studies show that we can increase fuel economy to 40 mpg and save nearly 2 million barrels of oil per day by 2012. Not only will this save consumers thousands over the life of their vehicle, but it will also reduce our oil dependence and help protect our environment.
Tax Incentives: The tax title should include incentives for the construction of highly efficient new homes and commercial buildings, significant upgrades for existing homes, and the purchase of hybrid vehicles, household appliances, and other products. Tax incentives serve the dual purpose of speeding the use of energy-efficient products and practices as well as educating builders, home owners, businesses, and consumers about the economic benefits of greater energy efficiency.
Electricity: Strong energy efficiency measures in the electric sector can reduce by as much as half the number of power plants we will have to build over the next 20 years to meet future demand. Beyond product energy efficiency standards, this bill does not include any significant provision to go after this huge potential for energy savings. While formulating an aggressive policy has snagged over federal-state jurisdiction issues, it is critical that the Congress continue to work this out before the bill comes to the Senate floor.
The following elements are in the bill as introduced:
Product Standards: The bill expands energy efficiency standards by legislating standards or directing rulemakings on new standards for seven new classes of products, and it directs that the standard calling for a 30% increase in residential central air conditioners efficiency be implemented as published last January.
Federal Energy Management: The federal government is the biggest energy user in the world -wasting over $1 billion annually on its inefficient energy consumption. By strengthening energy goals and accountability, ensuring that buildings and products purchased are energy efficient, and providing for a Federal Energy Bank to fund efficiency improvements. These provisions will save millions of taxpayer dollars a year.
Other provisions: Additional savings are expected from other provisions promoting efficiency in schools, Energy Star labeling, and real time pricing.
For more information contact Dave Hamilton at the Alliance -- (202) 530-2216