Merkley Chairs Congressional Hearing in Portland on Plan to Create Jobs through Energy Efficiency Renovations

Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy, held a congressional field hearing today to highlight the job creation impact that energy efficiency renovations of homes and businesses have on our economy. During today’s hearing, Merkley also announced that he plans to introduce legislation later this month that will help finance industrial energy saving projects.

“The number one thing we should be doing right now is putting people to work. As we’ve seen from today’s hearing, investing in energy efficiency renovation programs puts people to work, saves homeowners and businesses money on their energy bills, and benefits our environment,” said Merkley. “Now we need to extend this work into our industrial and manufacturing sectors to help make American manufacturing more competitive and make our businesses more energy efficient.”

Governor Kitzhaber joined Senator Merkley today as a key witness to discuss the state’s efforts to increase energy efficiency programs that create jobs, save homeowners and businesses money, and conserve energy.

Senator Merkley plans to introduce legislation later this month that would support innovative financing programs at the state-level that focus on energy savings in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. 

This legislation would authorize $250 million in funding to a Financing Energy Efficient Manufacturing Program at the U.S. Department of Energy.  That program would provide competitive grants to states to fund new or expanded industrial energy saving financing programs.  These state programs could provide various forms of financing, but typically provide low-cost loans to manufacturers to help cover the up-front cost of energy efficient retrofits.