Portland, OR – Oregon’s
Senator Jeff Merkley, joined by U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, announced
a plan today that will reduce energy consumption, create jobs and allow
every American to participate in the fight to arrest global warming.
The legislation is modeled on the bi-partisan State House Bill 2626,
authored by State House Rep. Jules Bailey (D-42).
The Consumer and Business Clean Energy Financing Act of 2009 will establish
a federal clean energy small-scale lending program that allows homeowners
and business owners to receive low-interest loans for improving the
energy efficiency of their homes and businesses.
Rather than waiting years or even decades to see a pay-back in energy
savings on energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, home
and business owners could afford changes immediately through the loan
Increasing the energy efficiency of homes and buildings will employ
people in a variety of work including improving insulation, replacing
leaky windows and heating ducts, and installing solar panels and geothermal
Loans for clean energy projects would go to homeowners and owners of
commercial property and would be structured so that the owner can make
the loan payments out of the money they save on their energy bills.
The federal program would deliver the loans and energy efficiency services
to consumers through utilities, state and local programs, such as the
Oregon Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Technology Act sponsored by
Rep. Bailey, or other organizations.
Merkley’s legislation will follow the model set by State House Bill
2626. That bill is currently in the Oregon House Revenue Committee.
Blumenauer plans to introduce similar legislation in the U.S. House.
“This is the kind of innovative
thinking Oregon is known for. Any idea that can simultaneously reduce
dependence on fossil fuels, cut costs for families and businesses, and
create jobs deserves federal support,” Merkley said. “I’ll fight
for this plan at the congressional level so every American has a chance
to save money on their energy bills and do their part to help build
a clean energy industry and reduce pollution while they’re at it.”
“This legislation is an example of our commitment to building a 21st
century energy policy for America,” Blumenauer said. “Not only will
it help homeowners who want to save money and energy, it will provide
a cost effective and efficient mechanism to stimulate local economies
and create “green collar” jobs. I appreciate the hard work of Representative
Bailey to push his measure through the State Legislature, and look forward
to working with my colleague Senator Merkley to enact our idea in Congress.”
“Our economy is down, energy bills are up, and our climate is changing,”
Bailey said. “I’m proud that this Oregon bill will receive attention
in Washington, DC. This legislation will meet our climate challenge,
bring relief to families, and create jobs that can never be outsourced.”