Merkley Applauds President Obama’s Plan to Create Jobs by Making Homes Energy Efficient

Merkley Applauds President Obama’s Plan to Create Jobs by Making Homes Energy Efficient

Washington, D.C.
– Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s remarks Tuesday at the Brookings Institute about creating American jobs:

 “Today, President Obama advocated for new job creation strategies to help families still suffering from unemployment and strengthen our economy.  One of the strategies the president mentioned was a program that would provide incentives to consumers to make their homes more energy efficient.

“Buildings in every corner of America are in need of energy efficient upgrades that can reduce energy consumption and reduce energy bills. Renovating those buildings can create jobs in construction and manufacturing right away, and it provides a second economic boost by putting money back into the pockets of Americans through reductions in their energy bills.

“Incentives to encourage retrofits are a good first step, but I encourage the Obama Administration to go further and adopt a program to help families and small businesses pay for the renovations by offering them low-cost loans that can be repaid out of the savings on their energy bills.  In August, I joined with Senator Lugar of Indiana to introduce the Clean Energy for Homes and Buildings Act that would create such a program nationally, and could serve as a model for how to create this program in a jobs bill.

“Oregon has been leading the nation in developing these types of programs and has a truly innovative program up and running that shows how state and local loan programs make it affordable for families and building owners to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.


“President Obama has it right – our focus right now has to be on creating jobs.  All the economic indicators in the world don’t mean a thing to families that, more than a year after this recession began, are still struggling with the loss of a job.  By investing in energy-efficient upgrades for our homes and businesses, we can help those families by providing paychecks and lowering energy costs.”