Washington, DC (June 28, 2007)- House Democratic leaders proclaimed a goal of “energy independence” today. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said energy-related bills reported out of 11 committees would steer the nation in a “new direction” by spurring research and investment in new technologies, increasing energy efficiency, reducing costs for consumers and creating “good green jobs.”
After months of speculation and internal jockeying, Pelosi said she intends to bring the bill to the floor as part of her party’s energy independence agenda. Pelosi said little about the timing or exact form of the legislation. House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said party leaders will try to find floor time for the energy legislation in July, though he indicated that some portion of the package may have to wait until after the August recess.
Hoyer said the bills may not necessarily be considered as one comprehensive bill, citing in particular the tax package as an item that may move separately. Hoyer declined to spell out the leadership’s strategy or schedule for advancing the measures. “There will be a comprehensive package, but not necessarily one big bill,” Hoyer said, suggesting that Democrats would get the bills done in July or maybe September. Pelosi added that the bill, “produces more security at a lower cost to the American taxpayer.”
House Republicans attacked the Democrats’ plan, saying it would do nothing to increase domestic energy supplies. Warning that the legislation advanced thus far would only curtail domestic energy, boost prices and send jobs overseas, Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH) said Republicans would recommend a presidential veto- and work to sustain it- if Democrats “insist on energy legislation that contains no new American energy.”
Meanwhile, top administration officials – among them DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman and U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson – sent a letter to Pelosi yesterday encouraging her to take up issues such as vehicle efficiency, the alternative fuel standard and expansion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of the debate.
The centerpiece of the legislation will be the six-part package the Energy and Commerce Committee finished marking up yesterday afternoon, dealing with energy efficiency, alternative fuel infrastructure and development of a smart grid.
Contact your Representative
The delayed timeline means there is still time to reach out to your Representative regarding the Energy Efficiency Through Trees Legislation. Setup a local meeting with your House and Senate members for the Independence Day recess (7/2-7/6). Talk to them about how urban shade trees can be used to reduce energy demand.
ACT is working with Congresswoman Matsui (D-CA) to create a program in the Department of Energy (DOE) to help utilities and nonprofit organizations plant shade trees for energy efficiency. Modeled after Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s successful partnership with Sacramento Tree Foundation, Rep. Matsui’s bill would provide focused support from DOE to plant trees in locations where direct energy savings can be achieved.
For more information, contact Jared Liu at 301-220-3279 to learn how you can help.
Rep. Matsui’s Energy Efficiency Legislation to Support Tree Planting
Draft Letter for Tree Groups
Draft Letter for Utilities
Tree Benefits Estimator- Online Calculator
Energy conservation research
Air quality research
Water retention research
Value of Trees fact sheet