As your representative in Congress, I have always supported legislative efforts that protect our environment, invigorate our workforce, help American families, and ensure our nation's prosperity. Now more than ever, the United States needs to move in a new direction to attain energy independence and to protect our natural resources from the real dangers of global warming.
The 111th Congress has made clean energy a top legislative priority.
On June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives voted to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act. I supported this important legislation that will move America toward a clean energy economy while protecting consumers. This bill creates jobs, work to end our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, and keep costs low for consumers, with only a minimal impact of 22 to 33 cents each month for American households. Additionally, this initiative will help Americans by offering tax credits and rebates to low income families in order to help offset energy-related increases in their electric bill.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act:
- Caps emissions on carbon and other global warming pollutants and establishes a market-based system of tradable permits that gives industry economic incentives to reduce carbon emissions.
- Requires electric utilities to meet 20% of their energy demand through renewable energy sources and efficiency measures by 2020.
- Supports innovation in clean energy by investing $90 billion in renewable energy projects by 2025, and $20 billion in electric and advanced technology vehicles.
- Sets new energy-saving standards for buildings, vehicles, and appliances.
New and significant funds are supporting projects across the country through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) to help families make their homes more energy efficient, encourage businesses to grow new green jobs, and allow universities and researchers to develop innovative solutions to the energy challenges of the 21st century. In the 4th District, the City of Chicago is targeting ARRA funds to retrofit public and private buildings to be more energy efficient and to transition to "greener" fleets.
A commitment to clean energy innovations and global partnerships to reduce the threat of global warming provide an opportunity for renewed American prosperity and international leadership. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that America's future energy needs are met and our forests, lakes, and oceans are protected for future generations.
Do you want to reduce your energy costs?
There are a number of resources available to families and businesses who would like to implement energy-saving measures to reduce their home energy costs.
- Simple and inexpensive changes like replacing current bulbs with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs can save $30 dollars over the life of the light bulb. CFL bulbs use 75% energy and last 10 times longer than an incandescent light bulb.
- Conserve energy by turning down your thermostat during the middle of the day and while you are sleeping, reducing how often the heat and air run. Each degree lower reduces your furnace's energy consumption by 23%. Try 65-68° F when home during the day, then 55°F at night. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat.
- Replace your toilet with a low-flow version or place plastic containers filled with water in your toilet tanks to reduce water consumption. (Keep the containers away from the flush mechanism.)
- Change your office printer settings to print double-sided.
- Purchase copy paper with at least 30% recycled content, and at least 60% post-consumer content.
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act allocated $300 million for consumer rebates on the qualifying ENERGY STAR appliances:
|central air conditioners||Room Air Conditioners||Dishwashers|
|Heat pumps (air source and geo thermal)||Refrigerators/Freezers||Boilers|
|Furnaces (oil and gas)||Clothes Washers||Water Heaters|