Democratic News

In the Defense Bill conference, negotiators not only agreed to adopt the Senate’s position on reauthorizing Energy Savings Performance Contracts, they also extended the program an additional year! That bipartisan (and bicameral) show of support is a tribute to the program’s lead sponsor in Congress, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), another major proponent. Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) are the primary tool for encouraging energy efficiency within the federal government. Authority for the popular program ended a year ago. As a result, more than $300 million in energy efficiency projects nationwide were halted. Pending contracts are in limbo, along with more than 3,000 new jobs associated with these projects. "Reauthorizing ESPCs has been a priority for Chairman Inhofe, who is Defense Bill conferee, and I applaud his leadership in getting this done," Bingaman said. "Some issues clearly transcend party politics -- like saving energy and saving the taxpayer dollars at the same time. That’s why I was pleased to partner with Jim in this effort."

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