Gardner Language Benefitting Colorado Included in Federal Energy Bill

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced that three energy bills he previously introduced were included in the base text of the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which passed by a bipartisan 18-4 vote of the Energy Committee today. Additionally, Senator Gardner announced that three amendments he authored were also adopted by the committee.

“These bills and amendments lead to more energy efficiency, more energy generation, and more jobs in the energy sector,” Gardner said. “Promoting energy efficiency and clean alternative power sources has been a focus of my entire life in public service, and I’m pleased to have the chance to continue shaping federal energy policy in the Senate.”

Gardner's first bill, the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2015, would encourage the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) in federal buildings. ESPCs and UESCs are innovative public-private partnerships in which private companies use their own money and resources to make energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings. The private companies receive a portion of money saved as a result of the increased efficiency in federal buildings. 

The second bill, the Reliable Investment in Vital Energy Reauthorization Act (RIVER Act), would reauthorize an existing Department of Energy program which provides funding to retrofit existing dams and river conduits with electricity-generating technology. According to DOE reports, there are up to 12 gigawatts of untapped hydropower development within the nation’s existing dam infrastructure, and only three percent of the United States’ 80,000 dams are used to generate clean hydroelectric power.

The third bill, which Senator Gardner co-led with Senator Barrasso (R-WY), is the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act. This legislation would expedite the approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export applications, helping supply our allies overseas with a secure energy source, and creating American jobs.   

Additionally, Gardner introduced three amendments which were adopted into the legislation. The first amendment commissions a study of the feasibility and potential benefits of an energy-water center of excellence within the Department of Energy's National Laboratories. A center of excellence would aid in efforts to establish a comprehensive approach for managing energy and water resources in the future.

The second amendment clarifies that oilseed crops qualify for the same research provisions in the bill as biomass. Meeting future demand for energy and fuel will require a variety of sources, and science and research indicates that oilseed crops have the potential to play a significant role. Oilseeds could hold the key to providing safe, clean energy that’s water-efficient; a key for the increasingly drought-ridden west.  

The third amendment, which Gardner co-authored with Senator Heinrich (D-NM), would allow the Secretary of Energy to establish “microlabs”, or smaller facilities which would be connected to an existing national lab. This amendment would help bring the important research and innovation being done by our national laboratories closer to where business owners, local governments, and communities can access them.                                                                    



Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.


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