04.20.16

Gardner Secures Numerous Colorado Priorities in Energy Bill

Washington, DC: The U.S. Senate approved several provisions to the Energy Policy Modernization Act authored by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The bill passed the United States Senate today with a vote of 85-12. 

“The Energy Policy Modernization Act is a much-needed bipartisan overhaul of our nation’s energy policy and I am proud I was able to secure many provisions that will benefit Colorado,” said Gardner. “This legislation will increase energy efficiency, modernize our electrical grid, and create more jobs in the energy sector. Throughout my career in public service, I have advocated for an all-of-the-above energy strategy and that includes promoting energy efficiency and bringing down costs, and I am pleased I could advance these priorities and shape federal energy policy as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.” 

Below are Gardner provisions that are included in the Energy Policy Modernization Act, as well as an amendment to the legislation approved by the Senate:

  • Section 1006 – Encourages 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.
  • Section 3002 – Reauthorizes an existing Department of Energy (DOE) program that 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 3 percent of the United States’ 80,000 dams are used to generate clean hydroelectric power.
  • Section 2201  Expedites the approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export applications, helping supply our allies overseas with a secure energy source and creating American jobs.
  • Section 4101  Commissions the study of the feasibility and potential benefits of an energy-water center of excellence within the DOE'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.
  • Section 4204 Allows the Secretary of Energy to establish “microlabs,” or smaller facilities which would be connected to an existing national lab. This 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.
  • Amendment 2970 – Mandatory federal audits already outline energy savings projects for federal facilities aimed at reducing energy consumption and saving tax dollars; however, federal agencies are currently not required to implement these changes. The amendment was unanimously approved and would require federal agencies to make the changes found in the energy audits at no cost to the taxpayer.  

Other significant provision that were included with Gardner support:

  • Section 5002 Permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund which is a critical source of funding for protecting America and Colorado’s natural treasures.
  • Murkowski Amendment 3234 – Includes a Natural Resources Title to the underlying bill, which includes Colorado lands bills, such as a federal land exchange where the Forest Service would acquire pristine land in the Pike National Forest allowing for more outdoor recreation near Pikes Peak, and the Wedge Act which aids the Forest Service in acquiring several parcels of land adjacent to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  The Wedge Act would help preserve critical wildlife habitat, Colorado River headwaters, and a highly visible viewshed.  The amendment also provides the ability for states, like Colorado, to get reimbursed from the National Park Service for keeping certain parks open during the 2013 government shutdown.  Finally, the amendment includes the Sportsmen’s Act, which includes Gardner’s language promoting transparency in the Judgment Fund, which contains the money paid out by the federal government for some lawsuits.  
  • Heller Amendment 3286 Streamlines and improves permitting of renewable energy projects on federal lands by cutting red tape for development on these lands.

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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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