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Energy and Green Intiatives, Legislative Updates, Weatherization

37 Senators Sign onto WAP Letter – the Most Ever!

Last month, NASCSP and Advocates for The Other America (AFTOA) worked with partners to circulate a letter in the Senate asking President Obama to restore WAP funding to no less than $210 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 as well as continue funding the State Energy Program (SEP) at $50 million. The text of the letter can be seen below.

The letter was a tremendous success, with 37 Senators signing on, the most Senate signatories on a letter of this kind in recent history (list of signatories at the end of this post). We could not have reached this many policymakers without the network’s enthusiasm and assistance, and we thank all of you who were able to mobilize your networks to garner support.

These kind of letters are more important than ever in these straitened fiscal times, and we count on your assistance in the future. For now, great job and keep up the good work!

* * *

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

November 19, 2012

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500  

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to request your support for two key programs within your Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget proposal: the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the State Energy Program (SEP).  Specifically, we urge you to ensure that your budget submission provides no less than $210 million for WAP and $50 million for SEP.

Since 1976, the Weatherization Assistance Program has helped more than 7 million low-income families save money by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, freeing up finite resources for other essentials like food and medicine.  Indeed, weatherization saves households on average up to $400 per year on their heating and cooling bills.  In addition, this successful program supports American construction, small business, and manufacturing jobs, and a study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that for every $1 invested in the program, weatherization returns $2.51 in benefits to households and society.  Restoring funding for WAP to $210 million will ensure that all states have the resources to help reduce the burden of energy prices on low-income families.

The State Energy Program allows states to assist with the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and effectively works with the private and public sectors to produce significant returns.  Another study, also by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, found that every dollar of SEP federal funds are leveraged by $10.71 of state and private funds, and result in $7.22 in annual energy savings.  We respectfully request that this program be funded at $50 million.

We recognize the challenges on the discretionary budget for FY14, and believe in the prioritization of programs that support jobs, assist with the nation’s economic recovery, and help meet important goals like improving efficiency and reducing pollution.  In this spirit, we believe that investments in programs like WAP and SEP that reduce costs for individuals, businesses, and society, and create greater economic competitiveness for our nation, should be maintained.

Thank you for your attention to and consideration of these important requests.

Signatories

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
John Rockefeller (D-WV)
Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Jim Webb (D-VA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR) 

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