March 17, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Send Bipartisan Letter to President Biden Urging Funding for Energy Efficiency Programs to Combat Climate Change & Create Jobs

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today signed a bipartisan letter to President Biden urging him to prioritize robust investments in programs that promote energy efficiency in his upcoming budget proposal to Congress.

In the letter, Wyden and the senators noted these investments would combat climate change by reducing harmful emissions and pollution and stimulate our economy by creating sustainable jobs and reducing energy costs for consumers.

“We applaud your commitment to restoring our nation’s global leadership on climate change while creating jobs here at home,” wrote the senators. “To further these goals, we respectfully request you provide robust funding for programs that promote energy efficiency throughout our economy as your administration crafts its budget recommendation to Congress for fiscal year 2022. Increasing investment in energy efficiency programs within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) can deliver significant emissions reductions, grow jobs in the clean energy sector and provide savings to American consumers.”

Since the pandemic has slowed progress in energy efficiency and led to job losses disproportionately harming workers of color, the senators expressed urgency in delivering funding to unleash the full potential of the energy efficiency.

They continued: “Unfortunately, the pandemic and associated economic impacts have hit the energy efficiency sector especially hard, slowing progress and costing jobs, particularly for workers of color. According to recent analysis, more than 300,000 American jobs in energy efficiency have been lost since the beginning of the pandemic, representing a 12.8% reduction from pre-pandemic levels. Though jobs have been slowly returning, we need to invest in programs and implement policies—as we did in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—to truly unleash the job-creating potential of this sector.”

Along with Wyden, this bipartisan letter led by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., was signed by U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Chris Coons, D-Del., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Conn., Mark Warner, D-Va., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Catherine Cortez Masto, D-N.V., and Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Read the full letter here.