February 7, 2013

Commission's plan to double energy includes public transportation

A diverse coalition of energy leaders unveil a set of recommendations designed to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030.

Chaired by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and National Grid U.S. President Tom King, the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy calls for growing the U.S. economy through investments, modernization and education. These efforts will target the entire energy structure, including buildings, transportation, manufacturing, power generation and natural gas infrastructure.

"Doubling our energy productivity will yield huge returns for our economy and increase our competitiveness," Sen. Warner said. "This bipartisan plan can serve as a blueprint to advance energy efficiency and bring direct and tangible benefits to American families and businesses while building a stronger economy and healthier environment."

If adopted, by 2030 the U.S. could:

  • Add 1.3 million jobs.
  • Cut average household energy costs by more than $1,000 a year.
  • Save American businesses $169 billion a year.
  • Increase GDP by up to 2%.
  • Decrease energy imports by more than $100 billion a year.
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by one-third.

The Energy 2030 plan maximizes energy productivity by expanding financing opportunities, reforming taxes and regulations, spurring innovation, strengthening standards and building consumer awareness. The Commission also anticipates the plan will help the U.S. establish global leadership on energy efficiency.

Work already has begun to turn the Commission's recommendations into meaningful legislation.  

The Alliance will collaborate with its 13 Honorary Congressional vice chairs to develop legislative proposals at the national level. Commission members will also discuss the recommendations with Obama Administration leaders at a White House meeting. Finally, efforts to advance recommendations across the country at the local and state levels are to begin immediately.

Additionally, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced it is pleased to support the Alliance to Save Energy’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy’s goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.

“The Commission’s report looks at the full range of measures to increase energy productivity, and expanding public transportation choices is considered a central element in a comprehensive, forward-looking and transformative national strategy for energy productivity,” said President/CEO Michael Melaniphy, who also serves as a Commissioner on the bipartisan panel. “Investing in public transportation has the dual benefit of improving energy productivity while creating jobs.”

Melaniphy also noted that investing in public transportation will help the U.S. move toward the Commission’s goal of creating 1.3 million jobs by 2030.

“There are big economic dividends paid to local communities when we invest in public transit,” he said. “Every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates and supports 36,000 jobs. These jobs result in roughly $3.6 billion in business sales and generate nearly $500 million in federal, state and local tax revenues.

“To make these recommendations come to life, Congress can embrace a closer linkage between transportation policy and energy policy by investing in energy-efficient transportation infrastructure like public transportation,” Melaniphy added. “Greater federal investments in public transit can be the catalyst for state governments, local/regional governments, and the private sector to also provide resources. Incentives to promote productive energy development patterns will help underpin good public transportation and will facilitate regional and local plans to create jobs and improve energy productivity.”

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