Warner unveils bill pushing energy productivity

Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va.,  today introduced legislation that would establish a competitive program of voluntary federal incentives aimed at encouraging states to adopt strategies to improve energy productivity.

If implemented, the “State Energy Race to the Top” initiative would lower energy bills for consumers, create jobs and increase American economic competitiveness, according to a statement released by his office today.

“America is dead last among developed nations in energy productivity. Even China ranks ahead of the U.S.,” Warner said.  “Our country needs a new approach to energy that recognizes the value of improving energy productivity to increase our competitiveness. By empowering our states and local communities to take a leadership role, this friendly competition can make a difference right where it really matters,” he said.

Warner’s initiative incorporates a national goal of doubling the productivity of U.S. electricity use by 2030, encouraging new approaches to energy productivity through a voluntary program for states and localities. It would leverage limited federal funding, and it would not impose mandates.

Also today, Warner and Sen. Michael Enzi, a Republican from Wyoming, introduced a bipartisan measure that would authorize the minting of coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service (NPS). The bill, would authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to produce a five dollar gold coin, a silver dollar, and a clad half dollar. The proceeds from sales of the coins would be used by the National Park Foundation for park preservation and to provide programs and services to visitors.

Implementation of the maesure would come at no additional cost to taxpayers, according to a statement released by Warner.