Bipartisan Senate Bill Incentivizes Manufacturing Efficiency

A bipartisan group of eight senators have introduced a bill aimed at renewing America’s industrial sector.

It designates first steps meant to revitalize the nation’s
manufacturing base by increasing energy efficiency, while
simultaneously reducing carbon emissions.

Senate Bill 661, called the "Restoring America’s Manufacturing
Leadership through Energy Efficiency Act of 2009," will be considered
as part of the comprehensive energy legislation that the Senate Energy
Committee expects to start marking up next week.

Highlights of the bill include:

  • Establishing financing mechanisms and grants for both
    small and large manufacturers to adopt advanced energy efficient
    production technologies and processes.
  • Spurring innovation
    in the manufacturing sector to decrease energy intensity and
    environmental impacts while increasing productivity.
  • Expanding
    the number and expertise of the Industrial Research and Assessment
    Centers to better meet the needs of small and medium manufacturers. The
    bill also provides for workforce training through paid internships at
    the centers for students to work with industries and manufacturers to
    implement energy efficiency technologies.

The bill is sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Lisa Murkowski
(R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Olympia Snowe
(R-ME), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mark Pryor (D-AR).

Senator Murkowski, who has been a vocal naysayer on numerous renewables
initiatives supported by Democrats said: "This bill will allow
companies to improve their energy efficiency without hurting their
bottom line. By spurring innovation in new energy efficient
technologies, we hope to save manufacturing jobs, create new growth in
the industry and move toward a cleaner energy future. The workforce
training in this bill will also help grow the energy workers and
technology we need to revitalize our economy and increase our energy

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