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Lane Burt’s Blog

Home Star Takes Another Step Forward

Lane Burt

Posted April 14, 2010 in Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Home Star will reach another mile stone today when Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) introduce legislation creating the program in the House of Representatives. It’s important to note that with Republican support the bill is officially bipartisan.

This follows on a similar bipartisan introduction in the Senate last month, when Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va) and Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced S.3177, The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010. 

Home Star is the President's often discussed rebate program for homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable.  It's designed so that the more energy you save, the larger rebate you receive (on the order of $1,000 to $3,000), to create a tremendous amount of jobs in the ailing construction industry, and with a healthy emphasis on quality assurance and contracting standards.  It is supported by over 1000 organizations, representing industry, environmentalists, and labor.  NRDC has been involved since the start, and I have blogged about it here and here.

While this development on the Hill certainly doesn’t mean Home Star will become law, it does mean that the proposal is positioned as well as possible to move forward, enjoying support from members of both parties looking to create jobs and slash energy bills at the same time. 

Now that there are bills introduced, look for the relevant energy committees to move toward marking up the legislation and considering the opinions of other committee members before the bills can move forward.  From that point, the path for Home Star becomes a bit murky, but there certainly are many well positioned members of Congress working to move the bill (the sponsors listed above and several other champions of efficiency that are working behind the scenes).  Stay tuned.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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