Jan 152015
 

There were about 30 million Americans, young and old, living in our lowest income bracket ten years ago. There are now more than 40 million. This group includes nearly 20% of all American children. These Americans are extremely vulnerable to steep energy price increases since most live on fixed incomes. Seniors, single parents, low wage earners, students and the unemployed are examples of groups that sometimes must choose between heating their homes and eating. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income residents pay for a portion of their home heating and cooling bills by providing federal aid to state governments. The amount of assistance each state receives is based on its weather and number of low-income residents. Each state operates their own LIHEAP program to distribute this aid, often relying on community action agencies, non-profits or localities to administer this program. Each year, an estimated 7 million households rely on LIHEAP to keep warm. Since 2010, when LIHEAP had only enough resources to support one in four eligible households, its budget has been cut from $4.7 billion to about $3 billion today, a 30% reduction.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.835 – Energy Assistance for American Families Act

I oppose reforming current consumer electricity assistance policy and wish to defeat H.R.835

I support amending the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 to authorize appropriations for 2014-2018; permitting a state to use any allotment from such appropriations to assist households whose income does not exceed 75% of the state median income, and wish to pass H.R.835

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Conserving energy enables us to both protect our environment and strengthen national security by reducing our need to extract, burn and import oil and coal. There are many ways to reduce our dependence on these fossil fuels including the use of efficient heating and lighting systems, alternative fuels and materials to insulate our buildings and homes. Although there are few opponents of energy conservation, these measures can be costly. The federal government offers tax incentives and low interest loans for this purpose. Advocates claim the most effective way to conserve energy is for consumers to decrease their demand for it. This can be done by reducing our use of electrical appliances, heated water, and climate control systems. The Federal Government itself is a large consumer of electricity, using more than 2% of our nation’s power on its buildings.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1659 – Federal Buildings Energy Savings Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current energy conservation policy and wish to defeat H.R.1659

I support directing each federal agency to implement requirements for the use of energy and water efficiency measures in federal buildings; directing agencies to include in energy savings performance contracts appropriate termination clauses for facilities that will or may close before the end of a contract’s term; supporting the use of electric vehicles or the fueling or charging infrastructure necessary for such vehicles including measures to finance the acquisition or use of such vehicles or their fueling infrastructure among energy efficiency, water conservation, or electricity demand management programs in which agencies are authorized and encouraged to participate, and wish to pass H.R.1659

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Many people have expressed the need to modernize and upgrade our electrical transmission system to a unified smart grid. A smart grid system would employ a nation-wide ‘backbone’ of high voltage transmission lines that connect ‘smart’ local electric utilities to distant power plants. As local utility networks are upgraded to smart grids, interactions with this backbone become more coordinated. A smart grid would maximize the efficiency of our nation’s electricity use, while greatly reducing waste and loss. Hydropower from the northwest could then be directed the Dakotas if that area’s winds, and wind turbine output, have decreased. Solar power from Arizona would be able to supply manufacturing in Ohio, or evening wind power from the Northeast could be used to supply power peak demand during the day in Nevada. Environmentalists say a unified smart grid and renewable power sources are essential to reducing our carbon emissions. The cost of a unified smart grid has been estimated at $400-$500 billion. Smart grid opponents claim these grandiose national plans sound fine. But for many people, our current smart grid consists of wireless transmitters in ‘smart’ utility meters and home appliances that can’t be turned off, and that many people do not seem to want. These transmitters tell our utility companies the amount of energy we are using and how we are using it. During power shortages, some utilities have the ability to cycle the compressors of home air conditioners rather than allow them to run continuously. Some people opposed to this aspect of the smart grid are worried about privacy concerns, while others prefer not to have microwave transmitters in their proximity. It is currently the choice of a consumer whether to have these smart meters installed.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.2685 – Smart Grid Advancement Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current smart grid policy and wish to defeat H.R.2685

I support requiring utilities to install smart meter technology in all American homes and businesses and wish to pass H.R.2685

 Posted by at 12:00 am