The House of Representatives Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus will mark its fifth anniversary this month.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Caucus was founded in February 1996 by Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Scott Klug (R-WI), David Minge (D-MN), Bill Richardson (D-NM), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Dan Schaefer (R-CO), and Karen Thurman (D-FL). It quickly expanded to 100 members and, by last year, more than one third of the House of Representatives were members under the leadership of Congressmen Matt Salmon and Mark Udall (D-CO). The Sustainable Energy Coalition says it is one of the largest such groups in Congress. This year, Mark Udall (D-CO) and Zach Wamp (R-TN) are lead co-chairs and Gary Condit (D-CA), Ehlers, Thurman, and Greg Walden (R-OR) are co-chairs. “I am honored to serve with my colleagues as the new co-chair and am excited to build further a bipartisan coalition seeking to enhance the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency as a critical component of our nation’s economic and environmental security,” says Wamp. “The Caucus embodies the idea that policymakers of both parties and every ideology can agree on the importance of utilizing energy efficiency and renewable energy–not only to protect the environment but also to ensure that the U.S. has abundant energy resources to drive economic growth,” adds Udall. The Caucus tracks rising oil and natural gas prices, and the energy crisis in California. “At no time has there been a greater need to offer clean, domestic energy choices to Americans. Reliable energy — at affordable prices is readily available within our own borders,” says Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Chair of the House Science Committee. The Sustainable Energy Coalition comprises 35 national clean energy advocacy, technical, environmental and industry associations. It hails the bipartisan group as a major force behind a U.S. energy policy that is based on a proven portfolio of clean energy resources and practices that lower reliance on imported energy, reduce pollution, and stabilize energy prices and availability.