Clean Energy Future Act charts new course for state’s energy policy

March 31, 2009

Clean Energy Future Act charts new course for state’s
energy policy

(NASHVILLE, TN), March 31, 2009 — Local State Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman)  joined Governor Phil Bredesen and a bipartisan group of legislators today in a press conference in Nashville to announce sweeping new legislation designed to make the Volunteer State a national leader in energy efficiency and clean energy technology.   The group was joined by members of the Governor’s Task Force on Energy Policy who have been working on the plan for the past 16 months.

“This bill demonstrates that energy conservation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” said Yager.   “In fact, this legislation encourages energy efficiency with a positive effect on economic growth that our district will particularly benefit from in the future.”

Key components of the legislation include requiring state government to “lead by example” with improved energy management of its buildings and passenger motor vehicle fleet.  It also encourages job creation in the clean energy technology sector by making qualified businesses eligible for Tennessee’s existing emerging industry tax credit.  In addition it promotes energy efficiency in newly constructed homes with a limited statewide residential building code and expanding eligibility for federal funds used to “weatherize” existing homes in low-income areas.

“The Clean Energy Future Act will set the example for energy conservation in the state’s buildings, vehicle fleet, and equipment purchases,” Yager added.  “It also encourages residential energy efficiency and encourages the development of clean energy technology by qualifying those businesses engaged in this technology sector for tax credits and rebates.”

“This eligibility for tax credits will compliment the ongoing technology transfer program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and will give Technology 2020, an East Tennessee regional development organization, another tool to create new businesses and high quality jobs capitalizing on the unique technology resources in the Tennessee Valley Corridor,” he continued.

“Today’s bill is the result of countless hours of public meetings involving dozens of experts and hundreds of stakeholders from across Tennessee,” Bredesen said. “It promotes energy savings for state government and consumers across Tennessee, it encourages the development of clean energy technology jobs, and it happens to be the right thing to do for energy and the environment.”

He added: “It’s a bold, bipartisan step toward ensuring the Volunteer State’s clean energy future.”

The Tennessee Clean Energy Future Act of 2009 is sponsored by Senators Jim Kyle (D-Memphis), Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga) and Ken Yager (R-Harriman), and Representatives Les Winningham (D-Huntsville), Joe McCord (R-Maryville), Jim Hackworth (D-Oak Ridge) and Phillip Johnson (R-Pegram).

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