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Lipinski's BRIGHT Energy Savings Act Moves Toward Passage

REP. LIPINSKI’S BRIGHT ENERGY SAVINGS ACT MOVES

TOWARD PASSAGE

Bill To Put Energy-Saving Bulbs in Federal Buildings Clears Key House Panel

[WASHINGTON, DC]  Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski successfully included his BRIGHT Energy Savings Act legislation in H.R. 2701, the Transportation Energy Security and Climate Change Mitigation Act of 2007, a comprehensive energy and climate change bill, which passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  Lipinski’s provision would direct the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to install high efficiency bulbs in federal buildings.  It was earlier introduced as H.R. 1705, the Bulb Replacement in Government with High-efficiency Technology (BRIGHT) Energy Savings Act.  Introduced with Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC), the bipartisan legislation garnered the support of over 80 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.  Lipinski, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, worked with his colleagues to unanimously pass the bill out of the Committee by voice vote.

"I am pleased the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has paved the way for the BRIGHT Energy Savings Act to be considered by the full House of Representatives,” explained Lipinski.  “I thank Congressman Jim Oberstar, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, for acting on my legislation so quickly.  Installing high efficiency bulbs in federal buildings will help cut down on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by the federal government and save millions of taxpayer dollars at the same time.  It's a win for the environment, a win for national security, and a win for American taxpayers."

The GSA is the federal agency which owns and administers office space for civilian federal agencies.  The federal government owns approximately 1,800 facilities with about 174 million square feet of space.  At least 3 million lights throughout the federal government could be upgraded to high efficiency bulbs, such as Energy Star-certified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).  CFLs use approximately 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs to provide the same amount of light, last approximately 8-10 times longer, and save up to $74 in energy costs over the bulb's lifetime.  Even higher efficiency light bulbs are close to commercial application including improved halogen technologies as well as new light-emitting diode (LED) technologies.

This comes on the heels of Congressman Dan Lipinski’s previous legislative effort to successfully pass similar language for Department of Defense facilities.  Last month, Congressman Lipinski introduced an amendment to H.R. 1585, the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization bill, which would require the Department of Defense to utilize energy efficient lighting to the fullest extent deemed feasible.  The amendment was unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives.

"The Department of Defense owns 240,000 buildings in the U.S. alone,” said Lipinski.  “With the inclusion of GSA buildings, we will have successfully covered the majority of federal buildings with high efficiency bulbs.  The federal government is one of the largest consumers of energy in this country.  In a time of growing environmental concerns and support for energy independence, my legislative initiatives will help the federal government do the right thing at the right time, so we can lead by example."

(June 20, 2007)

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