House Approves Two Key Energy Efficiency Bills

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved two bipartisan bills that will help improve the efficiency of energy and water. Both bills will ensure that our country is able to meet future demands for both energy and water.

The House unanimously approved the Energy and Water Research Integration Act, H.R. 3598, which Congressman Bart Gordon authored. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Energy to integrate water-related issues into DOE’s current energy research and development programs.

“Middle Tennessee has been ravaged by droughts over the past few years, and as things stand, our nation’s water research and development programs aren’t receiving the necessary attention they deserve,” said Gordon. “This bill will integrate water-related initiatives into the Energy Department’s energy programs, which is a commonsense change. Water and energy go hand in hand – water is required to generate energy and produce fuel, and energy is required to process, pump, and distribute water.”

Both resources are expected to be in greater demand in the coming years, and the legislation approved by the House would create a comprehensive strategy for energy-water research and development of new technologies to ensure that we can meet future demands. The bill creates the Energy-Water Architecture Council, a program within DOE, to coordinate with industry, academics and other relevant federal agencies to collect and report water and energy-related data.

The House also passed a natural gas turbine research and development bill, H.R. 3029, legislation that was also authored and approved by the House Science and Technology Committee, which is chaired by Gordon. This bipartisan legislation will create an R&D and technology demonstration grant program within DOE to help companies study ways to develop cleaner, more efficient natural gas turbines for electric power generation, thus reducing costs for consumers.

“Approximately 20 percent of our nation’s electric power is produced from natural gas,” stated Gordon. “Natural gas is going to be an increasingly important component of an all-of-the-above national energy strategy. It is estimated that improving gas turbine efficiency by just one percentage point nationwide would save billions in annual fuel costs.”

Having passed the House, both bills now move to the Senate for consideration.