Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Another step on the path to energy independence

Senator Hagel understands the critical role that energy policy plays in our world today and how interconnected it is to other critical areas, such as foreign policy and agricultural policy. Previous posts on Chuck Hagel and energy policy are here and here.

Here is a an excert from a press release from Senator Hagel's office with regard to his latest work on energy policy.
Hagel Original Co-Sponsor of Bill to Expand Renewable Energy Projects

September 12th, 2006 - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) joined a bipartisan group of senators today in introducing the “Rural Energy for America Act of 2006.” The legislation would expand the availability of grants and loans under Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill to farmers, ranchers, rural businesses and school districts for assistance with purchasing renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements.

“Investment in renewable energy and energy related projects will be critical to address our nation’s growing energy needs. This legislation provides funding for many Nebraskans who are developing renewable energy projects or updating existing energy operations."

This legislation would do the following:
• set aside 20% for program funding for state and regional organizations to establish rebate programs for renewable energy projects;
• add rural school districts to the list of those eligible for funding;
• ensure that projects that receive grants receive the full renewable energy production tax credit; and
• gradually increase funding for the program from $115 million over five years to $250 million over five years.

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