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Senator Amy Klobuchar

Working for the People of Minnesota

Homegrown Energy

The rising price of energy for our homes, vehicles, and businesses is one of the top issues affecting the family checkbook.

These prices not only hurt our families, they also hurt our economy. Our dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security. I want to put America back in control of our energy supply. We need to chart a new energy course - one that creates jobs, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and slows the changes to our climate.

Our energy future must be based on a combination of homegrown energy resources, advanced energy technologies, and high-efficiency vehicles, buildings and appliances, along with safe nuclear energy and expanded domestic fuel production. In Minnesota, we have the talent and know-how to innovate and the natural resources to propel our economy forward. I believe this is a great opportunity to meet our nation's energy demands and promote economic development across America.

As your Senator, I am focused on the following:

  • Developing the next generation of energy-saving technologies. As a member of the Commerce Committee, I worked on the 2007 Energy Bill, which included incentives for the development of new, more efficient consumer technologies. From the next generation of hybrid and plug-in vehicles, to higher efficiency standards for appliances, to incentives for the design and construction of high-performance energy-efficient buildings, these incentives are designed to reduce energy bills and save consumers money. I also supported the inclusion of tax credits for energy efficient products in the emergency stimulus package that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in October 2008. These credits cover up to 30 percent of the cost (up to $1,500) for home owners who install energy efficient products such as new efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment. For more information about tax credits for energy efficient cars and products, please visit the department of Energy's website: Department of Energy
  • Helping consumers save money on home energy costs. The Weatherization Assistance Program is an important tool in reducing home energy costs. According to the National Association for State Community Services Programs, for every dollar spent, the Weatherization Program returns $2.72 in energy and non-energy benefits over the life of the weatherized home. In the 110th Congress, I co-sponsored the Warm-in-Winter and Cool-in-Summer Act, which called for additional funds for home energy assistance (LIHEAP) programs. I also supported inclusion of increased funding for weatherization in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has provided the State of Minnesota with over $220 million. For more information about how Recovery Act funds can help make your business or home more energy efficient, please visit Minnesota's Office of Energy Security Website: Minnesota's Office of Energy Security
  • Creating stable incentives for the private sector to invest in renewable energy. I authored legislation, the American Renewable Energy Act of 2008, along with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), which included provisions to extend Production Tax Credits for renewable energy. I was pleased that a four year extension of these credits was included in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the American Renewable Energy Act of 2009. These bills also include an eight year extension of tax credits for consumers who wish to purchase solar, wind, and geothermal systems to heat and power their homes.
  • Expanding the market for homegrown biofuels. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I worked to ensure that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 included provisions requiring an increase in biofuel production by 2022 -- requiring that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be used by the year 2022, starting with 8.5 billion gallons by 2008. The current requirement is 7.5 billion gallons by 2012, a goal the country is expected to exceed. The legislation includes research on ethanol pipelines, quality standards for biodiesel, and loan guarantees for advanced biofuels facilities.
  • Helping our farmers move to the next generation of farm-based biofuels. On the Agriculture Committee, I took the lead on efforts to advance the nation to a new group of biofuels - cellulosic ethanol made from dedicated energy crops like prairie grass and alfalfa, and from agricultural residues and wood chips. Working with Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), I introduced the Farm-to-Fuel Investment Act, which offers incentives to farmers to grow dedicated energy crops on marginal farmland. This initiative was eventually included in the Energy Title of the 2008 Farm Bill and became law in May of 2008. Cellulosic ethanol made from native, perennial prairie grasses has the potential to provide our country with an alternative motor fuel, while protecting our soil and water quality and providing wildlife habitat.
  • Making ethanol and biodiesel available to more drivers. I have fought successfully in the Senate to expand the availability of renewable fuels all over the country to provide additional markets for Minnesota's producers. The Energy Independence and Security Act, which was enacted in December of 2007, includes $200 million annually to install ethanol and biodiesel pumps in gas stations across the country. In addition, my "Right to Retail Renewable Fuels" amendment will put a stop to oil company tactics used to block the sale of renewable fuels at their franchise gas stations.
  • Expanding demand for producers of renewable energy. I introduced an updated version (S. 826) of the American Renewable Energy Act from the 110th Congress, which includes portions that didn't pass in the last Congress The updated bill sets a national renewable energy standard, requiring utilities to obtain 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the year 2025. This provision is modeled after Minnesota's "25 by 25" law, which requires that 25 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2025. Minnesota's strong leadership demonstrates that, far from hurting an economy, well-designed policies can actually stimulate innovation and investment leading to new economic growth. States like Minnesota have been leading the way, but that is no excuse for inaction by the federal government.
  • Expanding domestic energy production. I believe we should increase development of advanced biofuels and provide increased consumer access to these fuels. In addition, we should provide incentives for other domestic energy resources such as hydro, geothermal and wind power as well as increased offshore drilling where appropriate, new coal technologies, and safe nuclear power. As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Commerce Committee, I am working to make sure that energy legislation increases domestic production without increasing costs for middle class families.
  • Finding a bipartisan solution to create more homegrown energy. Creating our new energy future is going to require all Americans to join together to bring about change -- which is why I joined a bipartisan group of Senators that supported a proposal to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, invest in domestic sources of energy and strengthen our economy.

Senator Klobuchar’s Offices

302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main Line: 202-224-3244
Main Fax: 202-228-2186
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

1134 7th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
Fax: 507-288-2922

121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Fax: 218-287-2930

Olcott Plaza, Suite 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690
Fax: 218-741-3692