From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 12:09 PM
Subject: A message from Senator Charles E. Schumer
Dear Bill C. Merrell, Ph.D.
Thank you for writing to express your support for the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act of 2009. I agree that America is heavily reliant on imported oil to meet its energy needs, and that developing more domestically abundant energy resources like natural gas can move us closer to the goal of energy independence.
Natural gas is a major fuel supply for the United States, accounting for about 24% of total energy in 2008. U.S. consumers received most of their supply, 91%, from domestic production and imports have decreased over time as new sources of natural gas are discovered and new techniques for extraction are developed. In last year alone, advances in unconventional gas production led to a 7.7% increase in production in the continental United States.
America needs to become less reliant on imported energy resources. By transitioning away from dirty and expensive imported energy sources to clean and abundant domestically produced energy sources, the United States will protect both the environment and secure our energy independence. That is one of the reasons why I supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which made significant investments in alternative energy including more $20 billion in energy related tax incentives. The package designated $14.1 billion for renewable energy, $2.3 billion for energy efficiency, $2.2 billion for transportation, $1.6 billion for manufacturing, and $1.4 billion for state and local government energy bonds. The renewable energy provisions include incentives for alternative energy investment and alternative energy production. In particular, ARRA expands an energy production tax credit that has been available for wind facilities and other qualifying facilities such as landfill gas, geothermal, hydropower, and others. Additionally, I sought to include provisions that would promote the utilization of solar and wind energy, energy efficiency, as well as a 21st century electrical grid.
I am also sponsoring the Save American Energy Act to further help New Yorkers save energy and increase efficiency. The bill would require utilities to assist consumers in becoming more energy efficient, resulting in 15% retail electricity savings and 10% natural gas savings by 2020 through the adoption of simple, currently available energy efficiency measures. The utilities could comply with the bill through a variety of mechanisms, including working with States to design new building codes, offering discounts and rebates for energy star appliances, and by installing programmable thermostats, more efficient lighting and better insulation in homes and business.
As you know, the NAT GAS Act aims to capitalize on the abundance of domestically produced energy by transitioning America’s transportation infrastructure and automobile industries away from traditional petroleum fuel powered technology towards natural gas power technology. This would be accomplished by promoting the purchase and use of natural gas vehicles, and incentivizing the installation of natural gas fuel pumps, service stations and depots. Additionally, the bill would mandate that at least 50% of all new vehicles purchased by the US Government be capable of operating on natural gas by 2014.
The NAT GAS Act has been referred to the Finance Committee, of which I am a member, and I will closely monitor the bill as the committee begins consideration.
Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator