Administration Urged to Invest More in Energy Efficiency for Small Businesses
John Kerry (D-MA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), chairman and ranking member
of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, urged the Bush
administration to invest more resources to help small businesses become
more energy efficient and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Although small businesses represent half of the nation's economy and
are responsible for half of the country's energy consumption, the
government spends less than two percent of the Energy Star program's
$50 million annual budget reaching out to help small businesses, the
"There's no greater threat to the earth than global climate change,
but by leaving small businesses out of the solution, the Bush
administration shows they're not serious about tackling the problem,"
Kerry said. "Small businesses can lead the way toward a cleaner,
greener future, so the least the federal government can do is dedicate
$2 million -- just 4 percent -- of Energy Star funds to help
entrepreneurs reduce their energy costs and foster green innovation."
"As the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Small Business
and Entrepreneurship and as a longstanding steward of the environment,
I am alarmed by the administration's lack of commitment to promoting
small business energy efficiency," Snowe said. "According to a National
Small Business Association survey, 40 percent of small businesses are
still not familiar with the Energy Star product label and technical
support programs that are available. And at a committee hearing last
year, EPA testified that it has only two full-time employees devoted to
the Energy Star small business program. I am pleased to join my
bipartisan colleagues in urging the administration to properly fund the
EPA's Energy Star small business program."
In a letter sent to EPA, which implements the Energy Star program,
the Senators urged the Bush administration to increase funding for the
Energy Star small business program to $2 million a year, in order to
provide technical assistance and resources necessary to small