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January 24th, 2008
» Amy Kirwin's Blog | Wynn seeking federal funding for energy efficiency

Wynn seeking federal funding for energy efficiency

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Austin Mayor Will Wynn will seek millions in federal energy funding for Austin at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, taking place this week in Washington.

Wynn is chair of the conference’s energy committee and pushed for the 2007 passage of energy efficiency community block grant legislation that would invest $10 billion over five years in local efficiency efforts. Austin stands to gain approximately $20 million of that money.

The efficiency block grant legislation was part of the 2007 Energy Bill, which President George Bush signed into law in December.

“We crossed a major threshold through passage of the energy bill, but the game’s not over,” Wynn says. “There’s a great deal of fear right now about an economic slowdown, so we need to make sure Congress and the White House don’t take a short-sighted view and fail to fund the block grants.”

At the conference Wynn will also recruit mayors’ support on a package of amendments to the International Energy Conservation Code — the code used by most cities in the U.S. — that would increase energy efficiency in new home construction by 30 percent.

“In Austin our codes are some of the strongest in the nation, and we’re already ahead of these changes,” Wynn says. “But it’s important that we help bring the rest of the country forward not only because of our shared susceptibility to global warming, but also because it helps level the energy and housing markets in which we all operate.”

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