Sanders Seeks Weatherization Funds

Senator Bernie Sanders said today that he would fight to restore $38 million that the Bush administration wants to cut this year from a program that helps working people cope with high energy bills while protecting the environment.

The administration wants to reduce funding to $205 million for the program that supports state and local efforts to help families insulate their homes in order to reduce heating and air conditioning bills. Last year, $242.2 million was allotted.

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2007- Senator Bernie Sanders said today that he would fight to restore $38 million that the Bush administration wants to cut this year from a program that helps working people cope with high energy bills while protecting the environment. The administration wants to reduce funding to $205 million for the program that supports state and local efforts to help families insulate their homes in order to reduce heating and air conditioning bills. Last year, $242.2 million was allotted. "At a time when this country has got to be extremely aggressive in terms of energy efficiency and addressing the crisis of global warming, I find it incredible that President Bush would actually lower the budget for the weatherization program," Sanders said. "I will do all that I can to reverse that course and make sure that lower income Vermonters and all Americans have the resources they need to insulate their homes, cut their heating bills and protect our environment," the senator added. Sanders said he will seek to restore funds in a supplemental spending bill that the Senate takes up this week. In Vermont, hundreds of homes have been retrofitted with insulation, storm windows and other improvements so that low-income people, including many seniors, do not waste large sums of money through energy inefficiency. The program also helps the environment by decreasing the need for energy and making homes more energy-efficient. Sanders said that instead of building new power plants, and producing more energy, we should make certain through the weatherization program and other initiatives that the energy we produce is used more efficiently. More than 5 million homes have been made more energy-efficient since 1979 through government weatherization programs. Unfortunately, more than 20 million low-income homes are still waiting for weatherization services.