I recently received the email below from a fellow supporter of the Weatherization Program regarding the current status of Federal funding for the Low Income Weatherization program.
Relatively speaking, while I have done little in terms of personal lobbying in DC at the Federal level on Weatherization, Brad Penney deserves credit as one of the greatest leaders in personally convincing members of Congress to fund the Weatherization program during the FY2013 and 2014 - the two years where it was a concern that the Federal Gov't would underfund the program because of the ease of misunderstanding the role of ARRA fund carryover. Below is a copy of a note that he sent out Friday. It is great news! Stan Harbuck
From: Brad Penney a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org> June 28th, 2013
All --- it seems that events come at us so quickly these days that it is hard to see the “big picture.” When I got home last night I got to thinking about what this week has meant to the Weatherization program. The week started with the release of the FOA, containing nearly $70M in reprogrammed funds for FY 2013, largely facilitated by the efforts of NASCSP. The one time reprogramming got the program almost to the $139M level of the Administration’s request for FY 2013. Monday also saw the formal introduction of the bipartisan Weatherization/SEP reauthorization bill by three great champions of the Weatherization program, Senators Coons, Collins and Reed. The bill has already won the support of more than 25 leading energy efficiency organizations (a number increasing every day) and NASCSP is viewed on the Hill as the “go to” organization in shepherding the bill to enactment. The reauthorization was also part of an energy efficiency hearing in the Senate on Tuesday. Then, yesterday, Senators Reed and Collins were successful in engineering an amendment in the full Senate Appropriations Committee raising the WAP number in the Senate E&W bill to $190M – really an amazing achievement considering how many programs are being sliced --- EERE funding cut by 46% in the House Appropriations Committee which has SEP down to just $12M. Obviously the number is not what we wanted in FY 2014, but considering that the budget cutting axe is hitting almost every other energy efficiency program, we are at least marching in the right direction. So I wanted to point out that, two years from now, when Weatherization funding has stabilized at close to pre-ARRA levels, and the program has been reauthorized, the week of June 24, 2013 will be remembered, not as the beginning of the end of the struggle to save the program but, as Churchill once said, as the “end of the beginning.”
There are many trap doors on the path ahead of us --- there are always trap doors in life. But, for the long view of what we are trying to do, this week was something special.