Big Step Forward for Our Clean Tech Capital

Today, I am happy to tell you that Sacramento has been chosen as one of the first five cities to benefit from President Obama’s announced "Better Building Initiative", a plan to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20 percent by 2020.

This morning, President Obama signed a memorandum for a minimum $2 billion commitment from federal agencies over the next two years, which will be paid for in the energy savings the upgrades will provide. Funds will be used to hire contractors to perform energy retrofits and green upgrades at federal facilities across the nation. Additionally, sixty private companies, municipal leaders, and labor organizations have agreed to invest $2 billion in private capital to upgrade 300 manufacturing plants and 1.6 billion square feet of commercial and industrial property.

Because of the private sector investment and the fact that the federal upgrades pay for themselves, this plan will not cost taxpayers a cent. Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has estimated that the federal investment alone could create 35,000 jobs nationally.

This private-public partnership will create thousands of new jobs, help move our country’s clean energy sector forward, and provide long-term savings. It is the exact type of forward-thinking and innovative approach that will get our country back on the right track and ensure that we remain competitive in the future. And I am very pleased that the Administration has chosen Sacramento, which is itself a clean energy leader, to help kick-off the program. Not only will this deal get our region’s construction sector back to work, it will also help further position us as the ‘Clean Tech Capital’.

As many of you know, I am working hard every day to create jobs in Sacramento and to advance our clean energy priorities. Sacramento has been noticed on a national-level for its commitment to the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, and I continue to work hard to restore and expand that program.

I have also introduced several bills geared towards promoting clean energy jobs and manufacturing in our region. Specifically, H.R. 502, the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act, would assist American clean tech firms with export assistance and implement a National Clean Energy Technology Export Strategy. This legislation would help advance Sacramento’s clean energy priorities and keep our country competitive globally.

I will continue working to see that we work to create jobs and invest in clean energy technology. Through energy upgrades, our country can save money, reduce our carbon footprint, and compete globally. For more information on my work on clean energy, visit matsui.house.gov/cleanenergy. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at (916) 498-5600.