Murkowski Highlights Global Importance of Energy Efficiency
Participates in First Meeting of New IEA Commission
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, this week attended the inaugural meeting of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency (Commission) in Paris, France.
Murkowski, an honorary member of the Commission, spoke to the importance of efficiency in saving energy, reducing energy bills, promoting economic growth, and addressing climate change. She also highlighted a number of successful U.S. initiatives, including the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).
“We call efficiency the ‘first fuel’ because it is often our best option, but as IEA has identified, we need to do more to promote investment in efficiency through proven and pragmatic policies,” Murkowski said. “That starts with identifying what has worked both in the U.S. and around the world, and one of those examples is FEMP. The federal government is our nation’s largest consumer of energy, which presents an opportunity to save both energy and taxpayer dollars. I thank Dr. Birol and the IEA team for inviting me to join this commission and to help develop a voluntary roadmap for countries to follow to increase their efficiency.”
Some FEMP functions have informally been in place since 1975. In the past 45 years, the program has saved taxpayers an estimated $50 billion. Senator Murkowski has introduced bipartisan legislation to formally authorize FEMP as an established program and set longer-term energy and water conservation goals.
IEA established the Commission in July 2019 after finding that global energy demand is outpacing reductions in global energy intensity. Murkowski, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is the only U.S. federal official on the Commission.