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Sen. Franken Named Chair of Key Energy Subcommittee

Senator Plans to use Appointment to Help Bolster Minnesota’s and U.S.’s Emerging Renewable Energy Sector, Boost Energy Efficiency, Create Jobs

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced that he will chair the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Sen. Franken said he plans to use his new role to help promote Minnesota's and the nation's renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors and to create manufacturing jobs. Sen. Franken believes growth in these sectors is critical to U.S. energy independence and competitiveness.

"I'm proud of the strong and historic role Minnesota has played in the development and deployment of clean energy and energy efficient technologies." said Sen. Franken. "I plan to use this new chairmanship to bolster emerging technologies-particularly in renewables and energy efficiency. This will enhance the nation's competitiveness, create jobs, and improve the environment. I look forward to hearing directly from Minnesotans about what they would like me to address in my subcommittee back in Washington. I hope we can replicate some of Minnesota's successes at the federal level."

Sen. Franken has served on the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee since 2011. Since taking office the senator has been a strong advocate for clean energy technologies, including solar, wind, and biobased energy.

Sen. Franken has authored or coauthored a set of bills to promote the nation's clean energy sector and to grow advanced manufacturing jobs. His Rural Energy for America (REAP) legislation-which provides renewable and energy efficient resources to rural America-was incorporated into the Farm Bill last year. In the last Congress he cosponsored the Clean Energy Standard to put the nation on a path to clean energy generation. Last year, he successfully pressed for an extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit.

Sen. Franken's Back to Work Minnesota initiative has raised the profile of energy efficiency projects throughout Minnesota. The initiative brings local and national leaders together with building owners and manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and create jobs. Sen. Franken believes that making buildings more energy-efficient saves money, creates jobs, improves real-estate values, and strengthens infrastructure. He also thinks the state is positioned particularly well to benefit economically from retrofitting, with energy-service companies, leading window makers, and other manufacturers headquartered in Minnesota.

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