Senate approves measure that funds energy efficiency for non-profits

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Senate overwhelmingly approved an energy bill that includes a provision that creates grants for non-profits to become energy efficient.

The Energy Policy Modernization Act passed 85-12 on Wednesday. It includes language that started out as the Nonprofit Energy Efficient Act, authored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D.

The bill awards grants of up to $200,000 to nonprofits, including faith-based institutions, to replace heating and air conditioning systems, windows and doors, among other fixes.

The Orthodox Union helped lead lobbying for the provision. Groups also lobbying for its inclusion and passage include the YMCA, the National Council of Churches, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Association of American Museum Directors, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Sojourners, and The Salvation Army.

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Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, praised its passage, saying it creates “more resources to serve our communities.” The JFNA in a separate statement also praised the inclusion of the provision.

The bill, a compromise that aims to streamline energy consumption while sidestepping issues that stir partisan controversy like climate change and fossil fuel exploration, will now be reconciled with a similar U.S. House of Representatives bill that passed last year.

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