Fighting for Energy Independence, Investing in Clean Energy, and Increasing Access to Affordable Energy

 

Senator Reed has fought for a national energy policy that creates jobs and saves families and businesses money through improved efficiency.  Investing in clean energy cuts down on harmful pollution, strengthens our economy, and increases American competitiveness.

To make America more energy independent while protecting public health and taxpayer dollars, Reed has supported efforts to safely and responsibly increase domestic oil and gas production.  As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Reed wants stronger oversight of energy companies drilling on our public lands and waters.  Reed has called for more rigorous inspections of drilling facilities to ensure energy companies are safeguarding public health and the environment, and believes that these companies should pay their fair share of royalties to the American people.

Senator Reed is also focused on increasing access to affordable energy.  One of the most pressing, far-reaching, and complex challenges facing Rhode Island and the New England region is the high cost of energy to power and heat homes and businesses.  These high energy costs hurt Rhode Island families and businesses, threaten economic growth, and reduce competitiveness.  Senator Reed is working with his New England colleagues to ensure an affordable, cleaner, and more reliable energy system for the region.  He has pushed for a balanced and comprehensive approach to diversify the region’s energy portfolio, including the expansion of renewable energy development and support of increased energy efficiency.

Reed is also the leading champion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides federal funding to states to help seniors and low-income households afford their energy bills.  He also champions the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), another federal program that helps low-income families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities make energy-efficiency improvements to their homes and save on their energy bills.

 

Key Priorities & Accomplishments

 
  • Senator Reed has led the fight to maintain robust funding for LIHEAP, with Rhode Island receiving more than $225 million over the last decade. This critical funding helps low-income Rhode Islanders with their energy bills, assisting an average of more than 30,000 households each year.
  • Reed has helped secure over $25 million in federal weatherization assistance to help create green jobs and enable more Rhode Islanders to make energy-efficiency improvements to their homes and reduce their energy bills.
  • Reed supports legislation to repeal tax cuts to the five largest oil companies and use the savings to reduce the deficit and develop clean energy programs.
  • Reed pushed for increased fuel efficiency standards to help decrease consumption and benefit consumers at the pump.
  • Recognizing concerns about the effects of hydraulic fracturing and related oil- and gas-producing activities on the environment and public health, Senator Reed is a cosponsor of the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (FRAC Act).  This bill would require fracking to be subject to the Safe Drinking Water Act and require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals used in fracking operations. 
  • In 2014, Senator Reed welcomed U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to Providence for a New England public meeting to discuss the Administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review on energy infrastructure.  This forum allowed Rhode Island residents and businesses directly impacted by high energy costs to voice their concerns and be part of the federal conversation to find solutions to the energy challenges facing the state and region.
  • With more than one in three Rhode Islanders dependent on fuel oil to heat their homes in winter and heating oil prices on the rise, Senator Reed worked to reauthorize the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) in 2014.  NORA seeks to strengthen and improve the oil heating industry through education, training, and improving home heating efficiency.
 

Read more by visiting Senator Reed's Working for RI page.