On Tuesday November 18th, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) celebrated its 30th anniversary in the Minuteman Ballroom of the Reserve Officers’ Association on Capitol Hill. Unbelievably in today’s political polarization, EESI grew out of the Environmental and Energy Study Conference, a bipartisan and bicameral Congressional caucus originally launched in 1975 by former Congressmen Dick Ottinger, John Heinz, and Gilbert Gude, and which grew to encompass more than 85 Senators and 295 Representatives—a majority of the House and Senate. Former Congressman Ottinger is currently Chairman Emeritus of the EESI Board.
EESI is part of the NGO network of the American-Danish Business Council and has collaborated with ADBC and The Embassy of Denmark on several briefings on the Hill.
Carol Werner, Executive Director of EESI, points to recent policy successes in which EESI was a force. As Ms Werner says, “Over the past year, EESI and its partners in sustainable agriculture and energy efficiency played a key role in the inclusion of a strong Energy Title and Rural Energy Savings Program in the Farm Bill.” EESI is also involved in the South Carolina program “Help My House”. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions declares the program “has helped customers of South Carolina rural electric cooperatives to undertake energy efficiency retrofits for their homes, substantially reducing their energy use and saving money.” The loans are repaid by installments added to their electric bill. Ms Werner announced that the program is being expanded nationally in cooperation with The JPB Foundation.
After 30 years of success, EESI will be going into 2015 with increased activities on climate change and resilience. Visit the EESI website to learn more about its work: www.eesi.org