Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware and Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota have reintroduced legislation to authorize funding to states, federal agencies, and tribes for energy efficiency and resiliency retrofit projects in public facilities.
The Open Back Better Act of 2021 would support the upgrade of public buildings, including improvements to improve indoor air quality and reduce threats from airborne illnesses such as COVID-19. The bill places a strong emphasis on environmental justice communities, including facilities in lower-income and COVID-impacted neighborhoods.
In a press release issued by the office of Rep. Blunt Rochester, NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry noted, “I applaud Rep. Blunt Rochester and Senator Smith for reintroducing the Open Back Better bill, which will improve the resilience, health and safety of schools and hospitals and will utilize private financing to improve the energy efficiency of these buildings.”
In June 2020, NASEO endorsed the Open Back Better Act of 2020; read NASEO’s statement of support here. In February 2021, NASEO members heard about the environmental, economic, and health benefits of energy efficiency and resiliency investments from Congressman Blunt Rochester during a keynote address at the 2021 NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference; view a recording of her remarks here.