WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities endorsed a bill introduced by Rep. Greg Stanton and Rep. Marc Veasey of Texas to reauthorize and increase funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG). 

The CEOs and Executive Directors of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities co-signed a letter outlining their support for the EECBG program and the need to increase its resources. 

“As the effects of climate change continue to threaten our communities, there is urgent work to be done,” the groups wrote. “In order to meet our national carbon emissions reduction goals necessary to mitigate the effects of climate change, local governments across the country must aggressively improve energy efficiency, increase energy conservation and deploy renewable energy systems. H.R. 2088 would provide much needed resources to increase and expand state and local efforts to achieve these goals.”

The block grant program provides grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes to assist efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions and conserve energy. The bill, H.R. 2088, would reauthorize the program and provide it with $3.5 billion annually for the next five years. 

“Cities across the country know how important these efforts are,” said Rep. Stanton. “Federal block grant programs open significant opportunities for local governments. That’s exactly what we intend to do with H.R. 2088—empower mayors, city and tribal leaders to take action and invest in energy efficiency.” 

H.R. 2088 includes modifications to the original program to help diversify local energy supplies by promoting clean energy sources.  It would specifically authorize grant recipients to use funds on infrastructure for delivering alternative fuels, such as natural gas stations, electric vehicle charging stations, and other next-generation charging technologies.

When the block grant program was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, more than 800 cities and counties, as well as every state and Indian tribe were able to leverage the program to develop comprehensive energy plans and start or accelerate energy efficiency initiatives. 

Read the full letter here.