Energy

The United States needs a comprehensive, long-term plan to transition to a clean energy economy. Just as California leads the nation in pursuing clean energy, the United States should lead the world.

Shifting to a clean energy economy will save consumers money, avoid the worst effects of climate change and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. As chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Feinstein is making sure the United States invests in the research and development necessary to make this transition.

Energy Efficiency

One of the easiest and most effective ways to save consumers money and reduce carbon emissions is to improve energy efficiency.

Senator Feinstein also led a bipartisan effort to enact legislation increasing fuel economy standards.

The law mandates that fuel economy standards must be based on science and increase as quickly as technically possible. As a result of Senator Feinstein’s Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, the Obama administration announced in 2012 that fuel economy must reach 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025.

To learn about how to save energy, visit EnergySaver.gov

Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Waste Storage

Senator Feinstein has long prioritized nuclear safety and recognizes the need to resolve long-term nuclear waste storage issues.

Consistent with the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, Senator Feinstein has proposed bipartisan legislation, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act, to establish a consent-based process for siting facilities in communities that want them to consolidate and safely and permanently store nuclear waste away from reactor sites. The bill enables the federal government to address its commitment to managing commercial nuclear waste, limiting the costly liability the government bears for its failure to dispose of spent fuel.

Senator Feinstein also believes that the federal government must not wait until a permanent repository is established to address nuclear waste storage. She proposed a pilot program for interim storage of spent nuclear fuel in the FY15 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which was approved by the Energy and Water subcommittee. This pilot program would also provide a consent-based process for siting interim storage facilities.

In the short-term, Senator Feinstein believes dry cask storage is the best solution for spent nuclear fuel storage and is safer than storing these wastes in pools at reactor sites.

Preventing Manipulation and Speculation in Energy Markets

Energy markets are global, complex and vulnerable to excessive speculation, fraud and manipulation. Energy markets and energy futures exchanges require strong federal oversight to protect consumers.

Senator Feinstein helped close the “Enron Loophole” to prevent manipulation, fraud and excessive speculation in electronic energy markets, and empowered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with new market oversight authorities.