I was honored to vote for the Democrats' groundbreaking energy plan in the House last Thursday.  For three decades, our Congressional leaders have paid lip service to the needs of our environment without using the powers of government to meet those needs.  Now, with the Democrats' energy bill, 40% more fuel-efficient cars will cut down on pollution and save consumers money on energy.

I am particularly proud to have negotiated for the inclusion of another major component of the bill, the $10 billion Energy Efficiency Block Grants (EEBG) program.  EEBG will support local city, county, and state government programs seeking to achieve greater energy efficiency and lower energy usage.

When I crafted the EEBG program, I consulted closely with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and other state and local leaders on how the federal government can best help address the problem of global warming at the local level.  I pushed for EEBG's inclusion in the landmark energy bill because I understand that local leaders have the best knowledge of how their communities work, and their needs.

The resulting EEBG program is a "tailored"