SmarterSafer.org Welcomes New “Cash for Caulkers” Proposal But Urges President Obama to Have It Include Mitigation Improvements As Well

(Washington, DC) – SmarterSafer.org today welcomed President Obama’s announcement of a new proposal to extend rebates to those who retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient but said the program would be more effective if it also covered mitigation measures that help strengthen homes and protect them from natural disasters.

“Mitigation assistance does at least as much to improve energy efficiency as the types of weatherization programs that are currently funded.  So if the federal government is going to provide this kind of assistance, it should include mitigation assistance for homeowners who need it,” said Eli Lehrer, Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute.

Last week, SmarterSafer.org responded to a media report [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/business/economy/18leonhardt.html?_r=1] about the White House considering a weatherization program similar to the one being announced today by sending a letter to the White House asking that mitigation measures be included as well.

“A holistically designed weatherization program would not only enhance energy efficiency but would ensure that homes are able to withstand disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and other natural events. Adding energy efficient features to homes in harm’s way without making a commensurate effort to protect those homes undermines the public policy goals of weatherization and wastes taxpayer funds,” the group wrote in its letter to the President.

A copy of the full letter can be downloaded from the following link: Coalition_Letter_to_President_Obama

SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition made up of a diverse set of voices united to support environmentally-responsible, fiscally-sound approaches that promote public safety. The Coalition strongly opposes legislative proposals that encourage people to build homes in hurricane-prone, environmentally-sensitive areas by creating new programs that directly or indirectly subsidize their homeowner’s insurance.

More information about the group and its membership can be found at www.smartersafer.org

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