Mr. KERRY . Mr. President, as chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I am pleased to join my colleague, Senator Landrieu, in introducing an amendment regarding the need to assist more small businesses become energy efficient.

This legislation reinforces a small business amendment that Senator Landrieu and I put forth last week regarding the Energy Star Program. It was successfully adopted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2002, and I thank Senators Bingaman and Murkowski for that.

There is an obvious missing player in our efforts to increase the number of small businesses that are using or developing products and processes that save energy, and it is the Small Business Administration. This amendment directs the Administration to develop and coordinate a government-wide program that educates small firms about the cost-benefits and business advantages of energy efficiency.

I was astounded to learn last year, during a hearing I held on the business of environmental technologies, that SBA is not actively working with DoE and the EPA to advertise their joint program for promoting energy efficiency of small business. This is particularly hard to understand given that there is so much work to be done. There are an estimated 25 million small businesses in this country, and they account for more than half of all the commercial energy used in North America. However, according to Paul Stolpman, who testified on behalf of the EPA, only 3,000 small businesses have partnered with EPA in committing to improve their energy performance.

I am not criticizing the EPA or the Department of Energy; they have a good initiative, and I support their efforts. I am simply pointing out that there are millions of small businesses left to reach, millions of opportunities to reduce energy consumption in this country. It is basic common sense that SBA could help significantly in that effort. After all the financial hardships small businesses suffered over the last couple of years because of price spikes and unreliability, energy isn't even a prominent issue on SBA's website.

To illustrate the power of education and the need to coordinate outreach efforts through the SBA , I would like to share a story about one of the small businesses in my home State of Massachusetts that benefitted greatly from making energy modifications. Carl Faulkner is the owner of the Williams Inn in Williamstown. Years ago, he was approached by his energy company to receive a free energy audit and rebates to off-set the cost of upgrading his lighting systems. It seemed like a good idea, so he went ahead and took them up on their offer. After all was said and done, between the rebates and his new energy savings, he recovered his expenses in just 1 month. But that is not the end of the story. The results of those simple changes were so positive that he was inspired to learn even more about energy savings and to investigate where else his business was losing money on unnecessary energy usage. Since then he has put on special roofing, replaced air conditioner units, put insulation around pipes, and installed meters to determine when and where his business uses the most energy. With this information, Mr. Faulkner can bring down usage, saving even more energy and money.

These simple changes have yielded vast results. In January and February, he saved more than $10,000. Mr. Faulkner now considers energy efficiency a never-ending process. He says if it weren't for outreach, he never would have made these important changes to his business. He changed his business from one that was consuming energy at an unmonitored level to one that has an energy management system that allows him to identify other savings.

In addition to increasing energy efficiency of small businesses in order to reduce consumption, to reduce pollution, and to reduce reliance on foreign oil, there is a need for Federal agencies to increase their work with small business to research and develop new technologies and processes that are more energy efficient. In 1999, the SBA investigated the role of small business in technological innovation and found that when a market demands progress, change, and evolution, small firms play a key role. Just looking back to 1997, there were more than 33,000 small firms operating in the environmental industry, with combined revenues of $52 billion. That is billion. In Massachusetts alone, environmental technology businesses employ more than 30,000. No matter how you cut it, revenues, jobs, pollution reduction, energy supply, national security, there is a very good reason to encourage the innovation of efficient technology. And the Federal Government needs to make a serious effort to use small businesses to do that research and development as much as possible. At the very least, I would like to see a focus on these topics through the small business research and development projects through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer initiatives. We have got the finest research universities in the world and certainly the most dynamic small business sector. I want a coordinated and heightened effort to use these resources for national energy policy.

As I said yesterday when we were debating the proposal to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we cannot drill our way out of our energy problem. We must innovate our way out of our energy problem. Not just innovation in more fuel efficient cars, but also appliances. If the Bush administration would fully implement efficiency standards for appliances that were issued in 1997 and last year, the Department of Energy estimates the total savings to business and consumers to be $27 billion by 2030. Why? Simply because of less energy use and generally less demand when using more efficient appliances. We can go further with more innovation. And we need to use Federal agencies to increase the interplay between small businesses, innovation, and the Nation's environmental and energy goals.