Shaheen-Portman Bill Approved by Senate Energy Committee

On May 8, just a few short weeks after its introduction, the energy efficiency and job creation strategy proposed by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, of which Portman is a member, with strong bipartisan support. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act passed by a vote of 19-3, with support from both parties, including Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

The Shaheen-Portman legislation offers a deficit-neutral framework designed to promote the transition to a more energy efficient economy while driving economic growth and encouraging private sector job creation.

The bipartisan bill, which builds upon the earlier Congressional support for energy efficiency legislation, uses a variety of low-cost tools to reduce barriers for private sector energy users and will drive adoption of off-the-shelf efficiency technologies among the largest energy consumers.  A study by experts at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy found that last year’s version would have saved consumers $4 billion by 2020 and helped businesses add 80,000 jobs to the economy.

The measure cannot become law unless it is approved by the U.S. House of Representatives along with the Senate.  A pair of bi-partisan energy efficiency champions on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have introduced companion legislation.  H.R.1616 was introduced by Alliance Honorary Vice Chair Peter Welch (D-VT) and David McKinley (R-WVA) and awaits action by the Committee.

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