Promising Energy Efficiency Bill Stalled By Party Politics

Tags: clean energy, energy, energy efficiency

A promising energy efficiency bill with bipartisan support is close to being the first piece of energy legislation passed by Congress in five years, but a few bad amendments are stalling progress. 

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act is the product of Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D - NH) and Senator Rob Portman (R - OH). The bill would incentivize using more energy efficient products, encourage millions of homes, businesses and factories to make huge leaps toward increased energy savings, and it would spur investments in more energy efficient technologies. Less pollution, lower energy bills and more jobs - all through a bill with bipartisan backing. On its own, the bill is something just about everyone can get behind. However, certain Senators are determined to shut out progress by attaching bad or irrelevant amendments that gum up the legislation's viability and undermine its bipartisan backing. 

Senator David Vitter (R - LA) wanted to tie the energy efficiency bill to an amendment that would delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act by one year. Other amendments would hinder President Obama's climate change plan and wrap the Keystone XL pipeline debate into this particular piece of legislation. The US Senate continues debate on the bill this week, and we urge you to call US Senators Stabenow and Levin and tell them to support a commonsense energy efficiency bill with amendments that relate to the issue at hand. 

Contact Senator Stabenow by calling: 202-224-4822

Contact Senator Levin by calling: 202-224-6221

Selling Points of the Shaheen-Portman Bill: 

If enacted, the bill is expected to - 

  • Create 136,000 new jobs by 2025 
  • Save the US $13.7 billion annually 
  • Lower CO2 emissions and other air pollutants by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road

The bill would reach those numbers by - 

  • Updating building codes to make homes, businesses and factories more energy efficient
  • Training new generation of workers in energy-efficient construction
  • Calling on the Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize research, development and implementation of new energy efficient technologies among partners in the private sector
  • Incentivizes the use of more energy efficient electric motors and transformers among manufacturers
  • Rolling out a new DOE program that encourages more energy efficient supply chains 
  • Requiring the federal government, which is the single largest energy user in the country, to make computer use more energy efficient
  • Granting federal agencies the opportunity to update building plans with most current building efficiency standards

Bill's selling points are from the bill summary. Click here to read more.