CO2 Emissions shutterstock_65103310

Published on March 4th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

2

Energy Savings & Industrial Competitiveness Act Gains Support

March 4th, 2014 by  

Originally published on ThinkProgress.
By Emily Atkin.

The Library of Congress.The Library of Congress via Shutterstock.

A comprehensive energy efficiency bill that had previously stalled last year has been reintroduced by the bipartisan duo of U.S. senators who created it — and this time, they think the bill has a real shot of getting the 60 votes it needs to pass the Senate.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) hope the bill — called the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act but nicknamed “Shaheen-Portman” — will gain some real footing this time around. The reintroduced version of the bill also includes 10 new amendments, all with the aim of boosting energy efficiency in schools, commercial and residential properties, and federally owned buildings.

“This bill has garnered such widespread support because of a simple fact — it is good for the economy and good for the environment,” Shaheen said in a Thursday statement announcing the bill’s revamp. “It’s part of an energy plan for America that can help bring the jobs back, help fix our trade deficit, help make our manufacturers more competitive, and actually help to protect the environment.”

The original premise of Shaheen-Portman was simple: create new energy-saving standards for buildings and homes, and do it in a way that both parties can agree with. The U.S. Senate hasn’t passed a major energy bill since 2007 for precisely that reason, but Shaheen-Portman seemed promising. Last year, it was backed by over 200 organizations including the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Through strengthening building codes for homes and commercial buildings, encouraging manufacturing and supply chain efficiency, and requiring the federal government to use energy savings techniques in its data centers, the first version of the bill purported to be able to provide cumulative net consumer savings of $59 billion over the 2012-2030 period and create 159,000 jobs by 2030. It also purports to be able to keep 95 million metric tons of carbon emissions from escaping into the atmosphere.

Now, the bill has 10 more bipartisan amendments and a number of additional sponsors, including Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The amendments include efficiency retrofits on public low-income housing units and schools, and the establishment of a voluntary “Tenant Star” recognition program to promote energy efficiency achievements.

Though reintroduction has brought back a sense of excitement about the bill, it still faces uncertainty. Senate leadership has not yet indicated whether it would even bring the bill to the floor. Plus, the bill’s bipartisan status could be an unexpected burden. As the National Journal notes, upcoming midterm elections mean lawmakers “could be hesitant to hand the opposing party a win — even if it meant they could claim victory as well.”

The bill does have a companion version in the House, but Republican leaders have been particularly opposed to taking up any measures that would help solve the climate crisis. If that bill were considered, it would likely have to go through the notoriously anti-climate House Energy and Commerce Committee, which recently voted 24-20 against an amendment that would have stated conclusively that climate change exists. In total, the Republicans on the committee who voted to deny climate change have accepted about $9.3 million in career contributions from the oil, gas and coal industries, according to analysis by the CAP Action War Room.

Still, the House is expected to vote next week on a bipartisan energy conservation bill that surrounds the “Tenant Star” program that would be included in Sheehan-Portman. Sponsored by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT), the Better Buildings Act would allow the Department of Energy to issue certifications to recognize energy efficiency in spaces leased by tenants. 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

is many, many people. We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people. :D



  • Matt

    Can’t we all just ignore the “keep 95 million metric tons of carbon emissions from escaping into the atmosphere” and vote in favor of the “consumer savings of $59 billion over the 2012-2030” and 159,000 jobs. It’s an “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act” and has nothing to do with the climate. How can GOP be against Industrial Competitiveness and Jobs.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you’re number one priority is to prevent President Obama from achieving anything then you’ll vote against Mother and apple pie.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares