‘Strange Bedfellows’ Unite in Call for Senate Vote on Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill

Release Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Alliance to Save Energy Brings Together Diverse Private-Sector Supporters

The Alliance to Save Energy today led a diverse and broad group of energy efficiency supporters calling for a Senate floor vote on the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000) by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3184/5716130736_50bf9b13f1_z.jpg
Callahan, Shaheen and Portman
at bill introduction - May 2011

The group, which includes companies, business organizations and nonprofit advocacy groups, is calling on Senate leaders of both parties to work together to bring the broadly-supported measure creating a national energy efficiency strategy to the floor.

The bill encourages private-sector investment in energy efficiency that will make the U.S. economy more competitive by cutting energy costs for American families and businesses, creating jobs, strengthening national energy security and saving taxpayer money by making the federal government more efficient.

After the senators introduced the bill in May 2011 the Senate Energy Committee passed it in July by a bipartisan vote of 18-3. Since then, the bill has been stalled, waiting for full Senate action.

“The American public has repeatedly called on Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to create jobs and help the economy, and we have a great opportunity to do that with the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act,” Shaheen said. “We can get a national energy efficiency policy in place, and we can do it in this Congress. Let’s bring this bill to the Senate floor for a vote.”

“At a time when folks in Washington can’t seem to agree on anything, we should be able to find common ground in energy efficiency,” said Portman. “The Senate should do an energy bill this year, and 250 businesses, environmental groups and trade associations agree that the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act is just the bill. This bipartisan, fully-offset legislation takes efficiency to the next level through a variety of low-cost tools to encourage the use of efficiency technologies that will reduce costs for businesses and consumers, while making America more energy independent.”               

“We support Sens. Shaheen and Portman – both honorary vice-chairs on our Board of Directors – in their quest to deliver Americans impactful and common-sense public policy that will drive energy efficiency into the U.S. economy,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “Energy efficiency is the quickest, cheapest, cleanest way to extend our nation’s energy supplies; and good government policy, like S. 1000, will help families, communities and businesses across the U.S. to stop wasting energy.”

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, S. 1000 would:

  • Reduce consumers’ net energy costs $4 billion a year by 2020 and $20 billion a year by 2030;
  • Spur creation of a net total of 80,000 jobs by 2020 and 159,000 jobs by 2030 – a combination of direct jobs in construction and manufacturing of efficient products, indirect jobs at companies such as equipment wholesalers and jobs induced by the infusion of money into the economy by newly hired workers;
  • By reducing demand for electricity, cut CO2 emissions by 29 million metric tons per year by 2020 and 108 million metric tons per year – equivalent to keeping 21 million cars off the road, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

The bill also paves the way for savings and new jobs with stronger building energy codes and financing options for manufacturers that want to increase their facilities’ energy efficiency. 

“S. 1000 demonstrates that energy efficiency is an energy strategy that knows no political or geographic boundaries,” said Curt Rich, vice president of energy and environmental policy United Technologies Corporation – a company that employs nearly 200,000 people. “It makes sense for us to aggressively promote increased energy productivity as a cornerstone of our national energy strategy.”  

“Making homes and buildings more energy efficient with insulation is one of the best, most cost effective investments you can make towards the best use of America’s energy resources,” said Fred Stephan, vice president and general manager of Insulation Systems, Johns Manville. “And energy efficiency is also a cost-effective way to promote public health, help reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions and promote restoration of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.”            “Energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest and cleanest solution to cutting harmful air pollution. Harnessing energy efficiency puts people to work, saves households money and protects our children’s health. What’s not to like? That’s why we urge swift, bipartisan action on this important bill,” said Franz Matzner, associate director of government affairs, Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Improving energy efficiency is critical to the competitiveness of manufactures as users of one-third of the energy consumed in the United States,” said Chip Yost, assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers. “The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act would take common sense steps to provide access to manufactured energy efficient products, creating jobs. At a time when our economy has stalled, we ask Congress to move forward quickly to pass this legislation to improve manufacturers' competitiveness.” 

“S. 1000 is bipartisan and a smart, cost-effective way to save energy across the economy – something everyone should be able to agree on. Senate leadership should bring the bill to the floor for a vote now,” said American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley. “S. 1000 is just one of many steps that are needed to give energy efficiency its due.”

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