06/19/12

Advocates Call for Senate Vote on Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill

In a packed press conference on June 19, the Alliance to Save Energy led a broad group of energy efficiency advocates in calling for the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000) to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. 

The diverse group of supporters, including a variety of businesses and nonprofit advocacy organizations, urged Senate leaders of both parties to take action now and vote on S. 1000, a bipartisan measure sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that would create a national energy efficiency strategy.

Bill Background: National Energy Strategy Awaits Full Senate Action

The Shaheen-Portman 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, 
  • Making the federal government more efficient, and
  • Saving taxpayers money.

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

Energy Efficiency Bill 'Common Ground' for Republicans, Democrats

“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 at the press conference on Capitol Hill. “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.”

Portman agreed, noting that the fully-offset legislation uses low-cost tools to encourage the use of efficient technology that saves businesses and consumers money. “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.

Alliance President Kateri Callahan echoed her support for Sens. Shaheen and Portman, both honorary vice-chairs on the Alliance Board of Directors. “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.”

How the S. 1000 Energy Efficiency Strategy Works

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. 

Don't Take Our Word For It

A variety of business and industry leaders spoke out in support of the Shaheen-Portman national energy efficiency strategy.

  • "S. 1000 demonstrates that energy efficiency is an energy strategy that knows no political or geographic boundaries."
    — Curt Rich, United Technologies Corporation vice president of energy and environmental policy
  • "Making homes and buildings more energy efficient with insulation is one of the best, most cost effective investments you can make toward the best use of America’s energy resources"
    — Fred Stephan, Johns Manville vice president and general manager of insulation systems
  • “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."
    — Franz Matzner, Natural Resources Defense Council associate director of government affairs

More on S. 1000