- Senate energy efficiency legislation co-sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) could come to a floor vote in May.
- The legislation (S.2074) would save an annual estimated $13.7 billion and avoid 533 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year by funding energy conservation measures in the federal government, establishing voluntary national model building codes, and increasing manufacturing sector energy efficiency. It is backed by Dow Chemical Co., National Grid and others.
- Re-introduced in February after being side-tracked by non-energy amendments last year, the bill is said to be among the Democratic leadership's legislative priorities. A senior Democratic aide confirmed that negotiations are on-going.
That such a bill has even enough of a chance to warrant a news item, much less that it is said to be a priority of the Democratic leadership, speaks volumes about the undeniable logic of energy efficiency. Even House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) last year said he would move the bill through his committee if the Senate passed it.
In March, the House passed energy efficiency legislation (H.R. 2126) that had a program to promote energy efficiency in commercial spaces and other aspects of the Shaheen-Portman bill.
One caution: In an election year, leaders bring bills of all kinds with no hope of passage to votes because members like to cast symbolic votes they can campaign on.