- A bipartisan pair of senators has reintroduced their stalled national efficiency legislation, this time as an amendment to legislation on the Keystone pipeline. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) say the bill, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution.
- President Obama could be the one to kill the efficiency bill this time, as the White House has indicated he will veto the Keystone XL construction bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated the bill will go forward as an amendment on the pipeline bill.
- The efficiency measure is a streamlined version of a broader efficiency measure the two intend to put forward later this year, E&E Publishing reports.
A national energy efficiency measure could make it through the House and Senate, but will likely have a short lifespan as it will move as an amendment to Keystone XL legislation President Obama intends to veto.
Portman and Shaheen introduced the bill Jan. 9. Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, have said the amendment will be the first amendment to Keystone processed on the Senate floor. In the coming weeks, Portman and Shaheen will also reintroduce their comprehensive energy efficiency legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.
“The provisions in this targeted energy efficiency bill will save consumers and businesses money while also reducing pollution,” Shaheen said. “The bill already cleared the House with nearly 400 votes last year, and I hope it will receive similarly strong bipartisan support here in the Senate.” The provisions come from H.R. 2126, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last Congress.
The bill establishes a voluntary, market-driven approach to aligning the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption, and among other things requires that federally-leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.