Energy & Environment
Senator Shaheen is a leading policymaker on energy efficiency priorities, introducing policies to help lower energy costs for families while also cutting fossil fuel emissions. As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Shaheen routinely secures robust funding for programs that address numerous environmental issues impacting New Hampshire.
Energy efficiency is a fast and economical way to deal with our nation’s energy needs and should be our “first fuel” in transitioning to clean energy. Senator Shaheen believes we can take enormous steps toward addressing our growing energy needs in a climate-friendly manner by encouraging energy efficiency and fostering greater conservation.
Senator Shaheen and former U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) championed the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act for years to improve energy efficiency in three key sectors – buildings, industrial and the federal government. They successfully worked to get the majority of the bill signed into law through numerous individual provisions in various pieces of legislation. A targeted version of their bill was signed into law by President Obama in 2015, and several provisions relating to energy efficiency in schools, industry and the federal government were signed into law as part of the Energy Act of 2020. The Senators, who were lead negotiators of the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA), secured key measures from the ESIC Act in the bipartisan infrastructure law.
In addition, as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has consistently secured robust federal funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to assist low-income households and seniors on fixed incomes pay their energy bills and stay safe during the winter. Shaheen also champions the Weatherization Assistance Program and other energy efficiency measures to help Granite Staters keep their energy usage down and lower their monthly bills. She released a resource guide for Granite Staters to learn about and access the resources available to them, in part due to her specific measures that are now law, to lower home energy prices and reduce their carbon footprints. That’s available here.
Shaheen has advocated for national energy policies that place a greater emphasis on clean, alternative energy. Clean energy —such as wind, solar and biomass—have enormous potential benefits for New Hampshire's economy and can help us break our addiction to fossil fuels; putting us on a path towards a sustainable future.
Renewable resources are already helping New Hampshire meet its energy demand and the opportunity to expand these efforts is promising. New Hampshire’s North Country has vast and underutilized renewable timber resources ripe for investment in biomass energy. Shaheen has led recent efforts to tap into this sector and invest in the forest products industry. When home heating costs challenged family budgets, the Senator helped introduce bipartisan legislation to assist Granite State families afford residential home biomass heating technologies that?can save them thousands a year.
In addition to biomass, Shaheen worked to deliver other cutting-edge clean energy technologies to New Hampshire though the CHIPS and Science Act, Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Together, these historic laws that Shaheen helped pass have boosted clean energy project funding in New Hampshire – delivering new infrastructure, consumer tax credits and creating domestic manufacturing jobs.
Investing in Climate Resiliency
As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds NOAA, Shaheen routinely secures robust funding for programs that address numerous climate issues impacting New Hampshire, from our coastal communities to the White Mountains. In the fiscal year 2023 government funding law, she secured $6.37 billion for NOAA – which is an increase of $495 million or 8 percent over last year’s funding level. This includes $761 million for NOAA research, much of which pertains to combating the climate crisis. This funding will help coastal communities in New Hampshire and across the nation bolster their resilience to the changing climate, as well as support ocean health and research. In addition, the law invests in successful job-creating programs, sustainable economic development and environmental restoration. Shaheen also supported the historic climate bill – the Inflation Reduction Act – which was signed into law and makes the largest investment in combating the climate crisis in our nation’s history. Shaheen previously authored an op-ed with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in the Boston Globe, underscoring crashing coastal property value and warning of the economic fallout along our coasts due to the impacts of climate change.