ICYMI - On Senate Floor: Shaheen & Portman Highlight Success of Bipartisan Partnership to Deliver Key Energy Efficiency Priorities through Congress
Over the years, Shaheen and Portman worked together to pursue different legislative avenues to secure key components of their energy efficiency legislation, which have since become law.
**Watch their remarks in full here.**
(Washington, DC) – Last night, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) delivered remarks on the Senate floor, highlighting their bipartisan partnership on the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC), hallmark energy efficiency legislation that the Senators have championed. Over the years, Shaheen and Portman worked together to pursue different legislative avenues to secure key components of their legislation, which have since been signed into law.
In her remarks, Shaheen elaborated on her determination with Senator Portman to advance their legislation, which was first introduced in 2011. A targeted version of their bill – the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act – was signed into law by President Obama in 2015. A number of provisions relating to energy efficiency in schools, industry and the federal government were signed into law as part of the Energy Act of 2020. Most recently, significant portions of their legislation were included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Shaheen and Portman negotiated and was signed into law last month.
“In a Congress that is divided along partisan lines on so many issues, energy efficiency is one priority that can bring us together on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to get big things done,” said Senator Shaheen. “I always like to say that energy efficiency is one of those energy sources that you can support whether you are from New England or Ohio or Wyoming. Whether you support oil and gas or wind and solar, energy efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to meet our energy needs. It creates jobs. It reduces cost to consumers. And it lowers emissions. As our economy recovers and grows, the investments in energy efficiency from our bipartisan infrastructure package are going to make sure we use energy smarter. And I am going to continue to partner with Senator Portman and others so that we can unlock the full potential of energy efficiency for our growing economy.”
“Now that the president has signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, I am pleased that the common-sense energy efficiency measures that Senator Shaheen and I have spearheaded for years will now go into effect,” said Senator Portman. “We need a balanced approach to protecting our environment and reducing emissions, while also safeguarding our economy and jobs – these measures accomplish just that.”
The ESIC Act will improve energy efficiency in three key sectors – buildings, industrial and the federal government. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential and commercial buildings accounted for about 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption in 2018. In addition, reports from the U.S. Department of Energy have found that the federal government is the largest single energy consumer in the country. By improving energy efficiency in these three key sectors, policy experts at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that when fully enacted, the ESIC Act through 2050 would save consumers more than $51 billion on their energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by 1.3 billion tons, which is the equivalent of taking nearly 280 million cars off the road for one year. A previous study from ACEEE also estimated that their legislation would add more than 100,000 jobs to the economy.
In addition to ESIC, the bipartisan infrastructure package also includes the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, legislation introduced by Shaheen and Portman that will help manufacturers improve energy efficiency, create jobs and secure a more competitive position in the marketplace. By 2040, an estimate from ACEEE determined the legislation would save consumers $5 billion in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 116 million cars off the road. The bipartisan infrastructure package also included Shaheen and Portman’s Promoting American Energy Jobs Act as well as Shaheen’s Heat Efficiency through Applied Technology (HEAT) Act. Together, these bills will promote innovation, energy efficiency and economic competitiveness of American manufacturers and support the energy workforce. Shaheen added these provisions when the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to advance the Energy Infrastructure Act in July.