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On Twitter… @SenatorShaheen (1/20/11, 09:53 a.m.): Excited to announce my bipartisan seating partner for next week's State of the Union: @RobPortman #SOTU @RobPortman (1/20/11, 10:01 a.m.): looking forward to it.

(Washington, D.C.) — Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), authors of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000), issued the following statement today about their decision to sit together at tonight’s State of the Union address:

“We share a conviction that working together is the best way to solve our problems. True bipartisanship has to be about more than appearances – it has to include a commitment to finding bipartisan solutions. That’s why we’ve worked together to write the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, which will help create domestic jobs and increase our energy independence by encouraging investment in affordable, off-the-shelf technology. 

“The President is expected tonight to discuss America’s energy challenges for the next century. We encourage Congress to look to our plan as a good first step toward tackling those challenges.”

The Shaheen-Portman bill would establish a national energy efficiency strategy to increase the use of existing energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of our economy.

Some highlights of the legislation include:

  • Boosts private sector investment in building efficiency upgrades.
  • Assists manufacturers in reducing energy use and becoming more competitive by establishing a state-based revolving financing program to help facilitate efficiency upgrades. 
  • Works with states to strengthen national model building codes, to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient.
  • Requires the federal government – the single largest energy user in the country – to adopt energy-saving techniques for computers, better building standards, and smart metering technology.

Introduced last May, the legislation has garnered national support from more than 100 businesses, trade associations, and efficiency advocates.  In September, S. 1000 passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 18 to 3.