Warner, Shaheen, Portman renew effort to pass bipartisan energy efficiency bill
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U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) renewed their bipartisan push for a national energy efficiency strategy last week by reintroducing an updated version of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC).
The legislation uses a variety of low-cost tools to help energy users become more efficient while encouraging the federal government to reduce its own energy use through energy-efficient technologies. The legislation does not add one dime to the deficit, incentivizing the use of efficiency technologies that are widely available, can be widely deployed across the country, and which quickly pay for themselves through energy savings.
“I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation to encourage efforts to increase energy productivity, which can help create jobs and stimulate additional economic growth,” Sen. Warner said. “Improved energy efficiency will help Virginia families and businesses while also promoting a healthier environment. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this commonsense package.”
The Warner-Shaheen-Portman approach has received widespread support from industry leaders, energy-efficiency advocates and environmental stakeholders because it creates jobs, reduces pollution, and saves businesses and consumers money. A study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimated that ESIC will create more than 190,000 jobs, save consumers $16.2 billion a year, and cut CO2 emissions and other air pollutants by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road – all by 2030.
“Energy efficiency remains the fastest and most cost-effective way to address our nation’s energy needs and this legislation will be a big step in moving towards a more energy-efficient economy,” Sen. Shaheen said. “Our bill is good for the economy, taxpayers and the environment and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move it through the Senate swiftly.”
“This bill has garnered such widespread support because of a simple fact – it is good for the economy and good for the environment. It’s part of an energy plan for America that can help bring the jobs back, help fix our trade deficit, help make our manufacturers more competitive, and actually help to protect the environment,” said Sen. Portman. “And at the same time, it encourages the implementation of energy efficient techniques throughout our economy that could save taxpayers billions of dollars.”
Sen. Warner, who serves as co-chair of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Alliance to Save Energy, helped develop many of the provisions included in ESIC through his bipartisan Energy 2030 Commission, which produced a blueprint to double the productivity of U.S. electricity use by 2030. Research has found that the U.S. wastes more energy than it uses, costing U.S. businesses and households an estimated $130 billion per year.