Senator Rob Portman’s Bipartisan Energy Efficiency Bill Reaches Senate Floor

Spurs Use of Energy Efficiency Technologies to Foster Job Creation

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) delivered remarks on the Senate floor highlighting his bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, an energy efficiency bill he introduced with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The legislation is designed to spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of our economy, while also fostering job creation. It uses a variety of low-cost tools to reduce barriers for private sector energy users and drive adoption of off-the-shelf efficiency technologies that will save businesses and consumers money, make America more energy independent, and reduce emissions.

The bill garnered over 260 endorsements from business coalitions, environmental groups, and labor. Read a summary of the major provisions here.

Below are excerpts of Portman’s remarks. Video of the entire remarks can be found here.

“I think it’s important, in part, because it creates jobs. It is a bill that is supported, by the way, by over 260 businesses, business associations and advocacy groups, from the National Association of Manufacturers and thee Chamber of Commerce, to the Sierra Club and the Alliance to Save Energy. The Christian Coalition is supporting it…I think the legislation got through the Senate Energy Committee with a vote of 19 to 3 partly because of this support and because members realize this will help them and their constituents. Simply put, I think this legislation…makes good environmental sense. I think it makes good energy sense. And I think it makes good economic sense, too.”

“The proposals contained in our bill are really common-sense reforms we’ve needed for a long time. The bill contains no mandates…In fact, many of our proposals come as a direct result of conversations we have had with folks in the private sector about how the federal government can help them to become more energy efficient and save money that they can then reinvest in their businesses and communities.”

“In fact, it will save taxpayers money. All of us as taxpayers will save money because of another provision of the legislation, and that’s because we go after the largest energy user in the world to try to make them more efficient—that’s the United States government. We want to be sure the United States government starts to practice what it preaches, because as it talks to the rest of us about the need for more energy efficiency we find that at the federal government there are lots of opportunities to make them less wasteful, more efficient. It directs the Department of Energy to issue recommendations that employ energy efficiency on everything from computer hardware to operation and maintenance processes, energy efficiency software, and power management tools. Senator Wyden had some good examples earlier of some of the waste in the federal government that this bill will go after. So this is smart because it is the right thing to do in order to save energy but also it helps taxpayers because it’s going to reduce the cost at the federal government. It also takes a really interesting commonsense step of allowing the General Services Administration to actually update the building designs they have to meet energy efficiency standards that have been developed since these designs were finalized, some of them many years ago, and they can’t update them. So we certainly want to be sure that the new federal buildings that are being constructed are using the most up-to-date efficiency standards. This legislation permits that to happen. The government has been looking for places to tighten its belt; this is one. Energy efficiency, I think, is a great place to start.”