Despite President Donald Trump’s (R) actions to reduce or end President Barak Obama’s Clean Power Plan, even the Republican-led Senate is recognizing the importance of clean energy and energy efficiency. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed two important pieces of the energy efficiency legislation.
“The Business Council for Sustainable Energy was pleased to see that one of the first legislative actions taken by the Senate Energy Committee this Congress was to report legislation to encourage and promote energy efficiency,” said BCSE President Lisa Jacobson. “Over the last decade energy efficiency policies and standards have helped consumers, businesses, and industry save energy and money. We encourage Congress to quickly move to enact these pieces of legislation in order to continue that trend.”
The committee passed the Energy Efficiency and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.385) brought by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “BCSE applauds Senators Portman and Shaheen for their bipartisan leadership, dedication, and determination to improve our nation's energy productivity. The Council is supportive of the bill’s broad focus on energy efficiency in residential buildings, commercial buildings, industry and the federal government,” Jacobson said.
Department of Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, has previously expressed support for the Shaheen-Portman bill, which has been introduced numerous times. In 2015 the Alliance to Save Energy said the bill could create 192,000 jobs. It could also help save $16.2 billion and avoid 95 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually by 2030.
The other piece of legislation, the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2017 (S. 239), was introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO). Gardner has previously pushed for other resolutions that would increase the amount of solar energy in the US.
“We were equally pleased to see that the committee approved the Energy Savings through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2017 (S. 239), introduced by Senator Cory Gardner and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators,” Jacobson said. “The legislation will promote the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) in which private companies use their own money and resources to make energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings. This is done at no cost to taxpayers since in exchange for making these energy efficiency improvements, those private companies receive a portion of the money saved as a result of the increased efficiency in federal buildings.”
“BCSE would also like to acknowledge Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who continue to advance the ball on energy policy.”Tweet