The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.1392), also known as the Shaheen-Portman Bill, is a bipartisan energy efficiency bill that would save money and energy for consumers, businesses and the federal government. It would create an estimated 159,000 jobs by 2030, while helping to tackle the United States’ rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Shaheen-Portman would achieve greater energy efficiency by strengthening building codes and offering incentives to states for additional improvements; this would give consumers the opportunity to save on energy bills and create construction jobs in communities nationwide. It would also offer financing for commercial retrofit projects to save businesses money, allowing them to potentially add or retain more employees.
The bill would also require that the federal government - the largest energy consumer in the nation - determine new ways to reduce its energy usage, developing more efficient equipment and better monitoring and management procedures, thus saving tax dollars and potentially reducing the deficit.
The bill has earned support from more than 200 groups across the political spectrum, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
What’s at Stake
"According to one estimate, Shaheen-Portman would support over 174,000 jobs, and save consumers and businesses over $65 billion on energy bills, in the year 2030. In addition, it would prevent as much as 676 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere by 2030, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)."
Failure to pass the bill would not only abandon those gains but also make it harder for the United States to meet its greenhouse gas reduction and efficiency goals. According to ACEEE, the United States currently ranks ninth in energy efficiency among the twelve largest economies.
Despite broad bipartisan support, including a 19-3 vote in the Senate Energy Committee, Shaheen-Portman stalled in the Senate thanks to the introduction of unrelated amendments dealing with the Affordable Care Act and other issues. Sens. Shaheen and Portman have been working to gather enough votes to bring the legislation back with enough votes to cut off further debate, and there is a chance the bill could come up again in 2014.