Obstruction of Energy Efficiency Bill in Opposition to What the Public Wants

WASHINGTON (September 19, 2013) – The Natural Resources Defense Council said today that Senate Republican Leadership’s refusal to move forward with the Shaheen-Portman bill--which aims to increase energy-savings opportunities for businesses, consumers, and the federal government--is a significant defeat for the environment and Americans’ wallets.

Following days of procedural maneuvering, including insistence by a handful of senators on offering multiple unrelated  amendments to the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 1392 sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio), it appears the energy efficiency bill has been pulled from immediate consideration..

Franz Matzner, NRDC’s associate director for government affairs, issued the following statement:

“Once again Republican leadership has put politics over progress. Their shenanigans have robbed the public of a simple, consensus-based bill that would have cut pollution and put more money in consumers’ pockets.  

“Increasing energy efficiency – America’s cleanest and cheapest resource—is a no brainer. The attempts to add extremist and unrelated amendments have torpedoed a widely supported proposal that would benefit all Americans by cutting energy waste and getting more out of every energy dollar, principles the public has made abundantly clear they support in survey after survey.”

According to projections from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the bill as originally proposed could save U.S consumers $2.1 billion in utility bills and avoid up to 16.4 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon pollution annually as of 2020, just seven years away. By 2030, the benefits could grow to $13.7 billion in consumer savings, 164,000 jobs created in the energy efficiency sector, and avoiding as much carbon pollution as taking 16.7 million cars off the road.

NRDC has published an Issue Brief explaining the bill at http://www.nrdc.org/energy/energy-savings-industrial-competitiveness-act.asp

For more background, see Franz’s blog: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fmatzner/congress_returns_a_road_map_fo.html