The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today overwhelmingly approved S. 761, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (Sens. Shaheen (D-NH) and Portman(R-OH)) by a vote of 19-3. That’s a one vote improvement over last year’s substantively similar bill, S. 1000.
Committee consideration of the bill moved quickly thanks to enormous amounts of work by Senators, their staffs, and industry stakeholders in the months leading up to today’s markup.
Today’s events however were less about now and more about what’s next.
So what IS next?
1. The bill sponsors continue to work with Senators and the energy efficiency community on additional consensus provisions to strengthen S. 761.
2. Energy efficiency legislation being worked on by Sens. Cantwell (D-WA), Coons (D-DE), Franken (D-MN), Hoeven (R-ND), and Manchin (D-WV) will all be heard soon by the ENR Committee and according to Chairman Wyden, all will receive a vote.
3. Sen. Franken, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy, announced his Subcommittee would be holding hearings on a broad set of energy efficiency topics in the coming weeks.
4. There is “considerable interest” in energy efficiency legislation in the House, according to Wyden.
5. The bill contains no mandates and is fully offset, has broad bipartisan and bicameral support, and will deliver energy savings to the consumer and the taxpayer. So, why wouldn’t the bill be brought to the Senate floor? And soon.
This is only the beginning of the discussion of the importance of energy efficiency and the role of federal policy to support it. This bill already reflects a number of NEMA’s recommendations and we will promote additional important energy efficiency policies in the lead-up to Senate floor consideration.