U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) recently introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC), which contains key energy efficiency policy reforms that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution. Components of the bill authored by Portman and Shaheen were signed into law by President Obama in April 2015 and are already helping individuals and companies use less energy, creating jobs and reducing emissions. Taken together, these bipartisan reforms include common-sense initiatives that will create nearly 200,000 new jobs and help the economy by saving consumers $16.2 billion annually in reduced energy costs by 2030. ESIC has received broad bipartisan support and passed the Senate last year by a vote of 85-12. It has also been endorsed by a wide range of advocacy groups including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Alliance to Save Energy, industry leaders, and environmental stakeholders because it creates jobs, saves consumers money, and reduces emissions. Original cosponsors of the bill include Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
“This bill is a win-win, creating nearly 200,000 new jobs and protecting our environment—all without a single new tax or mandate,” said Senator Portman. “It would reduce our carbon emissions equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road over the next 15 years and give our workers in Ohio and around the country a competitive advantage by making our plants more energy efficient. It’s good news for the taxpayer, too, because it would make the federal government practice what it preaches and use energy more efficiently. And by saving consumers about $16.2 billion in reduced energy costs, it will help folks who are just trying to get by, bringing down the cost of living, easing the middle-class squeeze, and giving them a few dollars extra at the end of each month that they can use for a needed expense, or savings for an investment in a kid’s college education or for retirement. There is a reason this bill has garnered such widespread support. Congress should take it up as soon as possible.”
“Energy efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to address our energy challenges in New Hampshire and around the country,” Senator Shaheen said. “It’s also the largest sector in the U.S. clean energy economy, employing nearly 2.2 million Americans. Our bipartisan legislation would create jobs in the private sector, save families and businesses money, and drastically reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way. Simply put, it’s good for our economy and good for our environment – that’s why it enjoys broad bipartisan support. I am pleased to continue my partnership with Senator Portman on this important legislation and will continue to reach across the aisle to pass common-sense energy reform.”