Shaheen, Portman’s Energy Efficiency Bill Reintroduced

Two senators on Thursday reintroduced an energy efficiency bill from 2011 that they hope will move out of the Senate after making some concessions to opponents.

The reintroduced energy efficiency bill from New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Ohio Republican Rob Portman comes with 10 new amendments, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.

Shaheen expressed hope the concessions would bring on more sponsors and that “we’re able this time to get it through the senate and have a good reception in the house,” she said in an interview with the radio program.

One concession repeals a 2007 mandate that all federal buildings no longer use fossil fuels by 2030. Shaheen explained that while the idea sounded good, “there were never rules written by the department of energy because there were challenges with how to do that.” With no rule the requirement did not take effect and resulted in no energy savings, she said.

While the Congressional Budget Office estimated the amendment would save $10 million, it has angered green building advocates.

Another concession would permit third parties to certify energy star appliances, while another would have HUD perform energy retrofits on low-income housing. Shaheen says the concessions gives the bill the 60 votes needed to quash a filibuster.

“This new legislation will provide more energy savings, more job creation and more CO2 reductions, according to independent analysis,” aides to the two senators said in a release.

Amendments to defund The Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, and to permit the Keystone XL pipeline have doomed the bill in the past.

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