It’s been over four months since the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act passed out of committee with overwhelming bipartisan support. It has the strong backing of business and industry organizations and coalitions, as well as environmental and labor groups. While debate on the bill began on September 11, 2013, it has yet to be voted on by the full Senate.
Why the wait? It’s time to end the delay. This bill (S 1392) is a rare example of how lawmakers in Washington can find common ground on issues that matter most to the majority of Americans. And not to mention, delaying its progress is delaying job creation, contributing to ongoing energy wastage, and costing taxpayers and consumers money.
The bill will use a variety of low-cost tools to reduce barriers for private sector energy users and drive adoption of available technologies to reduce energy use and save money for businesses and consumers. It also will require the federal government—the single largest energy user in the nation—to adopt energy saving techniques for computers, saving energy and taxpayer dollars. A study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy found last year that the bill would add some 80,000 jobs, and save consumers $4 billion in energy costs by 2020.
We simply shouldn’t wait a minute longer to move this critical legislation forward.