NEC Urges Senate to Pass Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill
Business Group Lauds Bill for Helping Lower Energy Costs; Creating Jobs
BOSTON (May 21, 2013) – The New England Council, the nation’s oldest regional business association representing over 400 companies and organizations throughout the region, is urging the U.S. Senate to pass bipartisan energy efficiency legislation introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). In a letter to the New England Senate delegation, the Council threw its support behind the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 761), and urged other New England Senators to do the same.
“As Senator Shaheen wisely noted, the cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use,” said James T. Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council. “Here in New England, high energy costs are one of the biggest challenges for businesses large and small, making it difficult to grow and compete with other parts of the country. The Shaheen-Portman bill would promote greater efficiency, bringing energy costs down while also creating new jobs. The New England Council is proud to support this important legislation.”
As recently passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the bill would:
Create a national strategy to increase the use of energy efficiency technologies through a national model building energy code;
Create a financing program for commercial building energy efficiency projects; promote the development of energy efficient supply-chains for companies;
Require the federal government to adopt and implement energy saving policies and programs; and a variety of other initiatives.
The bill is designed to be deficit-neutral. According to Senator Shaheen, an analysis of similar legislation considered last year would have netted energy savings for consumers of “$4 billion by 2020 and helped businesses add 80,000 jobs to the economy.”
Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and David McKinley (R-WV) have introduced a companion measure (H.R. 1616) to the Shaheen-Portman bill in the House of Representatives.
The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region. The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.