Shaheen-Portman Efficiency Bill Dies

by | May 14, 2014

US Capitol Energy ManageThe bipartisan Shaheen-Portman bill aimed at encouraging energy efficiency in buildings died in the Senate on Tuesday.

The bill went down in a 55-to-36 vote amid partisan wrangling surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline and President Obama’s plans to issue new climate regulations, The New York Times reports.

Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to allow a Republican amendment to the bill that would have approved the Keystone pipeline and another that would have blocked the President’s climate plans, come to a vote, scuppering the bill’s chances. The bill previously stalled out in September, 2013 when Republicans pushed for unrelated amendments to the bill. A new version of the bill appeared in February.

Senators Rob Portman’s, (R-OH), and Jeanne Shaheen’s, (D-NH), bill targeted what the Times refers to as “small-bore” energy efficiency provisions including making it easier for homeowners to buy smart meters and cutting manufacturers’ costs to build energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

The bill was that rare beast in contemporary Washington: a bill that, until this week, had wide-ranging support from both parties in both Congressional chambers. A companion bill in the House sponsored by Representatives David B. McKinley, (R-WV), and Peter Welch, (D-VT), also had strong backing, the Times reports.

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