Portman, Shaheen unveil bipartisan legislation to help nation transition to more energy efficient economy

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) would reform energy efficiency policy in an effort to reduce pollution while boosting the economy.

Portman and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act, which would create an estimated 190,000 jobs, save consumers $16.2 billion per year in energy costs and cut emissions and air pollutants by 2030. The bill would not require any new taxes or mandates.

The ESIC Act would incentivize the adoption of energy efficiency technologies that are already commercially available in the public and private sector.

“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,” Portman said. “It’s good news for the taxpayer, too, because it would make the federal government practice what it preaches and use energy more efficiently.”

The bill uses a number of low-cost tools to help energy users become more efficient while making the federal government lower its energy usage through the use of energy-efficient technology.

“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,” Portman said. “There is a reason this bill has garnered such widespread support. Congress should take it up as soon as possible.”

Shaheen said boosting energy efficiency would be the cheapest and fastest way to address the country’s energy challenges. The energy efficiency sector is the largest sector in the nation’s clean energy economy, employing nearly 2.2 million Americans, she added.

“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,” Shaheen said.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) were among the bill’s bipartisan group of original cosponsors.