American Chemistry Matters: Driving Innovation, Creating Jobs and Enhancing Safety

Bipartisan energy efficiency legislation will benefit everyone

In a recent op-ed in Politico, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) made the case for their bipartisan energy efficiency bill, known as the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.1392), which they reintroduced on July 30.

As the senators explained in the piece:

Our bill curbs inefficient energy practices that cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and millions of jobs every year. . . . Energy efficiency has broad, bipartisan support from business, energy and environmental advocates alike.

The Shaheen-Portman bill uses voluntary tools to make it easier for businesses and consumers to reduce energy consumption. It strengthens model energy codes for buildings to make them more efficient. And it requires the federal government – “the largest energy user in the country” – to adopt best practices to save energy in everything from its use of technology to its operation processes.

“Upgrading the energy efficiency of U.S. buildings alone could save $1 trillion over the next decade,” the senators said.

The energy efficiency of buildings is something that we in the chemistry industry know a lot about. Chemistry enables energy-saving innovations such as spray polyurethane foam and rigid foam insulationsolar technologywindow films and IR-reflecting glazingLow-E glass, and building wraps, to name a few.

According to a recent ICCA report, combining building efficiency improvements, made possible by chemistry, with lower-carbon fuels could lead to a 41 percent reduction in energy use and a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

After three years in development, the bill finally hit the Senate floor on August 1. It is expected to be among the first pieces of legislation to be considered when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day, according to E&E Daily.

We look forward to the passage of this bill in September and thank Sens. Shaheen and Portman for tireless efforts on behalf of all Americans.

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