Sen. Shaheen: ‘Efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to start addressing our energy needs’

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) published an important piece on The Hill reiterating the need for policies that strengthen America’s energy infrastructure from the bottom up. It’s a welcome and complementary addition to ACC’s From Chemistry to Energy campaign, which calls for strong policies and creative, economically sound approaches to encourage greater energy efficiency.

The post pays special attention to the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000), introduced last year by Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). The bipartisan bill seeks to increase the adoption of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, and, in doing so, to help address some of the nation’s economic and energy challenges, says Shaheen.

Efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to start addressing our energy needs. Through widespread adoption of stronger efficiency standards that rely on commercially available technology, we can reduce energy use while creating jobs at the same time.

The chemistry industry, which enables the energy efficiency technologies encouraged by S.1000, agrees that the bill would and encourage states to achieve dramatic energy reductions in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, while realizing important economic and environmental benefits along the way. It’s a step toward an American energy future that is strong, secure and sustainable.

Click here to read Sen. Shaheen's post on The Hill.

Energy efficiency is good policy, good for economy

By Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

Democrats and Republicans agree we need action on our economy, and we need action on our energy policy. We must overcome the political gridlock that has kept solutions to both problems out of reach.

The need for jobs is obvious — too many Americans remain out of work and too many businesses are still struggling. And the need for action on our energy policy is also dire. Our dependence on foreign oil remains a grave security risk, and our outdated energy infrastructure has left American businesses at a disadvantage to their overseas competitors.

When it comes to energy policy, there’s an area rich with job opportunities where Democrats and Republicans agree: We should use less energy.

Efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to start addressing our energy needs. Through widespread adoption of stronger efficiency standards that rely on commercially available technology, we can reduce energy use while creating jobs at the same time.

True bipartisanship means working together on a plan from the ground up. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and I did just that last year when we introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000) to create and implement a national energy-efficiency strategy. Our bill passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with a strong 18-3 bipartisan vote. It proposes initiatives that are effective, affordable and achievable.

Energy efficiency relies on the use of off-the-shelf products like quality building materials and appliances, many of which are made right here in the United States. It’s an easy first step that will make our economy more competitive and our nation more secure while meeting pent-up demand from individuals and businesses alike.

Our broad-based bill has strong backing from the business community and includes a variety of methods for boosting efficiency.

First, it creates immediate jobs for construction trades through support to American manufacturers of quality building materials. Businesses and homeowners alike need experts in heating and cooling systems, window replacement and computer-controlled thermostats. The demand for these building improvements will support the manufacturers of heating systems, windows, computers and thermostats, as well as the experts it takes to install them. It will create more jobs at places like the Sylvania plant in Manchester, N.H.

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