Yesterday, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Coons (D-DE) as lead sponsors, Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) as original cosponsors and Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Public–Private Partnership Act of 2017, a bill that would encourage the increased use of energy-efficiency tools, services and products in federal facilities. Improving the energy efficiency of federal facilities is a win-win-win. It’s a win for manufacturers who make and supply the equipment; a win for taxpayers who will see their government spend less money on energy bills and directed more toward other public uses; and a win for environmental protection, as greater energy-efficiency deployment often equates to a smaller environmental footprint for buildings and other facilities. Read More
Manufacturers are quick to point out that getting energy policy right is central to America’s competitive advantage within the global marketplace. That’s why the NAM supports the efforts of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to advance H.R. 8, The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015.
Energy means opportunity. Because manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in this country, we depend on a secure, affordable, reliable mix of energy resources to remain competitive. Our energy renaissance has put millions of Americans to work and is creating countless new opportunities for manufacturers. Read More
In a town where cooperation is often hard to come by, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has long been a place for where bipartisanship has thrived. Regardless of the party holding the gavel, members were always willing to put politics aside and work together to tackle the challenges and embrace the opportunities provided by our complex, ever-changing energy policy.
This week is no different. Today, the committee will hold a markup of the Energy Policy Modernization Act, a bipartisan measure introduced by Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The 357-page bill addresses a wide range of issues designed to promote an “all of the above” approach to energy. Read More
Manufacturers use almost 30 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S., and in many instances it is our single largest expenditure. To continue to be competitive in a global economy we need to be more energy efficient. Yesterday the President signed into law S. 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, from Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The bill will loosen efficiency standards for grid-enabled water heaters, increase efficiency in government data centers and promote efficiency in commercial, residential and federal government–owned buildings. Previously in the 114th Congress, a version of the legislation, S. 128, was adopted as an amendment to a separate bill (S. 1, to approve the Keystone XL pipeline) but was vetoed by the president on February 24. The House passed a similar energy efficiency bill, H.R. 2126, in the 113th Congress by a vote of 375-36, but the Senate never acted on that measure.
The new law will establish a program called “Tenant Star” that will certify and recognize commercial building tenants for achieving high levels of energy efficiency, as well as require the General Services Administration to develop model commercial leasing provisions to encourage commercial building owners and tenants to invest in cost-effective energy and water efficiency measures. Energy efficiency and conservation offer immediate and cost-effective opportunities to reduce energy cost inputs both in the public and private sectors. Today’s commercial, public and residential buildings use almost 40 percent of the energy consumed in this country. The NAM has long supported this bi-partisan effort to strengthen the public/private partnership to support a more energy-efficient economy, while driving economic growth and private sector job creation. While this is a great first step for energy efficiency in this Congress, we hope it will not be the last.
Manufacturers are leading the way in the area of energy efficiency. Our facilities, shop floors, production, and transportation systems much more efficient than they were 10 or 20 years ago. And many of the products we make enable other sectors such as industrial, commercial, government, residential and retail to be more energy efficient as well through the use of advanced technologies and innovations pioneered by manufacturers and their supply chain. Everyone agrees that we need to be smarter about the way we use our energy resources. And manufacturers are pleased to see this Congress not allow politics to get in the way of sound energy efficiency policy.
This afternoon the House voice voted to approve S. 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, and will send the measure to the President’s desk. The bill, which the Senate passed by voice vote in March, would loosen efficiency standards for grid-enabled water heaters, increase efficiency in government data centers and promote efficiency in commercial, residential and federal government–owned buildings. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), have introduced various iterations over the last several years. Previously in the 114th Congress a version of the legislation, S. 128, was adopted as an amendment to a separate bill (S. 1, to approve the Keystone XL pipeline) but was vetoed by the president on Feb. 24. The House passed a similar efficiency bill, H.R. 2126 in the 113th Congress, by a vote of 375-36 in March of 2014, but the Senate never acted on that measure. Read More
The Administration’s submission of its Climate Change Plan to the United Nations today is a reminder of the complex nature of global greenhouse gas (GHG) politics, economics and realities, and what is at stake for the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Manufacturers want a strong international agreement that includes binding commitments from all major emitting nations.
First, as is graphically represented on Page One of the Plan, the United States is already leading the world in reducing GHG emissions. Since 2005, no country has reduced its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than the United States—nearly 700 million tons of C02 or a reduction of close to 12 percent. U.S. manufacturers are leading the way, producing more efficient and lower emitting cars, trucks and machines; creating new and innovative products to increase the energy efficiency of houses, buildings and factors; and unlocking new technologies to generate more power with fewer emissions. Since 2005, carbon emissions from manufacturers and other industrial facilities have fallen by more than 10 percent. This progress will continue, as manufacturers are driven by a commitment to environmental sustainability and recognition that reducing emissions is good for the bottom line—more efficient factories have fewer emissions and lower costs. Read More
Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced their energy efficiency legislation Wednesday, joined by 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The NAM has strongly supported this legislation in its previous versions, and will continue to push for passage of this common sense, bipartisan energy efficiency measure that would create jobs by saving energy in industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.
The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2015 is similar to last year’s version, and sponsors say it will create 190,000 jobs, save $16.2 billion annually and reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 22 million cars. The bill helps to strength national building codes, establishes a Tenant Star program that encourages commercial tenants to be more energy efficient, establishes the Supply Star pilot program to encourage the manufacturing supply chain to become more energy efficient, encourages the federal government to be more energy efficient as they purchase new technology, and requires the federal government to better measure energy performance. Read More
According to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, legislation drafted by Senators Rob Portman and Jeanne Shaheen would support 174,000 jobs by 2030.
The report also found that the energy-efficiency legislation could save consumers and businesses over $65 billion on their energy bills by 2030.
As users of one-third of our nation’s energy, manufacturers are directly affected by the cost of energy, and we believe policies should promote research, development, and deployment of energy-efficient technologies.
Manufacturers support the Shaheen-Portman bill, a set of common sense, bipartisan energy efficiency measures that would create jobs by saving energy in industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.
Today the NAM, several member companies and a number of other organizations sent President Obama a letter expressing our strong support for the continuation of the administration’s effort to reduce the federal government’s energy consumption. The federal government is the largest single user of energy in this country and many federal buildings are in need of upgrades and improvements.
In 2011 the President issued a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to use $2 billion of private sector financing and expertise to upgrade federal buildings. Under this directive federal managers could utilize energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) and utility energy service contracts (UESC) to purchase energy efficiency upgrades by using gains from energy savings. ESPC and UESC pose no risk to the federal agency because the results are guaranteed and the contractors assume the risks.
To use a military term , the federal government is a “target rich” environment for these upgrades. A number of energy audits have been completed by federal agencies and to date more than $9 billion in addressable energy efficiency measures have been identified, and no doubt there are still more that will be identified in the coming years. We would like the President to again challenge the Executive Branch to identify and contract for $1 billion each year for the next five years in energy saving projects using performance-based contracting. The letter also request that the Executive Branch identify and develop a “best practices” program so that individual agencies can share their successes and their challenges.
We think this makes a lot of sense. This effort will keep the momentum going in the agencies, it will allow the federal government to improve and modernize infrastructure, and it will enhance energy security. All this and it will be done by using energy savings and not with appropriated tax payer dollars.
Manufactures have been leaders in energy efficiency both in the manufacturing of equipment and the utilization of equipment. We understand that a kilowatt saved is a dollar saved. Lowering our energy consumption not only allow us to better utilize our financial resources and but in many instances it helps us to be more productive using less energy. These savings impact the bottom line and help manufacturers to be more competitive in the global economy. Being energy efficient is simply smart!
Chip Yost is assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
Early this afternoon the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed S. 761, “The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act,” more commonly known as the Shaheen-Portman bill after its two authors, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The 22-member Committee passed the bill on a strong voice vote with only three Senators castings votes in opposition.
The only amendment that was offered (and agreed to) was a manager’s amendment from Sen. Portman. The bill’s sponsors received unified praise from Senators during the markup for their bipartisan efforts and their work to promoting energy efficiency. Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) requested that Senators hold their amendments until the legislation reached the floor of the Senate.
The Committee went on to discuss a number of possible amendments and issues that might be addressed on the floor. It was clear that there was great interest in expanding the scope of this legislation, with a number of Senators discussing the issues they would like addressed. This is obviously a bit of a Pandora ’s Box but at least Senators are talking about floor action on energy, which hasn’t happened in a long time.
Manufacturers continue to urge Senator Reid to bring this bill to the floor as soon as possible. Energy efficiency is vital to manufacturers’ ability to compete, and this bill should be a no-brainer given its potential for job creation and energy savings. And it is a great way to start bridging some of the divides that have too long prevented the Senate from having a constructive legislative debate on energy policy.
Chip Yost is assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.