Five pressure groups have written joint letters to the president and leaders on Capitol Hill demanding the federal government pass energy efficiency legislation currently working its way through Congress.
The Alliance to Save Energy, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy have put their support behind The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.
According to the letters, the Act enjoys strong, bipartisan support and should serve as the foundation for comprehensive national energy policy.
“There is no reason to wait. Start with energy efficiency and build from there,” the letters read.
The White House letter encourages the administration to maintain energy efficiency as a top priority in shaping energy policy for the country. It describes the president’s target of doubling the country’s energy productivity by 2030, which was issued in the most recent State of the Union, as an “ambitious but achievable goal…best met through deployment of energy efficiency.”
The groups released a number of reports earlier this year that they says back up the letters. For example, the Alliance to Save Energy’s Energy2030 report calls on the nation to invest, modernize, and educate in order to reach a goal of doubling US energy productivity by 2030. BPC’s report, America’s Energy Resurgence: Sustaining Success, Confronting Challenges, includes more than 50 consensus-based recommendations on policy options to diversify energy production, including through cost-effective energy efficiency. The US Chamber of Commerce is set to release new energy efficiency recommendations in June.
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduced their Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act in April. The Act passed committee it was sent to the Senate for full consideration on May 8.
The bill calls for:
- strengthening national model building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient while working with states and private industry to make the code-writing process more transparent;
- providing competitive funding to states in support of commercial building energy-efficiency financing;
- encouraging the Department of Energy to work with private sector partners to invest in the research, development and commercialization of innovative energy-efficient technology and processes for industrial applications; and
- establishing a volunteer Energy Department program – SupplySTAR – to help improve the efficiency of corporate supply chains.