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Jeanne S.
Democrat NH

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  • Unanimous Consents Request—H.R. 2126

    by Senator Jeanne Shaheen

    Posted on 2014-12-16

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    SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I am here with Senator Portman of Ohio to try--I think for about the sixth time--to get energy efficiency legislation passed.

    Senator Portman and I have been working on legislation called the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act for 4 years now. We have tried to bring it to the floor, and it has been objected to not because of provisions in the bill but because of extraneous provisions that have people holding it up.

    Tonight we are again trying to pass a smaller version of that bill. It is H.R. 2126, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, which was passed out of the House with a strong bipartisan vote of 375 to just 36. It was sponsored in the House by Representative McKinley from West Virginia and Representative Welch from Vermont. Senator Portman and I introduced the same bill here in the Senate a couple of weeks ago.

    I am going to be asking for unanimous consent that the Senate consider passage of this legislation. Before I do that, it is my understanding it is going to be objected to again and that Senator Toomey is here to do that. But I wonder if I could get an answer to a question from Senator Toomey about what his specific objections are to the legislation.

    I understand the Tenant Star provision in the bill is what he is objecting to. Yet this would establish best practices, and it would set up a voluntary certification system for efficiency and commercial tenant spaces. What it does not do is provide financial incentives or create new regulations. It is a voluntary, market-based, business- friendly approach to encouraging energy efficiency--which is the cheapest, fastest way to deal with our energy needs in this country. It is something everybody agrees we should try and do.

    So I wonder if I can ask my colleague from Pennsylvania if he could describe his concerns about that provision in the bill.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.

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