Polluter Lobbying Campaign Threatens Bipartisan Energy Progress in Senate

from Wildlife Promise

Power plant in front of U.S. Capitol

US Capitol with its power plant in foreground (via Flickr’s Matthew Hurst)

The U.S. Senate is set to take up a bipartisan bill to promote energy efficiency sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-IN). As summer’s climate-fueled heat waves, drought and wildfires cook America from coast to coast, will the Senate be able to pass a common sense, painstakingly-crafted bill that would curb carbon pollution? Or will polluter allies succeed in their campaign to keep us buying more energy than we really need?

The Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 761) would spur innovation in energy efficiency technologies for residential, commercial and industrial sectors. By 2020, it would create 80,000 new jobs, reduce carbon pollution by the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off the road, and save consumers $4 billion on our energy bills.

The National Wildlife Federation supports Shaheen-Portman and we particularly like the consensus-based stakeholder-engagement process that has been undertaken by its sponsors. To protect the integrity of that process and ensure the goals of saving consumers money, energy, and cutting pollution are met, it’s important that senators reject controversial amendments that do not meet these broadly agreed-upon goals. In particular, we’re concerned about polluter efforts to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act authority to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Why is it so important that Congress help America save energy and cut climate-disrupting carbon pollution? Just a few of the latest climate headlines from the last week alone:

The American people want action and are tired of the politics that obstruct even bipartisan proposals as simple as an energy efficiency bill. Shaheen-Portman is supported by everyone from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to faith leaders, from the National Association of Manufacturers to conservationists.

The National Wildlife Federation urges senators to stand with the Environmental Protection Agency, opposing any amendments that undermine the integrity of energy savings and carbon pollution reductions that could be achieved by the Shaheen-Portman bill.

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