With the reintroduction of energy efficiency legislation and a first move on comprehensive tax reform, energy issues received significant attention in Washington last week. They will continue to garner consideration this week as President Obama unveils his fiscal year 2015 budget request and Congress takes up several energy measures.
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced a revised version of their energy efficiency legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2014, (S. 2074) February 27. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Hoeven (D-ND), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) cosponsored the measure. The updated package incorporates ten amendments on issues ranging from energy efficient federal data centers to water heaters; besides the amendments, the remainder of the text remains largely the same. The senators have been working behind the scenes for months to revive the bill, which collapsed on the Senate floor last year amid fights over amendments; they hope to show Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that it has enough broad support to overcome procedural hurdles. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) has promised that his committee will consider the legislation if it clears the Senate.