Senators take another crack at energy bill

A bipartisan Senate duo on Thursday renewed the fight for passage of an energy efficiency bill.

Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress The Hill Interview: GOP chairman says ‘red flags’ surround Russian cyber firm Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ MORE (D-N.H.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him How four GOP senators guided a tax-bill victory behind the scenes MORE (R-Ohio) on Thursday reintroduced an energy efficiency bill that stalled in September after debates about the Affordable Care Act and the Keystone XL pipeline sidetracked the legislation.

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This time around, backers are optimistic the bill will pass. Sponsors include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kelly Ayotte (R- N.H.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).

The revamped legislation includes an extra 10 amendments, ranging from efficiency retrofits on low-income housing to a program that promotes energy efficiency in leased commercial buildings. All of the additions are meant to help the bill garner enough support to pass the Senate.

"This bill has garnered such widespread support because of a simple fact — it is good for the economy and good for the environment. It’s part of an energy plan for America that can help bring the jobs back, help fix our trade deficit, help make our manufacturers more competitive, and actually help to protect the environment,” Portman said

So far the new version has received positive reactions.

"The Shaheen-Portman efficiency bill is an important step in making American businesses more competitive. Among its many provisions, the bill would strengthen the Department of Energy’s role in fostering technical support and supply-side energy efficiencies in the manufacturing sector," said Phyllis Cuttino, of Pew Charitable Trusts.

Still, the bill faces a long road ahead, with no signs of when the bill would be brought to the floor.