Senators introduce smaller energy efficiency legislation

Two senators whose energy efficiency legislation failed earlier this year have re-introduced a watered down version.

Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDefense bill includes 3,500 more visas for Afghans who helped US troops Overnight Finance: Day three of tax bill markup | Ryan says election results raise pressure for tax reform | Tax whip list - Where Republicans stand | Justice, AT&T spar over CNN sale | 25 Dems vow to block spending without Dream Act Russia crackdown survives NDAA conference MORE (D-N.H.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate GOP reveals different approach on tax reform GOP senators: Moore should step aside if allegations true Senate set for clash with House on tax bill MORE (R-Ohio) introduced the bill Wednesday in the hope that some piece of their bipartisan, widely supported legislation would be passed during the remaining days of the lame-duck session of Congress.

It is identical to a bipartisan energy efficiency bill passed overwhelmingly in March by the House, written by Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.).

It is a miniature version of the original Shaheen-Portman energy package, aiming to encourage building landlords and tenants to increase their efficiency and save energy in federal agencies, among other provisions.

“Energy efficiency is the cheapest, fastest way to address our country’s energy needs and has strong, bipartisan support,” Shaheen said in a Thursday statement.

“The bill we introduced yesterday includes important provisions from our more comprehensive legislation that will save consumers money and lower pollution, and I hope we can pass it before we adjourn this year,” she said.

While the original Shaheen-Portman bill had wide support, Republicans blocked it in May to protest Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision to block amendments to the proposal. The GOP wanted to attach provisions such as approving the Keystone XL pipeline to the bill.