Sen. Shaheen doesn't want efficiency bill tied to Keystone

A lead co-sponsor of energy efficiency legislation in the Senate doesn't want it attached to a bill that would approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenRussian interference looms over European elections Restore funding to United Nations Population Fund Senators urge Tillerson to meet with Russian opposition activists MORE (D-N.H.), who co-sponsored the efficiency bill with Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanOvernight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits Lawmakers urge Pruitt not to close Midwest EPA office Lighthizer unanimously approved by Senate panel MORE (R-Ohio), said on Monday the legislation should be voted on separately, not alongside the $8 billion oil sands project.

The new GOP majority in the Senate is moving fast to set up a vote on legislation that would greenlight construction of Keystone XL in their first few weeks in power, hoping to make it the first item to hit President Obama's desk.

Shaheen doesn't want the energy efficiency bill anywhere near it.

"It should be passed separately on its own merits, and I oppose adding it to unrelated Keystone XL pipeline legislation and potentially subjecting it to a veto," Shaheen said.

“I’ve worked for years to craft an energy efficiency bill that will create jobs, save consumers and taxpayers money, and significantly reduce pollution. My bill has strong, bipartisan support and will make a real difference for our economy and our environment," she added.

Portman had perviously mentioned that Republicans might want to attach his efficiency bill with Shaheen to a vote on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline to bring more Democrats on board.

"In the past, we have talked about the combining the two," Portman said of efficiency and Keystone legislation during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" shortly after the midterms. "It makes a lot of sense."

Portman's office has yet to respond to requests for comment on whether the senator still wants to float the energy efficiency measure as an amendment to the Keystone XL bill, which the Senate is poised to vote on as early as next week.

The legislation is aimed at making residential, commercial and industrial buildings more efficient, and boosting energy-saving practices at federal agencies, among other provisions.