Top GOP aide predicts bipartisan energy efficiency bill next Congress

That would mark a departure from some of the committee's recent energy bills, such as a package that would roll back air pollution rules, that faced little chance of advancing in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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Currier warned the Shaheen-Portman bill still carries some “price tag issues” that would fail to gain approval from some Republican members.

An Energy and Commerce aide told the Hill that Currier was referring to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of the bill, which said implementing it would have a gross cost of $2.2 billion between 2012 and 2016.

Rob Mosher, legislative director with the Alliance to Save Energy, contended the bill contains enough offsets to accommodate the spending it calls for.

Many of the Shaheen-Portman provisions energy efficiency groups most desire, such as revised building code standards, have run into GOP roadblocks because of spending.

Shaheen said she still wants to get her legislation heard during the lame duck. The bill passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with broad bipartisan support, but has not been called for a vote.

In the meantime, lawmakers in both chambers have passed several of the bill’s appliance efficiency upgrades along with guidelines for curbing energy costs at federal agencies through other legislation.

Currier said that shows Congress is willing to work on energy efficiency, and that Shaheen-Portman is a serviceable model.

“There are some strong concepts in there,” Currier said.