Revival Planned for Energy-Efficiency Bill

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., could be among the key votes as stakeholders seek to revive a stalled energy efficiency bill.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Oct. 24, 2013, 3:22 a.m.

Sen­ate lead­ers and in­dustry groups have a plan to re­vive the en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency bill that stalled in the up­per cham­ber last month amid a flurry of un­re­lated amend­ments.

The strategy, ac­cord­ing to Sen­ate aides and ad­voc­ates of the meas­ure, is to find the right mix of amend­ments to win mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­ans’ back­ing. All of the po­ten­tial amend­ments have bi­par­tis­an spon­sors, many of them red-state Demo­crats.

One en­ergy in­sider fa­mil­i­ar with talks between law­makers and in­dustry groups said “there is op­tim­ism” that sup­port will soon ex­ceed the 60-vote threshold needed to over­come ob­struc­tion from those who want to see checks on the Af­ford­able Care Act and oth­er un­re­lated pro­pos­als ad­ded to the le­gis­la­tion.

More than 100 amend­ments were at­tached to the bill the first time around; this time, the fo­cus will be on just a few, said Jim Paul­ey, a gov­ern­ment-re­la­tions ex­ec­ut­ive for Schneider Elec­tric, which backs the le­gis­la­tion. The amend­ments be­ing dis­cussed in­clude:

  • A pro­pos­al by Sens. Mi­chael Ben­net, D-Colo., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., to meas­ure en­ergy sav­ings by in­di­vidu­al ten­ants in mul­ti­use build­ings.
  • A meas­ure to en­hance thermal ef­fi­ciency, pro­posed by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Thomas Carp­er, D-Del.
  • A re­quire­ment ad­ded by Sens. Jeff Ses­sions, R-Ala., and Mark Pry­or, D-Ark., that would push the En­ergy De­part­ment to use third-party cer­ti­fic­a­tion pro­grams to veri­fy product rat­ings, rather than con­duct­ing sim­il­ar test­ing of its own.
  • An amend­ment to pro­tect cer­tain ma­ter­i­als from “dis­fa­vor” in Gen­er­al Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing cer­ti­fic­a­tions, pro­posed by Pry­or and Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Ro­ger Wick­er, R-Miss.
  • Al­low­ance of grid-en­abled wa­ter heat­ers, along with ad­di­tion­al stand­ards, ad­ded by Pry­or and Sen. John Ho­even, R-N.D.
  • A pro­pos­al by Sens. Mark Ud­all, D-Colo., and James Risch, R-Idaho, to lower en­ergy con­sump­tion in fed­er­al data cen­ters.

A pair of oth­er po­ten­tial amend­ments are also un­der con­sid­er­a­tion, Paul­ey said. One, pro­posed by Ho­even and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., would roll back a re­quire­ment that fed­er­al build­ings elim­in­ate fossil-fuel us­age by 2030, re­pla­cing it with ef­fi­ciency levels that don’t tar­get spe­cif­ic fuels. That may draw op­pos­i­tion from some of the more pro­gress­ive mem­bers of the Demo­crat­ic caucus, but it could also bring some Re­pub­lic­ans on board.

The oth­er would al­low loan agen­cies to factor home en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in­to mort­gage-writ­ing; it is backed by Ben­net and Sen. Johnny Isak­son, R-Ga. A Sen­ate aide with in­volve­ment in the le­gis­la­tion con­firmed those amend­ments are part of the ne­go­ti­ations.

“There’s been a ramped-up or in­creased pace of meet­ings this week in ex­plor­ing a bunch of dif­fer­ent ways to in­crease sup­port for Shaheen-Port­man, es­pe­cially among Re­pub­lic­ans,” ad­ded a Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate aide. “There have been dis­cus­sions about amend­ments be­ing one way to do that.” Still, the aide em­phas­ized that no single strategy has been set in stone.

An­oth­er Re­pub­lic­an aide echoed that be­hind-the-scenes work has been on­go­ing. “Port­man is work­ing to get bi­par­tis­an agree­ments to get to 60 votes,” said the staffer, singling out Ho­even as a po­ten­tial key vote. “Ho­even’s a guy that a lot of folks look to,” agreed an­oth­er Sen­ate staffer, adding that there are already at least 59 po­ten­tial yes votes for the bill.

All the aides agreed that hit­ting the 60-vote threshold would greatly in­crease the like­li­hood that Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., would move the bill. “If folks can make a case that there’s a lot of sup­port for this, then that makes it easi­er to bring it back to the floor,” said the Demo­crat­ic aide.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
3 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×