Revival Planned for Energy-Efficiency Bill

None

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 »
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
2 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
1 days ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×