• Energy Efficiency Bill Could Be Threatened By Its Popularity
  • June 19, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • The bipartisan Shaheen-Portman bill to promote energy efficiency could be dragged down in the Senate by the weight of its own popularity, according to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR).

    Wyden warned supporters of the bill this week that when Senators see a bill with a good chance of passage, it’s hard for them to resist the urge to amend it with unrelated provisions that would never make it through the Senate on their own.

    The bill, authored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), would create a grant program for states to finance efficiency programs and update building codes, among other provisions, at a cost of $210 million over four years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Wyden, who will be the bill’s manager if it reaches the Senate floor, has his work cut out for him in hashing out an amendment plan with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY), and Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Reid and Murkowski both indicated last week that senators would likely have to take tough votes, such as one on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, if the energy-efficiency measure comes to the floor.

    The bill is expected to come to the floor sometime shortly after the July 4th recess.