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Shaheen-Portman efficiency bill stalls in the Senate


From the May 14, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published May 14, 2014

By Jeannine Anderson
Editor
The Shaheen-Portman bill — bipartisan energy efficiency legislation backed by APPA — stalled on the Senate floor Monday evening. 

The Senate failed to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold to continue debate on the measure, prompting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to shelve it indefinitely.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat, and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican.

Last week, Reid moved to block Republican amendments to the bill and set up a cloture vote for Monday. The vote was 55-36 to end debate on the bill, S. 2262. Sixty votes would have been needed to cut off a filibuster.

The vote also appeared to end the chance that legislation on the controversial Keystone XL oil sands pipeline would get a vote in the Senate. Reid had said he would allow a vote on the pipeline, but only if the Senate approved the Shaheen-Portman bill first. The majority leader also stipulated that no amendments could be added to the efficiency bill, which angered members of the GOP.

"Shamefully, today marks not the first but the second time that the Senate has allowed partisanship to stand in the way of the Shaheen-Portman bill,"said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy. She noted that the bill is supported by a majority of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and is backed by hundreds of businesses, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations.

The bill "has been improved and now offers over $16 billion in energy savings and nearly 200,000 new jobs for the economy when fully implemented," Callahan said. She expressed the hope that before the end of the year, the bill might be brought back to the Senate floor for a vote on final passage. 
 

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Meena Dayak
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