Senate kills bipartisan energy efficiency bill over Keystone pipeline amendment
The legislation focused on energy efficiency standards such as water heaters with smart meters and cheaper heating and cooling systems for office buildings.
Bipartisan legislation that focused on energy efficiency standards such as water heaters with smart meters, ways to reduce home utility bills, and cheaper heating and cooling systems for office buildings failed in the U.S. Senate earlier this month.
While the bill had broad support, the introduction of an amendment on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline poisoned the well.
Proposed by Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) didn’t make it to a vote after the amendment was added to approve the Keystone pipeline extension ahead of the Obama Administration’s decision on whether to allow the pipeline to go forward.
As a result, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow a vote on a Keystone pre-approval amendment to the bill, and the amendment’s supporters retaliated by blocking a vote on the main bill.
Many Democrats and climate activists oppose the Keystone pipeline. Portman reportedly called the bill’s failure “yet another disappointing example of Washington’s dysfunction.”