ASHRAE Believes Energy Efficiency Lower Priority with Louisiana Sen. Landrieu as Chair

Originally published by: ASHRAEFebruary 6, 2014

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Earlier this week the U.S. Senate confirmed Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) as the new U.S. Ambassador to China. As a result, Senator Baucus will leave the Senate – and his Chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) will become the new Finance Committee Chair and concurrently step down from his post as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – the committee with jurisdiction over energy efficiency legislation such as Shaheen-Portman.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) will become the new Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and will likely encourage the Committee to work on issues most important to her and Louisiana. While Senator Landrieu supports energy efficiency, it is not one of her top priorities. Instead, she will likely be more focused on oil, gas, and related issues.

The change in Committee leadership certainly does not spell the end for energy efficiency legislation such as Shaheen-Portman, however some pressure for Senate action may be lost as Senators focus on their new leadership roles. The end result will be that energy efficiency proponents will have to work extra hard to get Shaheen-Portman passed in the Senate.

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