WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today approved two bipartisan bills as part of its ongoing pursuit of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. H.R. 2126, the Better Buildings Act, advanced by voice vote and H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, passed by a vote of 29 to 19.
The Better Buildings Act, authored by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT), improves energy efficiency by facilitating greater cooperation between landlords and tenants to lower energy consumption in commercial buildings. The legislation takes a market-driven and voluntary approach to encourage energy and cost savings. A broad coalition of stakeholders praised the bipartisan bill and applauded the committee’s energy efficiency efforts.
The Electricity Security and Affordability Act, authored by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), offers a bipartisan alternative to the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants and the agency’s planned regulations for existing power plants. H.R. 3826 would protect an all-of-the-above energy strategy by directing EPA to adopt workable standards for new coal-fired plants that require technologies that have been adequately demonstrated and are commercially feasible. It would also instruct Congress to set the effective date for EPA’s expected regulations for existing plants. The legislation allows coal to remain part of America’s energy mix, protects jobs, and ensures a diverse and affordable electricity portfolio. Several groups representing American workers and job-creators have voiced strong support for the commonsense legislation.
“Under EPA’s extreme proposal, America would not even be able to build the most state of the art clean coal fired power plant, because the technology required under the proposed regulation is not commercially feasible,” stated Whitfield. “This bipartisan legislation allows for us to bring these proposed regulations to the forefront and have a public debate about the effect that they will have on jobs, energy costs, and economic growth. Ultimately, I believe that the consequences of these regulations will directly affect consumers, whether a family or a business, in the form of higher electricity costs. Americans deserve energy that is affordable and reliable. We need to keep a diverse energy portfolio, one that is truly all-of-the-above.”
“The cold weather we have experienced in recent weeks underscores just how important it is to have affordable energy for our homes and businesses,” said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “These bills are positive steps toward a more sensible energy policy for the nation.”