Recently, some observers have been saying that Democrats and Republicans in Congress might find common ground on the issue of energy efficiency, even if they couldn’t agree on tackling climate change. Republicans are supposed to admire efficiency, after all, so maybe, the reasoning has gone, the GOP could embrace environmental responsibility under the guise of good management.
Ben Adler at Grist expressed this sentiment, writing, “When the bill passed the House, I concluded that energy-efficiency measures could win Republican support if they avoided any mandates on the private sector and any spending of government money. After all, there is nothing for conservatives to oppose about making government more efficient and offering voluntary programs to help companies save money.”
A vote in the U.S. Senate yesterday put that hope to rest, as almost every Republican in the U.S. Senate stood together to block S. 2262, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, from being voted on. The bill offers such common sense, non-controversial energy efficiency measures that it has already passed the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.
In response to the Senate GOP’s rejection of the legislation, Adler has abandoned his earlier hopes for common ground on efficiency on Capitol Hill. He observes that, “now you can add another condition to the list of Republican demands: Even a modest energy-efficiency measure cannot be passed without including unrelated giveaways to fossil-fuel industries.”