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As one of our over 6 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on the “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act”, S. 2262. Introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), this bill, while being sold as an energy efficiency overhaul for the country, is merely a conglomeration of government meddling and waste.
The crux of the bill charges the Department of Energy (DOE) to “encourage and support the adoption” of efficiency codes, developed by unaccountable third parties, by the states. The bill appropriates taxpayer dollars to lure cash-strapped states into implementing these restrictive new codes for businesses and homes. Further, despite the bill stating that these specific standards will be non-binding on a federal level, the legislation instructs the DOE to begin researching mandatory federal efficiency standards in addition to formulating potential legislation for additional efficiency incentives and enforcement.
The bill goes on to appropriate grant funding for the states to establish worker training programs and state-financing programs for building renovations and retrofits, among other small grants, rebates and handouts at the periphery of the bill’s text.
Wasteful deficit spending aside, what authors and cosponsors of legislation like this fail to realize is that markets outperform mandates. The pretense of the bill is an attempt to save Americans money on energy costs. Yet government codes only serve to limit choice, drive scarcity, and thus raise prices. Markets, on the other hand, reward efficiency without all the overhead of government. From top-to-bottom, this bill sets a dangerous precedent in the wrong direction for the American economy.
There is an alternative: Senator Ted Cruz has introduced the American Energy Renaissance Act (S. 2170), a bill which would free the American energy market to compete both at home and globally, dramatically lower energy costs, create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
I urge you to call your senators and ask them to vote NO on the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, S. 2262. We will count their vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating FreedomWorks’ Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2014. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom.
Matt Kibbe President and CEO, FreedomWorks