Promoting Energy Independence

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Rob Portman believes we must pursue an all-the-above energy strategy to reduce energy prices, protect national security, and create jobs here at home.  Recently, energy production on private lands has dramatically increased, reducing our reliance on energy imports from countries that do not share our nation’s interests.  But a similar increase in energy production on public lands has been hampered because of cumbersome federal bureaucracy that needlessly delays the permits needed to begin production.  Senator Portman has been a leader in the Senate on pursuing policies that would resolve this by reducing regulatory barriers for the responsible development of alternative energy as well as conventional energy resources like oil, coal, and natural gas.  

Unconventional oil and gas production in the Utica and Marcellus shale has been an incredible economic boon to the state of Ohio. Direct jobs in the oil and gas industry have risen 56 percent in two years, from nearly 7,000 in 2011 to nearly 11,000 in 2013.  It is important that oil and gas production in Ohio continue to be done safely and responsibly, and Senator Portman believes the state government, not the federal government, should continue to have the primary responsibility for regulating the industry.

In addition to producing more energy here at home, Senator Portman believes that we need to ensure we are using the energy we do have as efficiently as possible.  To this end, Senator Portman authored the bipartisan Energy Efficiency Act of 2015 that was signed into law in April of 2015, and is the sponsor of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act, which reduces energy consumption by incentivizing energy efficiency technologies in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.  The bill is supported by over 270 businesses, associations and environmental groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the Alliance to Save Energy. 

Senator Portman believes that the Keystone XL pipeline needs to be approved now.  This project, which has been under review for years, would create more than 42,000 jobs and do so with little environmental impact according to the Administration’s own reports.  It is supported by more than 70 percent of Americans and could help reduce oil imports from more volatile regions of the world.  Senator Portman is a cosponsor of S. 582, a bill to immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

In 2012, Senator Portman led a successful effort to pass the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Correction Act (P.L. 112-210).  The bill combined provisions from Senator Portman’s Energy Saving and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000), the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act (S. 398), and the Enabling Energy Savings Innovation Act (H.R. 4850).  The bipartisan effort improved efficiency efforts at federal facilities by requiring enhanced energy management and data collection standard; created certainty for manufacturers of certain water heaters, over-the-counter refrigerators, and small duct high velocity systems by clarifying efficiency requirements for these systems; and, exempted some walk-in coolers and freezers form certain insulation efficiency standards.