Bipartisan green — Republicans and Democrats introduce energy-efficiency law

A repeated refrain of energy-efficiency advocates is that saving energy and saving money are not red state or blue state issues — they’re just common sense.

And, in the midst of election year posturing, at least a few congresspeople have taken this to heart. Today Rep. Charles F. Bass, a New Hampshire Republican, and Rep.  Jim Matheson, a Utah Democrat, introduced the Smart Energy Act (H.R. 4017, which would promote energy efficiency measures on federal buildings as a smart way to trim the deficit.

Here’s a link to Bass’s website with a long release on the new bill, an overview of its provisions¬†and the bipartisan support it’s already drawing.

“The federal government spends $7 billion annually to heat, cool, and operate its 445,000 buildings,” Bass said in his release. “Improving energy efficiency by using the federal government as a ‘first adopter’ is a good first step in expanding the nature of the energy debate in this nation so we are focusing not only on ways to increase our domestic energy supply, but also decrease domestic demand.”

Not too much to argue about there.

The economic impact of such a federal commitment to energy efficiency can be seen in the list of supporters Bass already has lined up. Industry groups and businesses such as the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Dow Chemical; the Edison Electric Institute; and the National Electric Contractors Association of Greater Boston wouldn’t be signing on if they didn’t think the bill will benefit their bottom lines.

This will be one to watch.