VP Hopeful Rob Portman: GOP's Green Jobs Senator

Can someone please tell me what in Hades this is doing in a bill on the floor of the United States Senate?

IN GENERAL. – Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall conduct a study of :

(A) video game console energy use; and

(B) opportunities for energy savings regarding that energy use.

(2) INCLUSIONS. – The study under paragraph

(1) shall include an assessment of all power-consuming modes and media playback modes of video game consoles.

(b) ACTION ON COMPLETION. – On completion of the initial study under subsection (a), the Secretary shall determine, by regulation, using the criteria and procedures described in section 325(n)(2), whether to initiate a process for establishing minimum energy efficiency standards for video game console energy use.

This little snippet gives us a glimpse into the absurdity of our behemothic Administrative State – our 4th branch of government.

We have Vice Presidential hopeful, Sen. Rob Portman, to thank for the “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2012.”  Its purpose is “To promote energy savings in residential and commercial buildings and industry, and for other purposes.”

The bill was introduced in May by Portman and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week by a vote of 18-3. On Thursday, Sen. Shaheen attempted to attach it to the failed “Bring Jobs Home” bill. Co-sponsors are Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

Recently, I wrote about Portman’s introduction of another environmental bill, called the “Global Conservation Act of 2012,” which is an Agenda-21 style global cooperation bill that would not only continue to grow the already massive Administrative State, but would drag us into a web of dubious international environmental causes.

Portman has a long history of environmental activism. In 2000, when he was in the House, he voted YES to implementing the UN Kyoto Protocol in reaction to global warming hysteria.

Here are some of the highlights of Portman’s current energy bill:

  • Support the development and updating of national model building energy codes for residential and commercial buildings;
  • Encourage and support the adoption by states, Indian tribes, and local governments of building energy codes that meet or exceed the national codes;
  • Directs the Secretary to provide grants to institutions of higher education and Tribal Colleges or Universities to establish Building Training and Assessment Centers;
  • Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to authorize the Secretary to provide credit support to ameliorate risks for a debt or repayment obligation incurred in connection with financing the installation and implementation of efficiency, advanced metering, distributed generation, or renewable energy technologies and measures in a building that are expected to increase the energy efficiency of such building [underlining added];
  • Directs the Secretary to establish a rebate program for expenditures for the purchase and installation of a new constant speed electric motor control that reduces motor energy use by at least 5%;
  • Requires the Secretary to establish a program to provide rebates for expenditures made by building owners for the purchase and installation of a qualified new energy efficient transformer;
  • Authorizes the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), for any building project for which congressional approval has been received and the design completed, but the construction of which has not begun, to use appropriated funds to update the building’s design to meet energy efficiency and other standards for new federal buildings;
None of these policies in and of themselves are horrific crimes against humanity, however together, they represent hundreds of millions of tax dollars taken from the pockets of hard-working Americans and redistributed to the so-called ‘green’ industry.
Worse, much of the money used to fund these green initiatives is borrowed from hostile countries like China —  to study the energy efficiency of video games! Sen. Rob Portman, the leading contender to be Mitt Romney’s VP thinks this is a good idea.

The bill also encourages states, through the use of incentives, to implement strict energy-efficient building standards that will cost businesses untold millions of dollars. Consumers will also be hurt when stricter standards are adopted for the energy efficiency of home appliances and heating and air conditioning units. Of course, these schemes always promise a lot more than they deliver. Anyone who has ever had a curly light bulb burn out years before its promised thousands of hours will be skeptical of the green promises.


And of course, for every ‘green’ job that’s created to force help a business to retrofit its HVAC system, another business closes up shop because the expense is too great. And for every new government inspector that’s hired to enforce compliance, another business files for bankruptcy because they can’t afford the legal fees involved in fighting the government.

And then there’s the issue of whether this is the answer to our energy crisis. In a letter to Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnel asking them to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, Portman and Shaheen said this:


“The American public wants Congress to work in a bipartisan manner on policies that will spur economic growth and create jobs.  While there remains disagreement on how best to fix our supply side energy problem, there is consensus that efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to start reducing demand for the energy we currently use.” [emphasis added]
Is that really the consensus? Does everyone really believe that if we simply change over to the curly poison mercury light bulbs and build ‘green’ buildings that we’ll fix our “supply side energy problem?” Apparently, Portman drinks the liberal Kool-Aid and has no problem with their ‘death by a thousand cuts’ philosophy of regulating business and industry for the sake of cutting carbon emissions.


Portman added this in a recent press release:
“A new study has calculated that bipartisan energy-efficiency legislation from U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) could save consumers $60 billion by 2030, help businesses add 159,000 jobs to the economy and cut carbon-dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 21 million cars off the road.”
He adds that:
“Reducing demand for electricity would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by coal-fired power plants and other power sources by 29 million metric tons per year by 2020 and 108 million metric tons per year by 2030. Cutting CO2 by 108 million metric tons is the equivalent of keeping 21 million cars off the road, according to the U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.”
Mitt Romney, who during the primary repented in sackcloth and ashes of his former days of being a global warming apologist, denounces the green jobs agenda on his campaign website:
“[Obama] has been spending billions of dollars on alternative energy forms and touting its creation of “green” jobs. But it seems to be operating more on faith than on fact-based economic calculation. The “green” technologies are typically far too expensive to compete in the marketplace, and studies have shown that for every “green” job created there are actually more jobs destroyed. Unsurprisingly, this costly government investment has failed to create an economic boom.”
Considering all we know about Portman’s environmental agenda and his moderate voting record in the senate, it’s very troubling that his name continues to be mentioned as a top contender for the VP spot.  If Romney chooses Portman, it would be a clear indication that everything Romney told us during the primary was not true. The “severe conservative” line was just a line to get us into bed with him.


Many conservatives are still deeply suspicious of Romney and seriously doubt that he has their/our back. I interact with people every day on Facebook and Twitter who are saying that they absolutely will not vote for him. They know that not voting or voting for someone else is a vote for Obama and yet they’re still taking a pass.


Mitt Romney and his campaign should be very troubled about this breach in the base.


If he chooses a moderate like Portman or Condi Rice, the breach could turn into a major schism that even a cheerful party in Tampa won’t cure.

One more suggestion: If they’re dead set on someone who can bring Ohio, Rep. Jim Jordan will be considered an appropriate alternative.