Democratic News

The House-Senate conference on the energy bill will cross the mall to the Senate side for its next meeting. That is Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 4:00 p.m. (note new time). Conferees will muster in 325 Russell Building, a.k.a. the Caucus Room. On deck: ANWR ... followed by other pending issues. Conference hasn't entered the home stretch, but it's rounding the final turn. For staff, that means weekend leave is canceled, it's sleeve-rolling time. Negotiators are firing offers and counter-offers at each other, ideas are being exchanged, meetings are breaking out everywhere Everything is now in play. Here's what remains, what we're working on: electricity/RPS ... ethanol ... climate ... tax issues ... research & development ... alt fuels ... oil & gas/ANWR ... hydro relicensing ... hydraulic fracturing ... geothermal ... and study provisions. We're far apart on a few key issues, but also ready to close on several others. All of these titles and sections are in varying stages of completion, so we're not starting flat-footed on anything. It's still a lot of work. Don't Take It Personal: Because now is critical time, with serious legislative proposals passing back and forth and lengthy, multiple meetings underway, it's harder for me to connect with my always reliable, accessible, responsive Committee colleagues. Due to where we are now, another complication is a real reluctance to talk about how the conference landscape looks on particular issues that are being negotiated. It seems even the chattiest staffer is observing "radio silence." That makes my main job -- helping you -- harder. Again, nothing personal. Feedback: A redesigned Energy Committee website is up and running. http://energy.senate.gov. Please visit it and let us know your suggestions or comments -- particularly with regards to how the News Room is organized. Contact our Webmaster by using the online form, emailing webmaster@energy.senate.gov, or calling 202/224-8046. Thanks.