Democratic News

Sep 16 2002

Energy Conference: Update #11 (Momentum)

A note to reporters from the Committee's Communications Director

With last week's progress -- pipeline safety, Price-Anderson, energy efficiency, renewables, Alaska gas pipeline provisions, clean coal, etc. -- the energy conference again has momentum. It looks like that next Conferee meeting will probably be this Thursday, though it's not clear what exactly will be on the agenda. We do know that CAFE is the pending business: House conferees have made an offer, and the Senate is working to develop a counter-proposal. Late Friday, the House sent over a House Republican discussion draft on electricity, so it appears that we may soon be working on electricity. A staff walk-through of the tax title in both bills is expected this week, too. Beyond that, the pool of potential topics that may be ready for prime time could include those dealing with R&D, alternative fueled vehicles and oil and gas. When things are worked out on those matters, Conferees could turn their attention to resolving tough Tier I issues such as climate change, electricity/RPS, ethanol and ANWR. Last week, both Chairman Tauzin and Senator Bingaman commended staff for its hard work. On behalf of the Senate Energy Committee, we extend that salute to include the media -- we appreciate you. * Bill Wicker, Communications Director, Senate Energy Committee