Democratic News

Senate Energy Chairman Jeff Bingaman and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin today hosted a Capitol Hill news conference to update reporters on progress that has been made in getting started on the energy conference. That conference, to be chaired by Rep. Tauzin, will meet for the first time on Thursday, June 27. Sen. Bingaman released the following statement: "The past history of House-Senate conferences on energy-related matters is a little tangled. My colleagues and I had to reconcile different readings on how to treat the 1995 conference on the Alaska Power Administration Act in the rotation of conference chairmanships. "Along with our colleagues on the House Resources Committee, we've decided on a solution. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will chair this conference on an energy bill. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will receive an additional opportunity to chair the next conference with the Committee on Resources, in addition to its normal rotation with House Energy and Commerce. "Chairman Tauzin and I have arrived at a common vision for a conference that will focus on getting a good energy bill that can pass both the Senate and the House. We will be working closely to ensure conference meetings are effective and productive. "I think that Chairman Tauzin will do an excellent job of working fairly with the Senate to make sure that the conference does not simply become a political exercise. And he will have my full cooperation in keeping the conference on track to address the many thorny substantive problems that it must work through. "I look forward to our having a first meeting to get the conference kicked-off before the July 4 recess. We have a lot of ground to cover, and less time in the remaining weeks of the conference than one might think."