Democratic News

Staffs of Republican and Democratic energy conferees, plus relevant committee staff, are planning to meet every day this week to review various “discussion drafts” for the conference report -- text that the staffs of Chairman Domenici and Chairman Tauzin have written for the conference report without any input from Democrats. The chairmen say that they consider this text to be “a first step toward productive negotiations,” although it would have been far more productive for them to start with the 220 pages of agreed-to text from last year’s bipartisan conference. Today’s meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn 2322. The topic is five-page section on Personnel & Training. On deck for tomorrow is energy efficiency, followed by clean coal and hydrogen on Thursday and the Alaska natural gas pipeline on Friday. Additional meetings are expected next week on additional discussion drafts that will be released once the Republicans emerge from their closed door, out-of-sight negotiations.