Senate Energy Starts Action on Energy Bill

May 17, 2005
06:12 PM


Energy Committee Approves Three Titles in First Day of Mark-up


The Senate Energy Committee today approved by voice vote three titles of the bipartisan energy bill: Indian Energy, DOE Management and Personnel and Training.  During a 9:30 a.m. mark-up in SD-366, the senators approved two amendments to each of the three titles.  All six amendments had been cleared by both sides.


Most of the committee members made brief opening remarks at the beginning of the mark-up regarding the need for a comprehensive energy bill and what components each senator believed that bill should have.


Chairman Domenici said in opening remarks, “I am convinced that, by the time we have incorporated the Tax Title into this legislation, this bill will do more for renewable energy than any bill ever has. It will be good for efficiency, good for conservation, and it will help develop a new generation of cleaner coal plants.  It may even result in the construction of some new nuclear plants. It will also impose reliability standards on the electricity grid and provide some certainty for companies looking to make investments in energy infrastructure, including LNG facilities, transmission lines, and ethanol plants.  It will enable billions of dollars of investments into those industries.”


To his fellow senators, Chairman Domenici said, “In working with Senator Bingaman, I have tried to do as much as possible, always with an eye on the votes.  I am not inclined to spend too much time in search of the ideal; my goal is to achieve what’s possible. I hope you will join me to find out what is possible.  Today is our first step, and together, I think we can craft a very good bill.”


Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the Committee’s top Democrat, said that the Senate “will ultimately be judged by whether our bill makes a concrete difference in bringing new energy resources and technologies into the mix, by whether we make sure that we use advanced technology to save as much energy as possible, by our ability to protect the environment and respond to challenges such as global warming, and by our ability to shape energy markets for the future that protect and empower consumers.


“To be sure, there are many complex issues in energy policy,” Bingaman added. “We may well have differences during this mark-up that we cannot bridge. But I think that the Chairman deserves credit for a good start, and I look forward to working with him to see if we can have a similarly good finish.”


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Marnie Funk (Communications Director) – 202/224-6977

Bill Wicker (Democratic Communications Director) – 202/224-5243