The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today held a business meeting to consider and report 22 energy-related measures to the full Senate. Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, thanked her colleagues for their bipartisan efforts to develop these measures and outlined the important work ahead on the Senate floor.
“I’m excited to be moving legislation related to nuclear energy, mineral security, energy efficiency, and carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration out of committee,” Murkowski said. “These measures will help develop innovative technologies, responsibly reduce our energy and water consumption, and protect our economy and national security.”
In her opening comments, Murkowski highlighted a few of the measures on the agenda, including S. 903, her Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), which is cosponsored by 17 members and was featured at an April committee hearing.
“Our nation invented civilian nuclear energy, but our leadership has diminished significantly in recent decades. NELA aims to restore it by helping to develop a range of advanced reactors technologies that are clean, safe, and reliable,” Murkowski said.
Murkowski next spoke to S. 1317, her American Mineral Security Act, which she introduced with committee Ranking Member Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and 10 other Senators.
“Our bill responds to a very significant threat to our economic competitiveness and our national security – our significant and increasing dependence on foreign minerals,” Murkowski said. “If you want an iPhone, an electric vehicle, an F-22 – or just about any other technology – you need minerals. They are the foundation of our modern society, key to our ability to lead the industries of the future, and it is past time we act decisively to rebuild our domestic supply chains.”
The committee has held several hearings on mineral security, including a hearing in May 2019 which featured the legislation reported today. Murkowski included almost identical sections on critical minerals in her broad, bipartisan energy bills in the 114th and 115th Congresses.
The committee also reported two bills related to carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) – one led by Sen. Manchin which was featured in a hearing on CCUS in May 2019, and one led by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., which was considered by the Energy Subcommittee earlier this month.
“CCUS is one of our best options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both here at home and around the world. I’m glad to be advancing both of these bills, and look forward to combining them as part of an energy package on the Senate floor,” Murkowski said.
Among the other measures reported by the committee today were S. 1857, the Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act, which Murkowski introduced with Sens. Manchin, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.
Finally, Murkowski noted that while this is the committee’s first major energy-related markup of the year, she does not expect it to be the last, as the panel focuses on reporting energy-related measures that can be combined into bipartisan packages on the Senate floor.
“My intention is to have another markup focused on energy legislation, including energy storage, most likely in September,” Murkowski said. “We are also working toward a business meeting focused on lands and water-related measures. Even after our 124-bill package became law in March, there is still more we can agree on in those areas.”
Archived video, a full list of bills reported by the committee, and a rundown of the business meeting are available on the committee’s website.Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.