Murkowski Kicks Off Floor Process on Bipartisan Energy Innovation Bill

March 4, 2020

The U.S. Senate today voted, 90-4, to officially begin debate on the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA). Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) and the sponsor of the bill, spoke shortly after the vote today.

Click photo for video of Murkowski’s floor statement

Below are excerpts from Murkowski’s floor remarks about Title II of the bill, which focuses primarily on mineral, cyber, and grid security. Murkowski also spoke last night about Title I, which focuses on energy innovation.

“I want to begin today with mineral security, because we don’t always associate these efforts with meeting our energy and our climate goals. According to the World Bank, meeting the goals set by the Paris Agreement would increase demand for battery storage minerals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel by 1,000 percent. 

“Over time, our minerals subtitle will help America become a leader in growing industries like battery and renewable manufacturing, along with the jobs and the economic growth that they represent. I think it also helps put the United States in the driver’s seat to prevent supply disruptions that could quickly derail our efforts to deploy renewables, energy storage, EVs, and other technologies.

“And there’s one thing that our minerals subtitle won’t do. It will not weaken the environmental laws that protect our lands and waters. Our bill continues to ensure that only responsible development is allowed to proceed.”

Background Information

AEIA contains measures sponsored and cosponsored by more than 60 Senators. Its key provisions focus on energy efficiency; renewable energy; energy storage; carbon capture, utilization, and storage; advanced nuclear; industrial and vehicle technologies; the Department of Energy; mineral security; cyber and grid security and economic security.

Numerous groups, ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Environmental Defense Fund, support the package or specific provisions within it. More information on S. 2657 is available here. Click here for the bill text.