Democratic News

Sep 08 2016

Cantwell: Let’s work together to get a policy that can move us forward.

Cantwell: It is important we update policies at the national level that help the transformation in energy continue.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) spoke during the opening session of the conference committee to resolve differences between the Senate and the House energy bills. This is the first time the 46 members of the committee met.

I think all of us can agree that modernizing and securing our energy infrastructure is key to our nation’s competitiveness, particularly in the global economy,” Sen. Cantwell said.

She also highlighted the bipartisan effort that led to strong support for the Senate energy bill.    

“I don’t think it’s a perfect bill that we passed out of the Senate. But it was a very conscious decision to work jointly on a path that moves us forward, so I hope that this conference committee will do the same thing, because that is how we got great results,” Sen. Cantwell continued.

The Senate bill includes a number of much-needed provisions that will enhance the efficiency of our energy use, save consumers billions of dollars, update our electric grid, increase our reliance on clean energy, and help train the energy workforce we will soon need. The bill makes important investments in smart buildings, advanced energy storage technologies, composite materials and vehicle batteries. The Senate bill also includes bipartisan language to permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a preeminent program for preserving open space and growing the outdoor recreation economy.

“I am optimistic that this conference committee can resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills, which will result in a bill the president can sign. So … we don’t need to be pushing forward ideas that are going to be threatened by a veto. Instead, let’s work together to get a policy that can move us forward,” Sen. Cantwell explained.

Sen. Cantwell closed by saying, “This country is experiencing a very dramatic transformation in energy. It is important that we are updating the policies at the national level to help that transformation continue to take place.”

Sens. Cantwell and Murkowski began work on a comprehensive energy bill in the Senate early in the 114th Congress, holding bipartisan listening sessions, hearings and business meetings. Their energy bill passed the Senate by a vote of 85-12 on April 20, 2016, and the Senate agreed to begin the conference process by a vote of 84-3 on July 12, 2016.

Conferees from the Senate side include Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.).

Conferees from the House side include Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.),  Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).

Download a PDF of Sen. Cantwell’s full statement here.
Watch video of the September 8 conference committee meeting here.