Broad energy, natural resources bill is introduced in Senate

Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the committee’s ranking member, on June 28 introduced S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017.

The bill — the successor to the broad, bipartisan legislation from the previous Congress — was placed directly on the Senate calendar for expedited floor consideration. The American Public Power Association supported the energy bill last year and is reviewing the current version.

The bill, S. 1460, has 11 titles on a range of topics, including efficiency, infrastructure, supply, accountability, conservation, federal land management, National Park System management, sportsmen’s issues, water infrastructure, natural hazards, and Indian energy.

The new bill “builds on recent technological breakthroughs to bring substantial benefits to American families and businesses while protecting the environment,” according to a summary posted by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Among other things, its provisions “will save energy, expand supply, prioritize innovation, modernize and secure the electric grid,” the committee said.

“It has now been a full decade since Congress has passed legislation to modernize and reform our nation’s energy and resource policies,” Murkowski said. “We came very close to achieving that goal last year, and have continued to work with our congressional colleagues and a wide range of stakeholders to write another strong bill.”

“Our energy infrastructure is under attack and we need the tools to fix it right now,” Cantwell said. “Our bipartisan legislation will not only help modernize our energy infrastructure, but secure it from extreme weather, climate change, and serious cyber threats.”

The new bill builds on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, which passed the Senate but then fell short in a bicameral conference with the House of Representatives at the end of last year.

The full text of the 891-page bill can be found on the committee’s website.

Reposted with permission from Public Power Daily

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