McConnell Urges Senate Democrats to Advance Broad, Bipartisan Energy Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act:

“The Energy Committee worked hard over the past year to develop the broad, bipartisan energy legislation before us.

“Members in both parties focused on areas of common ground, worked across the aisle, and developed legislation that ultimately earned the support of more than 80% of their colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike.

“Here’s what some of our Democratic friends have had to say about the broad, bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act.

“The Junior Senator from New Mexico said this bill ‘is critical to protecting’ his state’s ‘treasured public lands and outdoor heritage.’

“The Junior Senator from Minnesota pointed out that ‘several key measures’ he wrote are in this bill, and that this bill represents ‘a good step’ forward.

“The Junior Senator from Hawaii noted that her proposals in the bill ‘will bolster energy reliability and security’ in her state.

“The senior senator from West Virginia said he was able to include ‘critical measures’ in the bill to help coal jobs and low-cost electricity in his state. ‘It is critical for America to establish an all-of-the-above energy portfolio that includes all of our domestic resources,’ he said, and ‘I truly believe that this bipartisan bill will bring us one step closer to achieving U.S. energy independence.’

“And the top Democrat on the Energy Committee said that ‘If we want to continue to compete in th[e] global economy, we must continue to improve energy productivity and that is exactly what this bill does. The Energy Policy Modernization Act will help ensure that the nation is eliminating energy waste and making improvements in new technologies that will improve our competitiveness for the 21st century.’

“She worked hard with her Republican counterpart on the Energy committee to develop this bill, and they’ve worked together to manage it here on the floor too.

“Under their leadership, more than 30 amendments from both Democrats and Republicans have been adopted.

“For example:

“One of our Democratic friends offered an amendment that he said would ‘strengthen this bipartisan energy bill and help us move towards a 21st century economy.’ The Senate adopted it.

“Another of our Democratic friends said that his amendment would ‘empower us with knowledge’ and help us ‘make informed decisions to protect consumers, key sectors of our economy and our energy security.’ The Senate adopted that amendment too.

“There is a lot for both parties to like in this bill.

“The Energy Policy Modernization Act is the result of a year’s worth of constructive and collaborative work.

“Let’s not risk that progress.

“Let’s keep working together and vote today to advance it.

“If we want to help Americans produce more energy, let’s vote to advance it.

“If we want to help Americans pay less for energy, let’s vote to advance it.

“If we want to help Americans save energy, let’s vote to advance it.

“And if we want to help bolster our country’s long-term national security, let’s vote to advance it.

“I’d note one more thing the top Democrat on the Energy Committee recently said.

“‘Sometimes we can be cynical about this place and what we can get done. Then, all of a sudden, we have a great opportunity to move something forward,’ she said. ‘This is a milestone for the Senate. The fact that we are considering energy policy legislation on the Senate floor in a bipartisan bill, or any bill, for the first time since 2007 is a tremendous milestone.’

“Now, let’s bring this bill to the finish line.

“Now, let’s vote to bring America’s energy policies in line with today’s demands so we can prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities too.”

Related Issues: Back to Work, Energy, Senate Democrats