Senate Energy Bill A Milestone

Vote Today On ‘First Far-Reaching Energy Law In Nearly A Decade’ Follows Yesterday’s Passage Of ‘The Most Passenger-Friendly’ FAA Bill ‘In A Generation’


SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “…the Republican-led Senate will today pass the first major energy bill in nearly a decade. It’s broad, it’s bipartisan, it’s just the kind of legislation we’re seeing a lot of in a Republican-led Senate that continues to show what’s possible with good ideas and good old hard work.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 4/20/16)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): ‘This bill has shown that the Senate does work’ “We have completed our work on a bill that includes more than 350 amendments that were filed to this broad bipartisan bill. We've accepted a total now of 65 of those amendments. And that bill contains priorities from over 80 members of this body. …I think that this bill has shown that the Senate does work.” (Sen. Murkowski, Floor Remarks, 4/20/16)


TODAY - ‘Vast,’ ‘Comprehensive’ Energy Bill Has ‘Many Very, Very Positive Elements’

“The Senate is poised to pass a wide-ranging energy bill that would promote a variety of energy sources and speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia…. the bill would be first far-reaching energy law in nearly a decade.” (“Senate Nears Approval Of Wide-Ranging Energy Bill,” AP, 4/20/16)

“The vast bill, more than 350 pages contains all kinds of measures on some of the less storied aspects of energy: cyber-security, liquefied natural gas exports, energy efficiency in buildings, modernizing the grid. …the bottom line is that the Senate can, apparently, agree on a lot of things related to energy – or at least, we’ll be able to say that if the bill does indeed pass.” (“The Surprising Things Democrats And Republicans Agree On When It Comes To Energy,” Washington Post, 4/19/16)

  • “Energy storage. The bill would spend half a billion dollars, over 10 years, for a Department of Energy ‘research, development, and demonstration’ program on adding energy storage to the electric grid. This is wonky but extremely important, because the more the grid features large batteries, which could be charged up by renewable sources and then switch on in a flash when there is more demand for electricity, then the less it will need to ramp up so-called ‘peaker’ plants fired by natural gas.” (“The Surprising Things Democrats And Republicans Agree On When It Comes To Energy,” Washington Post, 4/19/16)
  • “A better grid. The bill would spend even more — $ 2 billion — on technologies to improve and modernize the electric grid, including significant investments in micro-grids, or smaller grids that are not necessarily connected to a larger transmission system. This, too, is an important step because the grid of the future is going to have to combine battery or storage features with an advanced ability to integrate intermittent, renewable sources of generation, especially wind and solar, to make sure that nobody experiences outages.” (“The Surprising Things Democrats And Republicans Agree On When It Comes To Energy,” Washington Post, 4/19/16)

“…overall, the legislation has been praised by Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz, who said it looked like the bill ‘will have many very, very positive elements,’ and at least cautiously by the White House…”(“The Surprising Things Democrats And Republicans Agree On When It Comes To Energy,” Washington Post, 4/19/16)


YESTERDAY - Senate Passed ‘Passenger-Friendly’ FAA Bill That Will ‘Ramp Up Airport Security’

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD), Commerce Committee Chairman: “Passage of this bipartisan legislation is a win for airline passenger rights, advancing responsible drone usage, boosting the competitiveness of the aerospace industry, and making our skies safe.” (Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, Press Release, 3/16/2016)

“[T]he Senate released one of the most passenger-friendly Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bills in a generation.” (“…Wave Of Consumer-Friendly Legislation Gives Travelers New Hope,” The Washington Post, 3/16/2016)

“The government would standardize the way airlines disclose fees for basic services like checked bags, seat assignments and ticket changes so that passengers can more easily comparison-shop the full cost of flights under a bipartisan Senate bill introduced Wednesday.” (“Bill Would Standardize The Way Airlines Disclose Fees,” The Associated Press, 3/09/2016)

  • “The measure includes requirements for airlines to refund customers for lost or delayed baggage, new standardized fee disclosures, and added protections for disabled passengers.” (Morning Consult, 3/16/2016)

‘Ramp Up Airport Security’ “Senators backed a package of amendments to the long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration that would ramp up airport security…” (“Senate Adopts Airport Security Amendments In FAA Bill,” The Hill, 4/7/16)

  • Improved Defenses Outside Of Secure Areas: “…lawmakers voted to raise the number of Visible Intermodal Prevention Response, or VIPER, teams within the Transportation Security Administration from 31 to 60. VIPER teams, which are intended as a visible deterrent to attacks, can be deployed at airports and train or bus stations.” (“U.S. Senators Vote To Bolster Travel Security In FAA Bill,” Reuters, 4/7/16)



Related Issues: FAA, Cybersecurity, Back to Work, Restoring the Senate, Homeland Security, Energy