- House Republicans Ready to Compromise on Energy
- January 20, 2016
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) made news this week when he said that House Republicans would be willing to remove some of the more partisan and controversial measures in his energy legislation package to make it more bipartisan and increase its chances of actually becoming law.
“If the Senate can get a bill off the floor, then we can reach an agreement that is bipartisan. We aren’t looking for a veto strategy. We want to work with the administration. We’ve had a lot of conversations in good faith. I think adjustments would be made to the House passed bill where we could reach an accord with the Democrats and the administration and with the Senate to get a bill signed.”
The Upton bill originally enjoyed wide bipartisan support. Democratic support for the bill collapsed after Upton filed a manager’s amendment last year that removed many of the provisions supported by Democrats.
The fossil-fuel heavy bill garnered a veto threat from President Barack Obama who said it would undermine efforts to lower carbon emissions.
If we are going to get a bipartisan energy bill across the finish line, however, the Senate will need to start moving. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and ranking Democrat Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have co-authored legislation in the Senate that would streamline permitting for liquefied natural gas exports (something Upton says must be included in any final bill), boosts energy efficiency standards for federal buildings, permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and provides for upgrades to the electrical grid.
Murkowski has been pushing to get floor time to move the bill as soon as possible.