The U.S. Senate approved a comprehensive energy infrastructure bill this week on a bipartisan vote of 84-3.
The Energy Policy Modernization Act (S.2012), sponsored by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), aims to modernize numerous facets of the country’s energy infrastructure, including improvements to the electric grid, as well as measures to boost energy efficiency, and incentivize exports of natural gas.
“This vote is a critical milestone that will allow Congress to begin the first conference on major energy legislation in more than a decade,” said Sen. Murkowski, the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “While we have differences to resolve, I am confident we are up to the task. Our bicameral negotiations will begin immediately so that a good final bill can be signed into law this year.”
The bill now heads to a House-Senate conference, where the legislation will be reconciled with the House version, which passed in May.
The Senate conferees will be Sen. Murkowski, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Capt. James McCormick, USA (ret.), the program director of Vets4Energy, noted the Senate’s passage of the bill, saying “America needs energy policies that recognize modern technology and available resources.”
“Energy is one of the most important issues facing America, and the energy policies we establish now can take advantage of American resources and workforce, or we give create policies that gives those advantages to other countries who may not care as much about freedom,” added McCormick, the recipient of multiple Purple Hearts, Bronze Star, and Silver Star. “Congress needs to work together on the big energy picture – including our abundant supplies, development of alternative sources, building necessary infrastructure, how it can be funded with minimal government dollars, and using regulations to ensure safety instead of creating roadblocks to progress.”