A Senate vote to go to conference with the House on energy reform legislation is on hold as Republicans try to build up support among wary Democrats uneasy with the lower chamber’s own energy package. Republicans had tentatively hoped to schedule a conference vote this week, but Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) acknowledged yesterday that there was more work to be done to reach the 60-vote threshold.
Murphy and fellow Senate Democrats had held the floor since 11:20 a.m., demanding a vote on two amendments: one to block suspected terrorists from buying guns and another implementing expanded background checks. The filibuster stalled and complicated the passage of the $56.3 billion spending package. “I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we will have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks,” Murphy tweeted.
Siemens AG and Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA are close to announcing an anticipated deal to combine their wind-power activities and create the world’s largest wind-turbine maker, according to people familiar with the matter.
One of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court short-listers joined in a court ruling today knocking down a Minnesota climate change law. Judge Steven Colloton, one of the 11 judges the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has said he would consider for the high court, joined two of his colleagues on a federal appeals court in the decision rejecting a 2007 state law that aims to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector.
Sen. Chuck Grassley on Tuesday accused those who oppose wind energy tax credits of employing a double standard, pointing to “market-distorting” benefits to other electricity sources such as nuclear power. The Iowa Republican butted heads with representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Enterprise Institute at a Senate Finance Committee hearing. Karen Harbert, CEO of the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, testified that the production tax credit for wind power, which Grassley has championed since 1992, undercuts fossil fuels and cleaner nuclear power.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) vowed to keep talking on the Senate floor today until Republican leaders agree to consider gun control amendments, throwing a wrench into plans to pass the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee spending bill. Murphy and some fellow Senate Democrats are “holding the floor,” preventing consideration of any other amendments and complicating passage of the $56.3 billion package.
The House Appropriations Committee voted 31-18 along party lines today to advance a spending bill for the Interior Department and U.S. EPA that carries policy riders aimed at quashing Obama administration regulations. Appropriators approved the spending bill a day before the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to take up its own measure. The House legislation spearheaded by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) will now move to the floor, where GOP leaders have said they would limit debate in a bid to increase the chances for passing spending bills.
Top House and Senate lawmakers huddled behind closed doors yesterday evening to discuss how a formal conference committee might reconcile the chambers’ competing energy reform packages. Even though they didn’t say much afterward, the meeting went well enough for them to promise more talks.
atteries capable of storing power at utility scale will be as widespread in 12 years as rooftop solar panels are now, revolutionizing the way consumers use energy. That’s the the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which forecasts the battery market may be valued at $250 billion or more by 2040. It expects 25 gigawatts of the devices to be deployed by 2028, about the size of the small-scale photovoltaic industry now.
This American success story is in large part due to production-based federal policy supported by both Republicans and Democrats. It’s a great example of a bipartisan collaboration, and a legacy this Congress should be proud of. To keep this success story going, we need legislators to continue to support homegrown, well-paying jobs like these.