Senate panel advances two dozen bills

By Sam Mintz | 03/08/2018 01:10 PM EST

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved two dozen bills.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved two dozen bills. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved two dozen bills this morning in rapid-fire fashion, with dissent from Democrats on only one related to liquefied natural gas exports.

That proposal, S. 1981, from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), would expedite the approval of small-scale gas exports.

The bill would automatically label applications to export up to 51 billion cubic feet of LNG per year as being in the public interest.


Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the committee’s ranking member, noted there are several laws already in place that help expedite small-scale exports, including rules adopted under former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The Trump administration has already approved the export of more than 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year, Cantwell said.

"Clearly, the department has already more than enough discretion to expedite LNG and does not need more. I believe S. 1981 goes too far," she said.

The bill passed the committee by a 13-10 vote, with only West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin crossing party lines.

The other 23 bills passed by voice vote.

"It’s a pretty good start here, but it’s my intention to hold at least one more markup in the very near future to move additional bills through the committee in hopes of giving them a chance to pass on the Senate floor," said committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

She called on Senate leadership to take notice, pointing out that more than 50 bills were previously approved by the panel that are still waiting for votes on the floor.

"Even the items that should move have a hard time getting across the finish line," she said.

The 23 bills passed by voice vote:

  • S. 79, from Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), which would establish a pilot program to identify security vulnerabilities for certain power sector entities.
  • S. 186, from Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), which would change the Federal Power Act to treat any inaction by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that allows a rate change to go into effect as a commission order for the purposes of rehearing and court review.
  • S. 1059, from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), which would extend the authorization of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 relating to the disposal site in Mesa County, Colo.
  • S. 1160, from Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), which would include Livingston County and the cities of Jonesboro and Freeport in the Lincoln National Heritage Area.
  • S. 1181, from Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), which would direct the secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to expedite access to certain federal land for good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions.
  • S. 1260, from Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), which would authorize the exchange of federal land in the Gulf Islands National Seashore for non-federal land in Jackson County, Miss.
  • S. 1335, from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), which would establish the Ste. Genevieve National Historic Site in the state of Missouri.
  • S. 1336, from Gardner, which would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reauthorize hydroelectric production incentives and efficiency improvement incentives.
  • S. 1337, from Manchin, which would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to make certain strategic energy infrastructure projects eligible for loan guarantees.
  • S. 1446, from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), which would reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation Program.
  • S. 1457, from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), which would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to direct the secretary of Energy to carry out demonstration projects relating to advanced nuclear reactor technologies to support domestic energy needs.
  • S. 1563, from Manchin, which would authorize DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy to develop advanced separation technologies for the extraction and recovery of rare earth elements and minerals from coal and coal byproducts.
  • S. 1602, from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), which would authorize the secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating certain land as the Finger Lakes National Heritage Area.
  • S. 1692, from Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), which would authorize the National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia.
  • S. 1799, from Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), which would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to facilitate the commercialization of energy and related technologies developed at Department of Energy facilities with promising commercial potential.
  • S. 1860, from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), which would adjust the FERC process for approving public utility mergers and acquisitions.
  • S. 2213, from Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), which would authorize Pacific Historic Parks to establish a commemorative display to honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served in the Pacific during World War II.
  • S. 2325, from Murkowski, which would incentivize the hiring of U.S. workers in the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • H.R. 589, from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), which would establish DOE policy for science and energy research and development programs and reform national laboratory management and technology transfer programs.
  • H.R. 648, from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), which would authorize the Interior secretary to amend the definite plan report for the Seedskadee Project to enable the use of the active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir.
  • H.R. 1397, from Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), which would authorize, direct, facilitate and expedite the transfer of administrative jurisdiction of certain federal land.
  • H.R. 1404, from Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), which would provide for the conveyance of certain land inholdings owned by the U.S. to the Tucson Unified School District and Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
  • H.R. 1500, from Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), which would redesignate the small triangular property located in Washington, D.C., and designated by the National Park Service as reservation 302 as Robert Emmet Park.