RTO Insider – “Two aides from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources gave PJM Annual Meeting attendees a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (S.2102), the Senate’s first major energy bill in nearly 10 years.”
“Patrick McCormick, chief counsel to Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Spencer Gray, an aide to ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), were the featured guests in the second half of PJM’s general session. Moderator Craig Glazer, PJM vice president for federal government policy, promised the session would be “a cross between a high school civics lesson and ‘House of Cards.’”
“But he and McCormick said it was nonetheless a victory over partisan gridlock – the product of weekly lunch and breakfast meetings between Murkowski and Cantwell, followed by several committee hearings and six weeks of bipartisan negotiations. It ended with a three-day markup at which some 90 amendments were considered. The final bill cleared the committee 18-4.”
“I do think personal relationships matter,” Gray said. “The polarization in Congress … reflects, whether precisely or not, some level of polarization in the country. So it’s more difficult now I think to develop those relationships. And our bosses have worked hard at that.”
Read the full article here.
It’s great that Lisa Murkowski has been engaging in bipartisanship in moving this bill along.
However, if you read the full story with the link provided, questions that arise are:
1. At the end of the day, will this become law? The story notes that “To become law, however, it must be reconciled with a House bill that cleared in December with support from only three Democrats.” So unless the House bill becomes a lot more like the Senate bill, the latter may be in big trouble.
2. The bill apparently has little or nothing for petroleum energy production. If true, the question that begs to be asked is: Why is there a lot of noise about singing Kumbaya, but little that might help Alaska’s major energy industry?
In sum, is the bill basically the slamming together of dozens of uncontroversial and unimpressive provisions that will never become law? And if they did, would anyone in Alaska notice, because they do almost nothing?
Perhaps you can ask the staff- on a bipartisan basis of course!