The White House on Wednesday said it has “concerns” with many of the provisions in a wide-ranging energy bill being debated in the Senate.
But it stopped short of threatening to veto the legislation, saying it supports many major aspects in it and wants to work with lawmakers to resolve problems.
“Modernizing the nation's energy system and the policies that govern it has been a central focus of the administration's efforts to combat climate change, strengthen energy security and resilience, and enhance our economic competitiveness,” it added.
The bill, which the Senate formally started to debate Wednesday, contains numerous minor priorities from both Republicans and Democrats such as expediting liquefied natural gas export approvals and indefinitely renewing the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Alaska senators push bill to allow Arctic drilling MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria CantwellUnited explains passenger removal to senators Report: GOP lawmakers selling access to top staffers Bipartisan group demands answers on United incident MORE (D-Wash.) drafted the bill with the stated goal of remaining bipartisan.
The White House welcomed much of the legislation, particularly the parts dealing with energy efficiency, infrastructure and conservation.
But officials said they have “concerns” with provisions it said could hamper efficiency programs, national laboratories and cybersecurity, among other parts.
“The administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address these and other concerns as the bill moves through the legislative process,” it said.