Energy & Environment

Government spending bill to include bipartisan energy provisions

Bonnie Cash

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate Floor on Monday that a bipartisan energy bill will be included in an appropriations bill to fund the government.

“The appropriations bill will include several important pieces of related legislation. One that doesn’t get enough attention is a bipartisan energy bill,” Schumer said on the Senate floor, an apparent reference to a proposal from Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that was stalled earlier this year. 

“Earlier this year during the debate over the energy bill, Senate Democrats insisted that a provision to reduce [hydrofluorocarbons] HFCs, a very harmful greenhouse gas that is driving our climate change problem, must be included in the bill,” he added. “I’m very happy to report that we have made very good progress towards an agreement on HFC reduction. We are about to get it done, and that’s one of the biggest victories to fight global warming in a very long time.”

The Washington Examiner first reported that bipartisan energy provisions would be included in the omnibus bill. 

According to The Examiner, the bill will also include provisions to bolster advanced nuclear power, energy storage and carbon capture technology. 

A proposed amendment by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Joe Kennedy (R-La.) that would aim to phase down the use of HFCs became a sticking point in the negotiations over the energy bill earlier this year. 

In September, the lawmakers, along with Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who opposed the HFC provision, reached a compromise that aimed to reduce the use of the gases over a 15-year period, but that would restrict states from imposing tighter regulations for at least five years.  

A Carper spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that they expect the HFC provision to be included in the omnibus legislation. 

The Murkowski-Manchin bill would boost research and development into renewable energy and technology to ease pollution from fossil fuels. It has been touted by supporters as the best chance to modernize the country’s energy policies.

Tags Chuck Schumer Joe Kennedy Joe Manchin John Barrasso Lisa Murkowski Tom Carper

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