Senate Passes Broad Energy Infrastructure Modernization Bill

Date: April 21, 2016

Measure Would Boost Alternative Energy Sources, Expedite Approval Of LNG Exports

In an 85-12 vote Wednesday, the Senate approved “its first ambitious energy bill in a decade,” the AP reports. The “far-reaching” measure “reflects significant changes in US oil and natural gas production over the past decade and boosts alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power.” In addition, it would “speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia.” According to the Christian Science Monitor, the bill “would promote upgrades” to the nation’s power grid in response to changing energy production, including a rise in the use of wind and solar power. The measure would also “authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” as well as the construction “of ports for shipping American-sourced natural gas overseas.” The New York Times reports that the bill was approved “largely by avoiding the hot-button topics of climate change and oil and gas exploration that have thwarted other measures.” The bill “includes provisions to promote renewable energy, improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and to cut some planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution.”

What Happens Next

Despite its broad support in the Senate, the latest energy bill isn’t a done deal. The AP reports that the measure now faces a reconciliation process to align it with similar legislation passed in the House. President Obama has previously warned he would veto the House version.

What This Means For Small Businesses

The overwhelming bipartisan Senate support for this energy legislation is a welcome change of pace from the typical bipartisan bickering seen in Congress. However, it remains to be seen whether lawmakers can put their differences aside to craft legislation that works for America’s job creators, the small businesses working in the energy sector that would welcome new business opportunities from well-crafted legislation.

Additional Reading

The Houston Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post are among additional outlets covering the measure’s passage.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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