Congress Nears Conference on Energy Bill 1
After negotiations with key Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday he was prepared to seek a conference with the House on energy policy legislation.
“The Speaker wants to go to conference. I want to go to conference,” Reid, D-Nev., said on the floor Friday. “We know we can’t do a bill unless we include the Republicans in it.”
The unanimous consent to move to conference was blocked on a procedural basis by John Cornyn, R-Texas, Friday afternoon because many senators were traveling, but no objections were expected this week.
That said, the battle over CAFE standards remains strong, with the auto industry lobbying hard for the weaker Hill-Terry language (HR 2927). Last week GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner met with Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council, Nicole Nason, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and EPA officials, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally is expected in DC this week.Meanwhile, the natural gas industry is calling for expanded drilling:
The American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and seven other trade associations representing natural gas producers, pipelines, and consumers jointly expressed strong concern Oct. 19 about US House energy legislation that they believe would reduce instead of increase domestic gas supplies. . . . The 2005 Energy Policy Act contains several provisions to encourage production in frontier areas, including ultradeep water, ultradeep gas, and offshore Alaska, which HR 3221 seeks to repeal, they said.