April 25, 2016

Senate Passes Comprehensive Energy Bill Supported By MSCI

On an overwhelming bipartisan 85-12 vote, the U.S. Senate last week passed S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which includes several policies relating to how the United States produces and uses energy. 

Specifically, the bill includes two provisions that the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) pushed as part of the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Association (EEIA). Those are: speeding the process for approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses and easing permitting restrictions on construction of natural gas pipelines on federal land. Earlier this year, the EEIA sent a letter, which is available here, to federal lawmakers supporting these provisions. The letter was co-signed by 22 trade associations and four labor unions, all of which represent members of the energy supply chain. 

EEIA's efforts were widely credited with increasing bipartisan support for S. 2012. 

The bill was the first piece of comprehensive energy legislation the chamber has passed in nearly a decade. 

The bill will help modernize the nation’s electrical grid and includes provisions on energy exports, manufacturing energy efficiency, performance contracting and building retrofits, ENERGY STAR improvements, building codes, smart manufacturing, water-efficiency, carbon neutrality of biomass, critical minerals, rights to helium and impacts of regulations on reliability. It also includes the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act, which would provide key incentives for installation of energy-efficient products in the home. 

The U.S. House has already passed companion legislation, H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act. The two chambers will now appoint conference committee members who will negotiate differences between the two bills and produce final legislation for the House and Senate to consider.