Reform bill conference to meet on Thursday

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 5, 2016

With the clock ticking on the abbreviated election-year legislative calendar, the conference committee aiming to reconcile the House and Senate’s competing energy reform bills will hold its first public meeting this week.

Conferees will meet Thursday morning to deliver opening statements, said a notice leaders circulated last night. Members’ remarks are limited to two minutes, but longer statements can be submitted for the record.

Neither bill text nor amendments will be considered, the advisory states. Aides say staff-level discussions have continued over the extended summer recess, but any decisions on provisions will await members’ return next week.

The Senate voted to formally launch conference talks in July before leaving town (E&ENews PM, July 12). The House had already voted to do so weeks earlier.

Senate Democrats were reluctant to go to conference over the inclusion of multiple provisions in the revised House energy bill that have drawn White House veto threats.

The House bill attracted a limited number of Democratic votes. The Senate bill, S. 2012, passed with broad bipartisan support in April.

A June statement by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) stating a desire to work toward a final bill that President Obama could sign helped pave the way for the Senate conference vote (E&ENews PM, June 20).

Schedule: The hearing is Thursday, Sept. 8, at 9:30 a.m. in 106 Dirksen.