Senate trying to revive reform bill

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Senate energy conferees continue to try to get the House to reach a deal on the reform package, which appeared to be hanging by a thread this afternoon.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) this morning cast doubt about the prospects for an agreement, signaling negotiations weren’t going smoothly and promising a decision “very soon” (Greenwire, Dec. 6).

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters that Senate negotiators are “still hoping for it to come back to life.”

“There’s been some discussion on the Senate side and some interest perhaps in finding a way to get [liquefied natural gas] export shot clock back in the bill,” he said. “Now the question is will the House take it up?”

LNG exports are not among the items said to be agreed to by both sides. The issue was removed by the House last month during the back and forth.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said the energy bill and energy permitting were among the topics discussed during the Senate GOP lunch today, which included Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

“It’s been slimmed down significantly and I would like to see more of a robust energy bill, but it almost seems more of a natural resources bill right now,” Barrasso said.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) updated the caucus on the state of play but acknowledged the calendar remains a challenge.

“She’s trying to get it done, but you know time’s getting short here,” he said.