U.S. Senate Energy Bill Includes Support for Energy Efficiency and Renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Coral Davenport for the New York Times:The Senate on Wednesday passed the first broad energy bill since the George W. Bush administration, a bipartisan measure to better align the nation’s oil, gas and electricity systems with the changing ways that power is produced in the United States.The bill, approved 85 to 12, united Republicans and Democrats around a traditionally divisive issue — energy policy — largely by avoiding the hot-button topics of climate change and oil and gas exploration that have thwarted other measures.Its authors, Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee, and Maria Cantwell of Washington, the panel’s ranking Democrat, purposely stepped away from any sweeping efforts to solve or fundamentally change the nation’s core energy challenges.Still, the measure, known as the Energy Policy Modernization Act, would respond to the rapidly transforming energy landscape. It includes provisions to promote renewable energy, improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and to cut some planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution.Since passage of the last major energy law, the United States has gone from fearing oil and gas shortages to becoming the world’s leading producer of both fuels. The use of wind and solar power is accelerating as those sources become cheaper than fossil fuels in some parts of the country. And President Obama’s environmental regulations are reshaping power systems as electric utilities close coal-fired power plants and replace them with alternative sources.But the nation’s energy infrastructure has not kept pace with those changes.The bill would promote renewable energy by requiring operators of electricity lines, transformers, and other elements of the electrical grid to upgrade the system, with a focus on large-scale storage systems for electricity to better accommodate the expanding production of wind and solar power. The bill would create and strengthen several programs devoted to improving energy efficiency in buildings.It would give a victory to fossil fuel producers by requiring the Energy Department to accelerate approval of permits to build coastal terminals for shipping American natural gas abroad.The bill has drawn support from a wide range of business and environmental groups, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Pew Charitable Trusts.Full article: Senate Passes Legislation Tailored to a Modern Energy Landscape U.S. Senate Energy Bill Includes Support for Energy Efficiency and Renewableslast_img read more