On July 12, 2016, the Senate voted to go to conference with the House on legislation that would be the first major update to national energy policy in nearly a decade. If some version of this legislation is enacted, it could be that long again before Congress considers another update. The House and Senate have put forward dramatically different visions of what this update should look like (including very different tribal-specific provisions), which we detailed in our General Memorandum 16-041 of June 27, 2016. Given that Congress does not return from recess until September 6, 2016, now is an excellent time for tribes to review this legislation and weigh in with their respective congressional delegations.
The fact that the Senate voted to go to conference with the House is itself, significant. Citing far-reaching concerns with the House’s version of the legislation and a Presidential veto threat, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Vice Chair Cantwell (D-WA) had resisted voting to go to conference. Reportedly, a deal has been reached for some of the more partisan elements of the House bill to be excluded, clearing the way for the conference process to commence.
Senate Conferees: Murkowski (R-AK); Barrasso (R-WY); Risch (R-ID); Cornyn (R-TX); Cantwell (D-WA); Wyden (D-OR), and Sanders (I-VT).
House Conferees: Upton (R-MI); Barton (R-TX); Whitfield (R-KY); Shimkus (R-IL); Latta (R-OH); McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); Olson (R-TX); McKinley (R-WV); Pompeo (R-KS); Griffith (R-VA); Johnson (R-OH); Flores (R-TX); Mullin (R-OK); Conaway (R-TX); Thompson (R-PA); Bishop (R-UT); Young (R-AK); Lummis (R-WY); Denham (R-CA); Westerman (R-AR); Smith (R-TX); Weber (R-TX); Hardy (R-NV); Zeldin (R-NY); Pallone (D-NJ); Rush (D-IL); Capps (D-CA); Matsui (D-CA); Castor (D-FL); Sarbanes (D-MD); Welch (D-VT); Lujan (D-NM); Tonko (D-NY); Loebsack (D-IA); Peterson (D-MN); Grijalva (D-AZ); Huffman (D-CA); Dingell (D-MI); Johnson (D-TX); and DeFazio (D-OR). Note: There are so many House conferees because they are assigned to different sections of the bill.
Please let us know if we may provide additional information or assistance regarding congressional efforts to update our national energy policy.