U.S. Senate passes Murkowski’s energy modernization bill

Sen. Lisa Murkowski addresses a joint session of the Legislature on Feb. 17 (Photo: Skip Gray/KTOO
Sen. Lisa Murkowski addresses a joint session of the Legislature on Feb. 17 (Photo: Skip Gray/KTOO

The U.S. Senate this morning passed Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s energy modernization bill, by a vote of 85-12.

It’s a coup for Murkowski, the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, who says she included the policy priorities of 62 senators, Republican and Democrat.

“Moving forward with this act will help America produce more energy,” Murkowski said. “And at the same time it will help Americans save more money, and save energy, with all the energy efficiency provisions.”

“It will help ensure that energy can be transported from where it is produced to where it is needed.”

The bill has no signature issue. It’s a mash-up of ideas from left and right.

It includes renewable energy and home weatherization. It also funds fossil fuel research and streamlines regulation for oil, gas and mining.

A key selling point for Republicans is that it requires faster permit processing for LNG terminals.

A feature popular among Democrats is the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, for public land acquisition.

The next step for Murkowski is to negotiate a bill that can pass both the Senate and the House.