BIPARTISAN ENERGY BILL APPROVED BY COMMITTEE
Legislation receives strong bipartisan support
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senator Larry Craig praised today’s approval of the Energy Bill by a strong bipartisan majority of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
“I am very pleased with the positives this bill contains for Idaho and the nation,” Craig said. “We are one step closer to getting American consumers the much-needed relief from high energy prices. This bill will help get the United States back in the business of producing energy, while diversifying our energy supply and encouraging conservation and research and development in new areas of promise. I look forward to helping move this through the Senate and to the President’s desk.”
Senator Craig along with Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) successfully inserted language into the bill which will: (1) require more federal resource agency accountability in the hydropower licensing process, and (2) streamline the complex and lengthy relicensing process for hydropower facilities, a major source of electricity generation in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. In addition, the bill authorizes a Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) – a nuclear power reactor to be built at the Idaho National Laboratory, to serve as a national test bed for advanced reactor technologies and provide co-generation of hydrogen by nuclear energy.
The bill, which cleared the Committee by a vote of 21-1, also contains unprecedented conservation and efficiency measures, reduces peak electric demand by 2020 by 50,000 MW, and reduces U.S. oil consumption by 1 million barrels of oil per day by 2015. Furthermore, the legislation modernizes and expands the nation’s electricity grid, and encourages the deployment of clean coal technologies and hydrogen technologies aimed at moving America away from its dependence on foreign oil.
The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.