Sen. Reid Calls for New, Comprehensive Energy Strategy
June 4, 2010
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has asked Senate committee leaders to design a comprehensive energy strategy by the July 4 recess, a move strongly influenced by the ongoing Gulf Coast oil-spill disaster.
The proposals, which could be incorporated into broader energy and climate change legislation the Senate is expected to consider later this summer, will establish new methods for responding to current and future disasters.
Reid suggested one of the proposals would move to raise or lift the federal caps on company liability, which currently stand at $75 million. BP has waived all liability relating to the current crisis, but other companies were also involved and stand to face separate claims. The New York Times expands on the issues regarding reparations.
It has been suggested that this announcement could have negative repercussions on the American Power Act climate change legislation sponsored by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). That is so since Reid has asked for work to be done independently of that bill, which has been in progress for more than one year.
The American Power Act suggests establishing carbon emissions caps and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases 80 percent by 2050. Some congressional staffers expect a lack of sufficient support for the Kerry/Lieberman legislation, contributing to Reid’s decision to pursue new energy strategies independently.
Reportedly, committee chairmen were told to expect floor consideration for their proposal sometime in July. During the week of June 14, Reid is expected to address comprehensive energy legislation with the entire Senate Democratic Conference.
The announcements from Reid come a day after President Barack Obama made it known that he would continue to push for comprehensive energy and climate change legislation to pass through the Senate. Obama also called for the repeal of oil and gas tax incentives.
Posted June 4, 2010, by Reid May (email@example.com), legislative aide for Government Affairs, Financial Executives International (FEI). This summary does not represent FEI opinion unless specifically noted above.