Lawmakers optimistic energy deals can get done | Politico
After two years of gridlock and endless campaigning, lawmakers from both parties are optimistic that the winds are finally favorable for progress on energy legislation.
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and power subcommittee, said he hopes to meet soon with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to discuss areas of compromise.
“I think we have a lot of areas where we have common interest, and I look forward to sitting down with the major players in the U.S. Senate on energy and work it out,” he said during POLITICO’s "Energy and the Presidency" policy discussion Thursday.
Areas of potential agreement include boosting energy research and development, modernizing the electric grid and addressing the nation's booming natural gas production, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) told the audience.
Udall and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said they are especially optimistic that Wyden and Senate energy committee ranking member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) can find common ground.
“I have never been more optimistic than I am right now with Ron Wyden and Lisa Murkowski,” Manchin said.
But Udall and Manchin clashed on EPA, signaling that a broad energy bill faces an uphill battle in Congress.
“When you go out and punch the EPA without thinking it through, it just creates more gridlock,” Udall said after Manchin criticized the agency.
By: Andrew Restuccia
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