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Previewing the Floor Debate on Reid’s Energy Bill

An environmentalist closely involved in Senate energy bill negotiations told TWI that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s energy and oil spill response bill

Jul 31, 2020
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An environmentalist closely involved in Senate energy bill negotiations told TWI that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s energy and oil spill response bill might not pass until September, given the short time frame before the August recess.
“I think it’s unclear whether any of this energy bill can pass before the August break. It wouldn’t surprise me if they begin debate and then finish in September,” the environmentalist said.
As for a renewable energy standard, which would require that a certain percentage of the country’s electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar, the votes aren’t there yet. “It’s going to need the public support of several more Republican senators in order to have a chance at passage,” the environmentalist said, noting that possible Republican “yes” votes on an RES include Sens. Charles Grassley (Iowa), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snow (Maine) and George LeMieux (Fla.). Sen. Sam Brownback (Kans.) is the only Republicanto announce that he would support inclusion of an RES in the bill.
But the environmentalist also said it’s likely that Reid will restrict floor amendments to expedite debate on the bill. “I think it’s fairly likely amendments will be restricted. Otherwise it’s going to turn into a three week debate, even though it doesn’t cover that much,” the environmentalist said.
The Reid bill, even without an RES or a cap on carbon, will have its fair share of controversial provisions. The most controversial, according to the environmentalist, will be efforts to remove the liability cap on economic damages from an oil spill, provisions that are in both the House and Senate oil spill response bills. “The biggest fight is going to be whether or not there’s a cap on liability for oil companies that have big disasters like BP did,” the environmentalist said.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

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Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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