Upon recent approval of several hydropower and energy efficiency bills by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden indicated that the Senate could consider the measures very shortly. Despite Energy and Natural Resources Committee approval, there was more controversy surrounding S 761 – the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 – which has broad and public support from a wide variety of stakeholders. The legislation would impose a variety of new energy efficiency standards. Three Energy and Natural Resources Committee Republicans requested that their opposition to the measure be recorded; the bill passed only after an agreement was made to delay the offering of amendments until the package is considered on the floor or through the inclusion of certain provisions before its consideration. Senator Portman, the bill sponsor, offered a manager's amendment that included a clarification regarding the voluntary nature of the bill's model building codes. Other Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee members have indicated their intent to work separately on other and perhaps broader energy efficiency proposals.
Committee releases third renewable fuel standard white paper
In its capacity as authorising committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee bi-partisan leadership recently released its third Renewable Fuel Standard Assessment White Paper, focused on greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. The white paper series is meant to be the committee's first step to review the Renewable Fuel Standard enacted as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (PL 110-140). It has been indicated that after receiving input on this and other yet-to-be-released white papers, the committee intends to hold hearings to review the current state of the standard. If possible, legislation to address Renewable Fuel Standard modifications might be developed for consideration. Since the start of 2013, House and Senate members have introduced various bills to address Renewable Fuel Standard-related concerns. Other bills are anticipated as the year progresses.
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