Senate Energy Committee Passes Senator Manchin’s Infrastructure Act
On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed 13-7 Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) 500-page Energy Infrastructure Act which will serve as the legislative text for key portions of the final $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.
Along with the Committee’s democrats, three republican Senators also voted in favor of the bill, Senators Murkowski (AK), Daines (MT) and Cassidy (LA).
Ranking member Sen. Barrasso (R-WY) said he could not support the legislation and, “I’m concerned that this bill paves the way for the Biden administration to take over America’s electric system,” he said. “
The bill focuses on energy innovation by boosting new and developing technologies including ways to make cars and trucks more fuel efficient and manufacturing processes less CO2 heavy.
The bill contains provisions that would improve electric reliability and energy efficiency; promote the development of hydropower, geothermal, weatherize homes, and methane hydrates; enhance cyber security efforts; bolster mineral security; and repeals a range of obsolete authorities currently within the U.S. Code.
There were some major republican changes accepted to Manchin’s $100 billion bill. One approved amendment by Barrasso would require the DOE to certify that political influence did not play a role in the selection of projects to receive loans and loan guarantees.
Another approved amendment by Senator Risch (R-ID) would direct the DOE to conduct a study on the economic impact of President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project.
Democratic Senators Heinrich (D-NM), Manchin, and King joined Republicans to pass an amendment from Senator Marshall (R-KS) that would direct the DOE to study the lifetime environmental impacts of electric vehicles. Marshall believes the study would show the environmental, geopolitical and financial cost of EVs would outweigh their benefits.