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CRAMER: House Approves Amendments to Senate Energy Bill, Votes to Send to Conference

May 25, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer announced a number of energy bills were passed by the House of Representatives today as amendments to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. This bill was passed by the Senate in April, and with today’s approval by the House, the legislation advances to a conference committee.

The House amendments consist of 37 bills already passed by the House, which advance energy infrastructure development, modernization and protection, enhance domestic energy security, and promotes energy efficiency and government accountability. Most address programs administered by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Interior (DOI).

Cramer said the Senate and House bills cover a broad array of energy policy issues but have differences in authorization levels and scope, which will be worked out in the conference committee.

“Over the past decade, North Dakota has been at the center of the nation’s dramatic increases in domestic energy production,” said Cramer.  “While we have lifted the crude oil export ban, there is a lot more to be done within energy policy. This legislation addresses some bipartisan matters, but in this time of changing market dynamics, new regulations, and emerging threats, creating new energy security and reliability challenges I look forward to reaching agreement on these issues and moving on to other challenges in energy policy."

Cramer highlighted the following bills included in the S. 2012 amendments:

H.R. 8 -- the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015 passed the House last December. It includes an amendment sponsored by Cramer that authorizes voluntary vegetation management within 150 feet of the exterior boundary of the right-of-way near structures.  The bill requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite  the review process for federal energy related applications, such as certain pipeline applications, and to make certain information available on its website. It streamlines the regulatory process for authorizing liquefied natural gas exports by establishing a 30-day deadline for DOE to act on applications. It requires the Secretary of the Interior to identify and designate National Energy Security Corridors for the construction of natural gas pipelines on Federal land.

In addition, H.R. 8 directs the Secretary of Energy to develop and adopt procedures to enhance communication and coordination between the DOE, federal partners, state and local governments, and the private sector to improve emergency response and recovery. It creates an interagency task force to coordinate with Canada and Mexico on mutually-beneficial energy policy decisions affecting North America. It repeals a provision included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that requires a 100 percent reduction in “fossil fuel-generated energy,” such as coal and natural gas, in all new and modified federal buildings by the year 2030. And, it directs DOE to establish a clearinghouse to disseminate information regarding available programs and financing mechanisms that could be used to help retrofit and build more energy-efficient schools.

H.R. 1937 -- the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015 was co-sponsored by Cramer and passed the House last October.  It requires the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness in the United States.

H.R. 538 -- the Native American Energy Act facilitates the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands.