Environment & Energy Daily | June 30, 2016 | Hannah Hess
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) unveiled legislation yesterday that would expand the sharing of offshore oil and gas revenues with coastal states, and streamline environmental review of solar, wind and geothermal projects on public lands.
The bill, dubbed the "American Energy and Conservation Act," would also establish a revenue-sharing system for the states and counties that host the renewable energy projects.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined Cassidy and four other Republicans as an original co-sponsor of the legislation, boosting its chances for speedy consideration and potential inclusion in a House-Senate energy conference committee.
"Revenue sharing will receive a vote on the Senate floor," Cassidy said yesterday, hailing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Murkowski for their commitment to addressing the issue.
With Congress poised to adjourn for the summer on July 15, Murkowski has been angling to get Democrats on board with conference talks (Greenwire, May 26).
Murkowski told reporters yesterday that she and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) were laying out a process to tackle disagreements in conference (Greenwire, June 29).
Whether 60 senators will support going to conference with the House on energy remains an open question, especially with the potential inclusion of revenue-sharing legislation.
Cassidy pushed the issue during the three terms he served in the House. More recently, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) stymied Cassidy's effort to set up a vote on revenue sharing during the Senate energy bill debate (E&E Daily, April 14).
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