On June 28, 2017, the Senate introduced a bill that aims to revitalize and overhaul various federal energy and natural resources policies. Senate Bill 1460 (S.1460), sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Arkansas) and Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), broadly proposes reform of United States policies on topics such as energy efficiency, supply and conservation. A key highlight of S.1460 is modernization of the electric grid, an issue that has often been touted as a national security concern. Further, on the conservation side, the bill would establish a National Park Maintenance and Revitalization Fund. While details of the bill are still forthcoming, the bill’s authors state that S.1460 will lay out a plan to strengthen the nation’s energy infrastructure.
The Senate passed the previous version of the bill, called the Energy Policy Modernization Act, by a vote of 85-12 in April 2016, but that bill failed to pass the House of Representatives. S.1460 is significant because the bill would be the first time broad changes were made to the nation’s energy policy since the Energy Policy Act was passed in 2007.
As of June 29, this bill was read for the second time, and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. We will continue to monitor the legislative process – stay tuned for updates.