As reported in our last issue, the U. S. Senate has been debating S. 2012, the bipartisan energy bill over the last two weeks. A number of amendments to the bill have been discussed and some voted upon. However, an attempt to bring discussion on the bill to a close failed today when the sponsors could not muster the requisite 60 votes needed to end debate (“invoke cloture”). The delay is due to a disagreement over what—if any—provisions should be included in the bill to address the lead-in-the-water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Negotiations over the Flint matter will continue over the weekend.
We will provide an update when more is known about what will happen next. We should also note that none of the LNG amendments outlined in the last issue have been voted upon nor has the amendment authored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) that could reinstate the crude oil export ban.
Wyden Introduces Amendment on Crude Oil Exports
A bipartisan deal was reached in December that resulted in repeal of the U. S. crude oil export ban that had been in place for four decades. Just when we thought this issue was behind us, Sen. Wyden introduced an amendment to S. 2012 that would reinstate the ban if U. S. gasoline prices rise by more than 50 percent under certain conditions. It is unclear whether or not Sen. Wyden will push for a vote on his amendment. Stay tuned!