Environmental Groups Urge Senate Not to Conference on Energy Bill

Originally published by: Morning ConsultJune 28, 2016

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A coalition of environmental and conservation groups do not want the Senate to go to conference on the House-passed amendment to the upper chamber’s wide-ranging energy bill.

In a Tuesday letter, 24 groups, including Greenpeace USA and the League of Conservation Voters, urged senators to oppose any motion to reconcile differences between the House- and Senate-passed energy legislation.

“The legislation sent over from the House of Representatives undermines the progress our nation needs,” the coalition wrote. “Their amendment substituted a bipartisan energy bill with a long list of extreme ideological provisions that would take us backwards on many of our critical environmental priorities.”

The League of Conservation Voters also sent a separate letter, asking senators to vote no on the motion to conference on the House amendment to S.2012.

“While the Senate energy package was a bipartisan compromise and the result of many months of hard work by Senators Cantwell and Murkowski, the House version is radical giveaway to polluting fossil fuel industries that would also undermine the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and other bedrock environmental laws,” the League wrote in its letter.

The Senate’s energy bill passed in April on a strongly bipartisan 85-12 vote. However, the House amendment contains riders eliminating the presidential permitting process for energy projects crossing the U.S. border, and changing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s siting process for natural gas pipelines.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has already named 24 Republicans from five committees to the energy bill conference committee.