Friday, March 9, 2018

Senate Committee Marks-up S 79 – Energy Sector Security

Yesterday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee marked up a number of bills, including S 79, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act. The Committee adopted substitute language by voice vote. The new language made only minor changes.


In §2 of the bill, a new definition was added; ‘Appropriate Committee of Congress’. This is a standard term used to specify which committees are to receive copies of the reports outlined in the bill.

Section 5 of the bill was modified to add an interim report (after 180 days) to Congress in addition to the report after two years.

The order of sections 6, 7, and 8 was shuffled for some unfathomable reason.

The new §7 (previously 6) was reworded to more explicitly outline the protections from disclosure that would be applied to information shared by the private sector with DOE as part of the studies outlined in the bill.

Moving Forward

The second step in the legislative process (congressional hearings) has now been cleared on this bill. The bipartisan support that the bill received yesterday is certainly indicative of the support that could be expected if/when the bill makes it to the floor of the Senate. The question now is if the Committee Chair {Murkowski (R,AK)} will exert enough influence to get the bill to the Senate floor. The bill is innocuous enough (other than the spending provisions) that it would probably be considered under the Senate’s ‘without objection’ process; which eases the time constraint problem legislation has in the Senate.

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