Politics

Inside This Week’s Cover Story: Obamacare

Olga Belologova
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Olga Belologova
Nov. 21, 2013, 2:17 a.m.

Sen. Mark Be­gich ad­ded a light touch about en­ergy le­gis­la­tion at just the right time.

“There has been some pro­gress made,” Na­tion­al Journ­al En­ergy and En­vir­on­ment writer Amy Harder said op­tim­ist­ic­ally at Wed­nes­day’s Na­tion­al Journ­al policy sum­mit at the New­seum.

“What would that be?” joked the Alaska Demo­crat.

All kid­ding aside, there is a lot of doubt that en­ergy le­gis­la­tion will make it out alive be­fore this Con­gress ends. Des­pite skep­ti­cism from their col­leagues and much of the world, Be­gich and Sen. Sam Brown­back, R-Kan, were still op­tim­ist­ic when they spoke at the event.

“Let’s put something on the table,” Be­gich said. “Oth­er­wise, we’ll be sit­ting here in a couple years talk­ing about why we don’t have an en­ergy policy.”

Both sen­at­ors said that get­ting some mo­mentum on en­ergy le­gis­la­tion can go a long way, even if it means tak­ing small steps.

“It’s a lot easi­er to get 60 per­cent of 100 than 100 per­cent of 60,” Brown­back said, not­ing that passing an Re­new­able Elec­tri­city Stand­ard in the lame-duck ses­sion is “still doable.”

“Why do we have to go to the par­tis­an corners on this?” Brown­back said. “I think it’s pos­sible to do.”

In a bi­par­tis­an ef­fort, Brown­back and Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Chair­man Jeff Binga­man in­tro­duced a bill last week that would re­quire util­it­ies to pro­duce 15 per­cent of the na­tion’s en­ergy from re­new­able sources such as wind, sol­ar and bio­mass by 2021.

On Tues­day, however, Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham, R-S.C., said that he could not sup­port their RES bill and in­stead in­tro­duced a clean-en­ergy stand­ard bill. His ex­pan­ded meas­ure would in­clude nuc­le­ar and “clean coal” tech­no­logy as part of the mix.

While both Be­gich and Brown­back said Gra­ham’s bill needed to be broadened, Binga­man is op­posed to mak­ing changes in it. “You don’t want to be too dog­mat­ic about any­thing in Con­gress if you want to get something passed” said Bob Si­mon, Binga­man’s com­mit­tee staff dir­ect­or, who also spoke at Wed­nes­day’s event.

Oth­er ex­perts soun­ded off on en­ergy le­gis­la­tion and its ur­gency as well, agree­ing that Con­gress should take ad­vant­age of this op­por­tun­ity while it is still on the table.

“We need to stop jump­ing from sil­ver bul­let to sil­ver bul­let and set some real goals” said Dav­id Fried­man, re­search dir­ect­or for the Uni­on of Con­cerned Sci­ent­ists. “What we need to do is get go­ing.”

What We're Following See More »
MORE DISAPPROVE OF COUNTRY’S DIRECTION
Trump Approval Rating Steady
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

According to a new CNN poll, "37% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 57% disapprove—virtually identical to his marks in late September. But the percentage who say things in the country are going well has fallen from 53% in August to 46% now."

Source:
Doesn’t Express Confidence in Marino
Trump to Declare Opioid Emergency Next Week
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

After initially promising it in August, "President Trump said Monday that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic." When asked, he also "declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies."

Source:
IN LIGHT OF 60 MINUTES REVELATIONS
Manchin Asks Trump to Drop Marino’s Nomination for Drug Czar
20 hours ago
THE LATEST
WOULD OVERTURN MARINO LEGISLATION ON DRUG DISTRIBUTORS
McCaskill Will Introduce Bill in Response to “60 Minutes” Scoop
20 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In the wake of Sunday's blockbuster 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on opioid regulation and enforcement, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has introduced legislation that "would repeal a 2016 law that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioid distributors it suspects of misconduct." In a statement, McCaskill said: “Media reports indicate that this law has significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities."

Source:
EVACUATION DRILL STARTS NEXT MONDAY
U.S. Military to Practice Evacuating Americans in S. Korea
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The United States military said on Monday that it would practice evacuating noncombatant Americans out of South Korea in the event of war and other emergencies, as the two allies began a joint naval exercise amid heightened tensions with North Korea. The evacuation drill, known as Courageous Channel, is scheduled from next Monday through Friday and is aimed at preparing American 'service members and their families to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as noncombatant evacuation and natural or man-made disasters,' the United States military said in a statement."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login