Congress postpones new energy bill until next term

The Hill:
Lawmakers negotiating an energy reform package have run out of time to come to a deal.

Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said Wednesday that Congress will not pass an energy reform bill this session, scrapping two years of work lawmakers had hoped would yield the first major energy package in a decade.

The announcement, coming days ahead of Congress's expected holiday adjournment, means the end for behind-the-scenes negotiations aimed at combining the energy bills passed separately by the House and Senate this year.

“The conferees were not able to come to agreement on various outstanding issues in time for the House to consider a conference report,” Ryan press secretary AshLee Strong said in an email on Wednesday.

Spokespeople for chief Senate negotiators Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) didn’t immediately comment Wednesday.

Members began working on an energy reform effort after the 2014 elections, with the goal of passing a bill to expand energy production and streamline federal rules this session. The energy industry was also hopeful the effort would result in legislation.

But the House and Senate went in different directions with their bills, setting up a difficult end-of-session effort to reconcile them.
...
With Trump's plan for less restrictive energy policies, it is likely that energy producers will wind up with a better bill next year, as well as regulatory relief.

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