Senate passes bipartisan energy bill

The Senate passed by an overwhelming vote of 85-12 a bipartisan comprehensive energy bill, that touches on many aspects of federal energy policy—from efficiency standards and programs to natural gas export authority—and includes provisions that reauthorize the Department of Energy Office of Science and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The bill authorizes increased funding targets for DOE-Science and ARPA-E for the next five years. A companion bill passed by the House late last year started on the same bipartisan track, but the final bill is considered decidedly more partisan than the newly passed Senate bill. The House bill also does not contain research related provisions due to the differing jurisdictions of the relevant House and Senate committees. Energy research provisions are included in the separate House-passed version of COMPETES and differ from the Senate comprehensive bill.  Hence, the House and Senate bills will now need to be reconciled, which legislators plan to do via a conference committee to get to a final compromise bill to send to the President for signature.