All eyes are on Republican and Democrat candidates as they get ready for next week’s primary here in New Hampshire. As a result, it’s easy to lose sight of the important activity going on in Washington this week. Specifically, the U.S. Senate will likely vote on sweeping bipartisan energy legislation, S. 2012, “The Energy Policy Modernization Act,” which seeks to modernize the nation’s energy policy for the first time since 2007.
The bill, in the works since last summer, is crucial to our nation’s energy future as it looks to facilitate federal policies that will help encourage efficiency, infrastructure, and most importantly future growth. For example, one section of the bill would introduce needed efficiency to the approval process of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects. The current approval process with the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is complex and slow and fails to consider the abundance of natural gas here at home and the growth in production these new infrastructure projects could mean for states across the country. Not to mention the tremendous economic benefits that will come with more production.
The LNG exports language is one piece of this larger bill to bring us into the 21st century. It is clear that Senators on both sides of the aisle recognize the importance of upgrading our federal energy policies. This potentially significant bipartisan achievement must not get bogged down by unnecessary amendments and grandstanding as we have seen in the past. Therefore, let’s hope Senator Ayotte realizes the importance of this energy bill to the nation and New Hampshire’s future.