Washington, D.C., Feb. 18, 2004 — Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici introduced his new energy bill in the wake of an agreement reached between Majority Leader Bill Frist and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle earlier that the bill would be considered swiftly, in a constrained fashion and with as few amendments as possible.
The new energy bill, introduced on Feb. 13, is S. 2095. Majority Leader Frist and Minority Leader Daschle submitted a colloquy into the record tonight outlining the agreement reached by the two leaders in a meeting earlier that day.
The leaner energy bill includes the tax package passed by the Senate Finance Committee in May, 2003. The estimated cost of the tax package is reduced to below $15 billion by delaying the implementation of most provisions until later this year. The estimated cost of the total bill is less than $14 billion, taking into account the $1.245 billion savings in the authorizing portion of the package.
The new bill costs less than half of the estimated $31 billion cost of the old bill.
The bill was introduced under Rule 14, which meant it will be immediately placed on the Senate calendar where it can be brought to the Senate floor for consideration at any time without the need to go through the committee process. However, a Rule 14 process is a two-day process, so this will not be completed until the Senate returns from the President’s Day recess.
“I commend Majority Leader Frist and Minority Leader Daschle for their work today to pave the way for a swift Senate vote on this bill.
“I think this bill addresses the concerns several senators had with last fall’s conference report. I agree with the leaders that we want to move quickly to a vote on this bill with a minimum number of amendments. I look forward to floor consideration shortly after we return from the recess.”
“I worked closely with leadership to make sure this energy bill addresses our energy challenges, achieves the same goals the old bill did and creates as many new jobs.
“It does. We cut costly provisions, we didn’t cut jobs. I was particularly concerned about protecting the new jobs created in the near-term. We’ve done that. The tax incentives for renewable energy, coupled with the ethanol, clean coal and natural gas provisions create every single job the old energy bill would have created. They create them as swiftly as the old bill would have done.
“We shaved off half the cost and still pump more than 800,000 new jobs into our economy. The ethanol provision alone will do more to bring new life to rural America than anything that has passed through Congress in the last two decades.”