ICYMI: Murkowski, Manchin Make Case for American Energy Innovation Act

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., took to the Senate floor this week to urge their colleagues to pass the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA), rather than leaving behind years of important bipartisan work and resigning our nation’s energy policies to at least another year without modernization.   

Murkowski Manchin Colloquy 06.30.20

Click photo for video of colloquy between Murkowski and Manchin

Excerpts from the Senators’ Remarks

On the American Energy Innovation Act

Chairman Murkowski: “We focus on a range of promising technologies, including energy storage, renewable energy, carbon capture, advanced nuclear, cleaner vehicles, and energy efficiency. We work to improve cybersecurity. Our bill would help modernize the electric grid. It addresses known weaknesses in our mineral security, our supply chains. It focuses on boosting workforce development and job creation. It renews a range of popular programs, from ARPA-E to Weatherization Assistance.” 

Ranking Member Manchin: “The bill is the product of over a year of work and a robust process, both in the Energy Committee and also on the Senate floor in early March, as you just said. Thirty-nine of the 53 base bills are bipartisan – which you don’t hear very often – and 72 Senators have either sponsored or cosponsored language included in the package. Seventy-two out of 100 Senators, Democrats and Republicans, have participated in this all-in energy policy.”

On the Need for Affordable, Reliable, Clean Energy

Ranking Member Manchin: “This bill is necessary to help us chart the way to a cleaner and more secure energy future. While we’re expecting a 14 percent drop in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector in 2020 – the largest drop ever – because our economy was shut down, those emissions will bounce back as our country reopens. Investing in technologies like carbon capture, energy storage, energy efficiency, are critical for rebuilding our economy, something we desperately need right now, while also reducing emissions.”

On the Importance of Passing the Bill – This Year

Chairman Murkowski: “It would be a mistake – it would be a significant mistake – for Congress to simply give up on energy policy for yet another year…It would be a mistake to decide that this is just too hard, there’s not enough time left. We’ve been down that road before. Ladies and gentlemen, we are so far along in this process that we just need to keep pushing and keep moving. We’re so far along, but the thinking that would push us back to a restart, a reset, it’s just not where we want to be.”

Ranking Member Manchin: “Seventy-two of my fellow Senators have language in this bill that they’ve either sponsored or cosponsored. Let’s move this bill, as is, rather than piecemeal or – even worse – having to start from scratch next year which will put us behind even further.”

Background Information

AEIA contains the legislative priorities of more than 70 Senators and is supported by more than 200 organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Environmental Defense Fund. For more information on AEIA, click here.

Related Issues: Energy