WASHINGTON—By a vote of 57-40, the U.S. Senate blocked consideration today of H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2003. The defeat of a motion to cut off debate on the energy policy conference report prevents a direct pass-or-fail vote on the bill itself. Following is a statement by John Kane, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president of governmental affairs.
“It is very disappointing that 11 years after the nation last saw comprehensive energy legislation enacted, a procedural maneuver by a minority of Senators has prevented the full Senate from voting directly on the energy policy conference report. This is a missed opportunity to shape a strong energy future for the United States, although the nuclear industry remains hopeful that, for the good of the nation, the Senate will revisit this critical issue at the earliest opportunity.
“Reliable, affordable energy supplies are the foundation for economic growth and an improved standard of living for the American people. Having as much of that energy come from domestic sources as we can strengthens national security at the same time. The status quo is simply not a better alternative than the bold and modernizing steps that H.R. 6 takes to diversify the nation’s energy portfolio in the years ahead.
“Our country needs a modern, balanced policy. Despite today’s vote, the Nuclear Energy Institute expresses its appreciation to the majority of senators who support the energy policy conference report and are ready to vote on it directly. We commend in particular Senate Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici for his leadership and determination to shape an energy policy that recognizes the importance of having a diversified portfolio of electricity sources to meet the huge growth in demand for electricity anticipated over the next 20 years.
“Our nation’s energy future must not be allowed to hinge on a procedural vote. We have a looming energy crisis staring us in the face, and it is tragic that legislation to secure our energy future is adrift in a fog of parliamentary delay.”
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.