Amid changing technology and regulations, lawmakers from the House Energy and Commerce panel said that there will need to be a recalibration of the nation’s electric-grid policy—but it could take a rise above politics to do it.
Rep. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican, said that politics around climate change and fossil fuels have hampered some of the discussions about how to modernize the nation’s energy production and delivery.
“There’s too much digging in. ... We never look for mutually beneficial solutions,” Cramer said at a National Journal event underwritten by the utility PG&E.
Last week, the House passed a comprehensive energy bill from Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, which included several provisions meant to upgrade security and reliability of the electric grid and to improve energy efficiency.
But the bill also contained language meant to streamline oil and gas infrastructure, and it didn’t go as far as Democrats wanted to acknowledge and address climate change. Democrats fled, dashing dreams of a bipartisan energy bill.
Oregon's Kurt Schrader was one of the nine Democrats to vote for the final bill, which he said was hampered by politicking on both sides of the aisle.