04.20.16

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Passage Of The Energy Policy Modernization Act

. . . Bill Will Permanently Reauthorize The Land and Water Conservation Fund, Extend The North Country National Scenic Trail Into Vermont, and Promote Energy Efficiency

WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016) – The Senate Wednesday passed legislation in a vote of 85 to 12 to modernize U.S. energy policy, address emerging challenges from climate change to cyber threats, update the nation’s energy infrastructure, and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for the Energy Policy Modernization Act, the first broad bipartisan energy legislation since 2007, which covers a wide array of issues from efficiency to infrastructure, supply, accountability, and conservation reauthorization.  Leahy has long led on reauthorizing and funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Leahy said:  “This bill represents a true bipartisan compromise.  While the bill could have gone farther in addressing the causes of climate change, it is a sign of progress that it includes a permanent reauthorization of both the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Historic Preservation Fund.  It also extends the North Country National Scenic Trail into Vermont.  The LWCF is of bedrock importance in ensuring continued public access to public lands for hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities, which are important aspects of both Vermont’s and the nation’s heritage and stewardship.”

Leahy continued:  “Passage of this bill comes at a time when our energy infrastructure is in desperate need of modernization.  The bill makes key improvements and investments in grid-scale energy storage and advanced grid technologies.  It addresses persistent and evolving cybersecurity threats, increases authorizations for energy research, and invests in workforce training.  The bill also includes important energy efficiency provisions and renewable energy investments, which are positive steps toward reducing our energy and climate footprint, while also saving money for American families and businesses.”

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