The U.S. Senate is taking up its comprehensive energy bill, the first in eight years, which holds some key points for the increasing role of energy in agriculture.
The Energy Policy Modernization Act enters Congress at a time of very low oil, gas, and natural gas prices and could make it easier for energy production, one of the few bright spots in the agriculture economy at this time of low commodity prices.
The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it will end outdated programs, modernize electric power grids, and extend the conservation fund, "It won't raise taxes, it won't add a dime to the deficit the broad energy bill is a result of a truly bipartisan process and it shows, which is why it was supported in committee by a vote of 18 to four."
The Senate Energy Committee approved bipartisan amendments and kicked out more controversial ones. However, those may still come up on the Senate floor where Democrats are aiming for climate change recognition and Republicans want to make energy project approval easier.