Bingaman reports on energy and health bills

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By Roger Snodgrass

New Mexico’s senior senator reported on the status of two key bills that are slowly advancing in Washington.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M, has been cast in a central role in both the energy bill and the health care reform bill now playing center stage in Congress.

“We passed out (of committee) a bill we called the American Clean Energy Leadership Act,” Bingaman said in a press conference Monday in Washington. “We got 15 of the 23 members of the committee in support.”

That bill is not expected to reach the Senate Floor before August, he said.

As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Bingaman expressed satisfaction that the measure is a positive step toward more efficient use of energy for buildings, manufacturing and consumer goods, and the creation of a more capable and robust transmission grid.

“It will eliminate the need to build more and more power plants,” he said.

Bingaman expressed disappointment that the Renewable Energy Standard was not stronger. The standards include a requirement that 15 percent of electricity be generated from renewable resources or alternatives such as creating energy efficiencies or purchasing energy efficiency credits.

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