Comprehensive energy legislation is gathering steam on Capitol Hill.

A House energy subcommittee on July 22 approved a bipartisan measure that focuses on modernizing energy infrastructure, workforce, energy security and energy efficiency.

Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) called the bill a good starting point, but noted that more work needs to be done to ensure that “the right policies are put in place.”

On both sides of the aisle, however, the legislation has critics. Industry groups, such as the American Petroleum Institute, say the bill does not go far enough to lift restrictions on energy exports, and environmental advocates contend it concentrates too heavily on fossil-fuel sources.

Also on July 22, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and the panel’s ranking Democrat, Maria Cantwell (Wash.), introduced a comprehensive energy bill of their own.

The Murkowski-Cantwell measure includes provisions dealing with infrastructure investments and energy efficiency and boosting domestic energy production.
Murkowski has said she and Cantwell could find common ground on the bill’s provisions. “By focusing on areas where agreement was possible, we have assembled a robust bill with priorities from many senators,” she said in a statement.

Murkowski also says she would like to move the bill to the Senate floor quickly.