Senate approves energy bill


  • Susan Bush


The controversial National Energy Security Act of 1992 (S2166) was approved by the Senate in a 94-4 vote on February 19 after a circuitous route through the chamber. The original energy bill, SI220, was introduced last summer and was blocked from coming to the Senate floor by a filibuster. The new bill is considerably different from the original energy bill.

The sponsor of the bill, S. Bennett Johnston (D-La.), and cosponsor Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyo.) agreed to abandon certain controversial components in order to keep the bill moving. The main program dropped is the proposal to open parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling. Environmentalists were opposed to the drilling and were able to block the entire bill last fall, so Johnston agreed to abandon the provision.