Energy Bill Advances in Senate

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Legislation that would require greater use of renewable energy and make it easier to build power lines is advancing in the Senate.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 11-8 Wednesday to advance the bill although Democrats and Republicans, for different reasons, said they had concerns about the bill and hoped to make changes on the Senate floor.

The bill requires utilities to produce 15 percent of their power from wind, solar and other renewable energy.

It also gives the federal government authority to locate high-voltage power lines if states fail to act. And it would open the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling, in some areas within 10 miles of Florida's coast.

The Senate likely will take up the bill in the fall.

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