On 20 April 2016, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a far-reaching energy bill, with a vote of 85-12. According to Ed Orlet, NAED Vice-President of Government Affairs, “this bill provides a much needed update in promoting energy efficiency and security to the nations power grid”. Moreover, the bill would not only boost renewables such as solar, wind and hydropower, but also critical minerals, such as cobalt and beryllium, that are used in mobile phones, computers and other electronics. The bipartisan bill is widely popular, but was delayed in early February amid a partisan dispute over a plan to send emergency aid to fix and replace lead-contaminated pipes in Flint, Michigan. U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell, who worked on the energy bill for more than a year and are considered ideological opposites, said they were confident that Senate and House negotiators would agree on a compromise bill this year.
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