Senators to explore pandemic’s impact on energy


The U.S. Senate Energy Committee has announced a June 16 hearing to examine impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on the energy sector.

Witnesses have yet to be announced, but ME expects lawmakers will be interested in the oil price crash and the more than 600,000 jobs in the clean energy sector lost during the crisis.

The Committee is chaired by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican while the ranking Democrat is Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Sen. Murkowski has already pointed out how the oil and gas industry in her home state has been badly hurt by the coronavirus as well as the Saudi/Russian price war.

“For our state, this is an economic hit that is going to be very, very directly and immediately felt,” she said in a recent interview.

As for Sen. Manchin, he has focused on making sure West Virginia’s utilities don’t raise rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the middle of a pandemic is not the time to cut off essential services… I urge the Commission not to approve any rate hikes while we are still very much in the middle of battling the Coronavirus and have not yet begun our economic recovery,” he said recently. ” It is not the time to raise costs on customers already struggling to pay their bills.”