Off Peak

Deck: 
Congress is still scratching the surface on electric competition.<font color="990000">
Fortnightly Magazine - August 2002
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Off Peak

August 2002

Seven-Year Itch

Congress is still scratching the surface on electric competition.

August in Washington. Traffic thins out, but not the gridlock. For each of the past seven years, there's been an energy bill lurking somewhere in the hallways of the Russell or Longworth congressional buildings.

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This summer, the Fortnightly asked some staffers and lobbyists on Capitol Hill to rate the chances for passing an energy bill before Congress left for recess.

One Senate staffer, speaking on background, voiced confidence that a bill would emerge from the conference committee that began deliberations June 26 with 70 televised opening statements from the conferees.

But another insider saw the issue not as whether Congress will act, but if it ought to at all:

"There's great political cover, in having something like this on the shelf."

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