Legislative Opportunities for Clean Energy – Draft


Legislative Opportunities to Advance Clean Energy

For too long, Republicans have lost control of the narrative on environmental issues. We must continue to oppose massive federal programs to solve problems that states, markets, and individuals can address on their own, but also propose meaningful policy, so we aren’t sidelined as the party of “no”.

The American people are with us. Despite recent headlines, top-down, heavy-handed environmental programs are neither supported by Republicans nor the majority of the American people. Poll after poll shows that Americans want solutions that deliver cleaner air and cleaner water. The majority of Republican voters supoort advancing clean energy too.

Now is the time for Congressional Republicans to lead on actionable, free-market solutions that provide a pathway to a cleaner environment while growing jobs and the economy, maintaining our energy independence and securing our nation.

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions has compiled a menu of market-friendly pro-growth legislative recommendations for Republicans to lead on in the 116th Congress. These solutions are:

  • Committed to innovation and positioning the U.S. as a global leader in clean energy
  • Leveling the playing-field so that different energy technologies can compete; the government should not pick winners and losers
  • Outcome oriented to deliver measurable job growth, capital formation, improvements in local air and water quality, and reduced greenhouse gases
  • Fiscally responsible and precise interventions that limit cost and growth in government
  • Empowering individuals, states, and the marketplace to act, invest, and implement the cleanest, lowest-emitting technologies available

Current Policy Priorities (116th Congress)

Confronting a Changing Climate

  • Green Real Deal Resolution. A conservative response to the unrealistic Green New Deal Resolution. The Green Real Deal stresses the need for, and effectiveness of, free-market solutions to address carbon emissions and subsequently climate change. The resolution argues for an “all of the above approach” to clean energy generation while also highlighting the need for enhanced R&D, carbon capture and sequestration, and recycling programs.

Reducing Emissions Through Voluntary Reporting

  • Voluntary Federal Framework. Establishing a nationwide system for voluntary reporting carbon emissions,clean energy procurement, and energy efficiency will empower states, municipalities, and businesses to decrease emissions. The framework would increase investment in clean energy and improve transparency and accountability for the benefit of consumers and investors who want results, not greenwashing. Instead of superseding the free market, federal policymakers can build on the achievements of state REC programs and momentum inside the private sector to reduce emission by creating a voluntary system that facilitates a “race to the top” with the lightest possible federal touch.

Building and Manufacturing Energy Efficiency

  • Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act Would coordinate the provision of energy retrofitting assistance to schools. (Energy & Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce)
    • S.253 (Sens. Collins ME, Warner VA) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • H.R.762 (Reps. Cartwright PA, Fitzpatrick PA) Marked up, reported by Senate ENR 7/16/19
  • Materials Pilot Program at DOE Would require DOE to create a pilot program for energy efficient materials, including roofing, lighting, windows, doors, HVAC, ventilation and energy generation.(Energy & Natural Resources)(Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.520 (Sens. Klobuchar, Hoeven ND) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending
  • Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act Would promote energy savings in residential and commercial buildings and industry. The bill would ensure that all Department of Energy code change proposals are made available to the public, including calculations on costs and savings; subject to the official rulemaking process, allowing for public comment; and Taking into account small business concerns.(Energy & Commerce)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3586 (Reps. Flores TX, Schrader OR)
  • The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act Would promote the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of the economy. It would incentivize the use of efficiency technologies that are commercially available today, can be widely deployed across the country, and quickly pay for themselves through energy savings.(Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.2137 (Sens. Shaheen NH, Portman OH)
    • House introduction pending
  • Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act Would improve the productivity and energy efficiency of the manufacturing sector by directing the Sec. of Energy, in coordination with the National Academies and other federal agencies, to develop a national smart manufacturing plan and to provide assistance to small-and-medium-sized manufacturers in implementing smart manufacturing programs. (Energy & Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce, Science, Space & Technology)
    • S.715 (Sens. Shaheen NH, Alexander TN) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • H.R.1633 (Reps. Welch – VT, Reed – NY)
  • BRIGHT Act Would require the GSA to procure the most life-cycle cost-effective and energy efficiency lighting products and to issue guidance on the efficiency, effectiveness, and economy of those products. (Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs)
    • S.1874 (Sens. Peters MI, Johnson WI)
    • House introduction pending
  • Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act Would encourage the increased use of performance contracting in federal facilities. (Energy & Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce, Science, Space & Technology)
    • S.1706 (Sens. Gardner CO, Coons DE) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • H.R.3079 (Reps. Welch VT, Kinzinger IL)
  • Commercial, Low Emissions and Net Energy Reduction Buildings Act Would extend the tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings through December 31, 2019. Under current law, the deduction expired after December 31, 2017. (Ways & Means)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3051 (Reps. Kelly PA, Jefferson NJ)
  • Smart Building Acceleration Act Would provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements. Homeowners who demonstrate at least a 20% energy savings would receive a $2,500 rebate. Those who demonstrate at least a 40% energy savings would receive a $5,000 rebate. (Energy & Commerce, Transportation & Infrastructure, Science, Space & Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.2044 (Rep. Kinzinger IL)
  • CHP Support Act Would help unleash the potential of CHP and WHP systems by authorizing continued funding for a network of ten Technical Assistance Partnerships (TAPs) for five years. TAPs provide CHP and WHP education to potential system hosts so that they can learn more about the technology and determine if it’s the right fit for their company. (Energy & Commerce, Transportation & Infrastructure, Science, Space & Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.1480 (Reps. Welch VT, Kinzinger IL, Tonko NY, McKinley WV)
  • All-of-the-Above Federal Building Energy Conservation Act Would help the federal government improve energy efficiency, while providing flexibility in using efficient fuels, like natural gas, that would otherwise be phased out while enhancing federal building energy efficiency standards. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • H.R.1245 (Sens. Hoeven ND, Manchin WV) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending
  • Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act Would amend the National Energy Conservation Policy Act to improve Federal energy and water performance requirements for Federal buildings and establish a Federal Energy Management Program. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.1857 (Sens. Murkowski AK, Manchin WV) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending
  • Smart Energy and Water Efficiency Act Would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish a smart energy and water efficiency program, and for other purposes. (E&C; NRC; SST; T&I)
  • Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act Would reauthorize the Weatherization Assistance Program (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.983 (Sens. Coons DE, Collins ME) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending

Conservation & Resiliance

  • Save Our Seas 2.0 Act Would spur innovation and help reduce the creation of plastic waste, find uses for already existing plastic waste to keep it from entering the oceans, and tackle the problem on a global scale. (Commerce, Science & Transportation)
    • S.1982 (Sens. Sullivan AK, Whitehouse RI)
    • House introduction pending
  • Coastal State Climate Preparedness Act Would amend the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to require the Secretary of Commerce to establish a coastal climate change adaptation preparedness and response program. (Natural Resources)
    • House introduction pending
    • H.R.3541 (Reps. Carbajal CA, Rooney FL)

Carbon Capture & Fossil Energy

  • USE IT Act Would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill would also support federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines. (EPW; E&C, NRC, SST, T&I)
    • S.383 (Sens. Barrasso WY, Whitehouse RI) Marked up, reported by EPW 4/10/19
    • H.R.1166 (Reps. Peters–CA, McKinley–WV)
  • Securing Energy for our Armed Forces Using Engineering Leadership Act Would require DoD to carry out the Direct Air Capture and Blue Carbon Removal Technology Program. (Armed Services)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3227 (Reps. Beyer VA, Schweikert AZ)
  • Small Scale LNG Access Act Would amend the Natural Gas Act to expedite approval of exports of small volumes of natural gas. (Energy & Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce)
    • S.816 (Sen. Cassidy LA) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • H.R.1836 (Reps. Yoho FL, Waltz FL)
  • Enhancing Fossil Fuel Energy Carbon Technology Act Would amend the fossil energy research and development provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to enhance fossil fuel technology, and for other purposes. (Energy & Commerce)
    • S.1201 (Sens. Manchin WV, Murkowski AK) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending
  • LEADING Act Would incentivize R&D of CCS for natural gas to ensure a reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy supply. Would also promote the continued use of natural gas so we can keep energy bills low, maintain U.S. energy security, and protect the environment all at the same time. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.1685 (Sens. Cornyn TX, Coons DE) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending

Energy Storage

  • Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act Would advance grid-scale energy storage through a 5-year R&D and demonstration program at DOE totaling $300 million. Programs would seek to develop “Highly Flexible”, “Long Duration” and Seasonal” energy storage systems. (Energy & Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce, Science, Space & Technology)
    • S.1602 (Sens. Collins ME, Smith MN)
    • H.R.2986 (Reps. Foster IL, Herrera Beutler WA, Gonzalez OH, Casten IL)
  • Joint Long-Term Storage Act Would require DOE to establish a demonstration initiative focused on the development of long-duration energy storage technologies, including a joint program to be established in consultation with the Secretary of Defense. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.2048 (Sens. King ME, Heinrich NM)
    • House introduction pending
  • Advancing Grid Storage Act Would require DOE to establish an energy storage research program, a demonstration and deployment program, and a technical assistance and grant program. (Energy & Commerce, Science, Space & Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.1743 (Reps. Takano CA, Collins NY)

Grid Modernization and Security

  • Enhancing State Energy Security Planning and Emergency Preparedness Act Would provide financial assistance to states to develop or revise a State Energy Security Plan. The bill outlines the contents of a State Security Plan, including the need for coordination and joint exercises with industry and federal stakeholders. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.2094 (Sens. Gardner CO, Bennet CO)
    • House introduction pending
  • Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act Would establish an energy storage and microgrid grant and technical assistance program. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.1183 (Sens. Klobuchar MN, Moran KS)
    • House introduction pending
  • Securing America’s Infrastructure Act Would establish a two-year pilot program within the DOE national laboratories to (1) identify the security vulnerabilities of certain entities in the energy sector, and (2) evaluate technology that can be used to isolate the most critical systems of such entities from cyberattacks. In addition, DOE must establish a working group to evaluate the technology solutions proposed by the national laboratories and to develop a national strategy to isolate the energy grid from attacks. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.174 (King ME, Risch ID) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending
  • Enhancing State Energy Security Planning and Emergency Preparedness Would provide federal financial assistance to states to implement, review, and revise state energy security plans, and for other purposes. (Energy & Commerce)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.2114 (Reps. Rush IL, Upton MI)

Hydro and Nuclear Energy

  • RIVER Act Would reauthorize hydroelectric production incentives and hydroelectric efficiency improvement incentives. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.859 (Sen. Gardner CO) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending
  • Nuclear Waste Policy Would reform financing mechanisms to protect ratepayers and assure the DOE has adequate funding to construct and operate a multi-generational infrastructure project. Directs DOE to move forward with a temporary storage program to consolidate spent nuclear fuel from sites with a decommissioned reactor while work on the Yucca Mountain repository progresses and prioritizes the transfer of spent fuel from seismically active areas to interim sites. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.1234 (Sens. Murkowski AK, Alexander TN, Feinstein CA)
    • H.R.2699 (Reps. McNerney—CA , Shimkus-IL)
  • STRANDED Act Would award economic impact grants to local government entities to offset the economic impacts of stranded nuclear waste, establish a task force to identify existing funding that could benefit these communities and create a competitive grant program to help these communities find alternatives to nuclear facilities, generating sites and waste sites. (Environment & Public Works)
    • S.1985 (Reps. Duckworth IL, Collins ME)
    • House introduction pending
  • Reliable Investment in Vital Energy Reauthorization Act Would reauthorizes hydroelectric production incentives and hydroelectric efficiency improvement incentives. (Energy & Commerce)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3361 (Reps. McKinley WV, Tonko NY)
  • Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA) Would establish advanced nuclear goals, provide for a versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source, make available high-assay, low-enriched uranium for R&D, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactor concepts. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.903 (Sen. Murkowski – AK, Manchin – WV) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • House introduction pending
  • Advanced Nuclear Fuel Availability Act Would direct the Department of Energy to develop and deploy high-assay low-enriched uranium for domestic commercial use and to develop a schedule for recovering costs associated with such development. (Energy & Commerce)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.1760 (Rep. Flores – TX, McNerney – CA)

Jobs in Clean Energy

  • Energy Jobs for Our Heroes Act Would establish a program to prepare veterans for careers in the energy industry, including the solar, wind, cybersecurity, and other low-carbon emissions sectors or zero-emissions sectors of the energy industry. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.876 (Sens. Duckworth IL, Graham SC, Bennet CO, Gardner CO)
    • House introduction pending
  • Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act Would requires the Secretary of Energy to establish an offshore wind career training grant program, and for other purposes. (Energy & Natural Resources)
    • S.1769 (Sens. Markey MA, Collins ME)
    • House introduction pending

R&D and Innovation

  • Fossil Energy Research and Development Act Would direct federal research in fossil energy and to promote the development and demonstration of environmentally responsible coal and natural gas technologies, and for other purposes. (Science, Space, & Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3607 (Reps. Veasey TX, Schweikert AZ) SST markup 7/24/19
  • Wind Energy Research and Development Act Would provide for a program of wind energy research, development, and demonstration. (Science, Space, & Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3609 (Reps. Tonko NY, Fortenberry NE) SST markup 7/24/19
  • Solar Energy Research and Development Act Would provide for a program of solar energy research, development, and demonstration (Science, Space, & Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3597 (Reps. McAdams UT, Fortenberry NE) SST markup 7/24/19
  • Challenges & Prizes for Climate Act Would direct DOE to provide for prize competitions relating to climate and energy, and for other purposes. (Energy & Commerce, Science, Space & Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3100 (Reps. Fortenberry NE, Fitzpatrick PA)
  • Small Businesses Partnering with National Labs Act Would allow small businesses to gain access to premier facilities at the national labs, spurring innovation and stimulating the culture of private-public collaboration. The bill also streamlines the application and approval process for vouchers, eliminating barriers that prevent small businesses from exploring the potential of new technologies. (Energy & Natural Resources; Science, Space & Technology)
  • IMPACT for Energy Act Would establish a nonprofit foundation to engage with the private sector to raise funds that support the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies that address tomorrow’s energy challenges. (Energy & Natural Resources)

Removing Statutory Barriers

  • Renewable Energy Certainty Act Would allow federal agencies to enter into 30-year PPAs for energy generated from renewable resources or cogeneration. Longer PPA’s improve the financial viability of wind projects. Apart from the Department of Defense, federal agencies can currently only enter into 10-year PPAs with energy providers. (Energy & Commerce, Oversight & Government Reform)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.932 (Reps. Welch VT, Norman SC)
  • Financing Our Energy Future Act Would provide investors of clean energy projects access to Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), an existing tax advantage currently available only to investors in fossil fuel-based energy projects. (Finance/Ways & Means)

Tax Incentives for Clean Energy

  • Tax Extenders Would extend certain expired and expiring tax provisions, many of which incentivize investments in the clean energy space. (Finance, Ways & Means)
    • S.617 (Sens. Grassley IA, Wyden OR)
    • H.R.3301 (Rep. Thompson CA) Marked up, reported by W&M 6/20/19
  • Carbon Capture Modernization Act Would modernize the Section 48A tax credit for clean coal facilities to better support the use of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. The Section 48A tax credit was first established in 2005, and CO2 capture projects were made eligible in 2008. However, the current eligibility standards for the credit are not technically or economically feasible for CCS retrofit projects. (Finance; Ways & Means)
    • S.407 (Sens. Hoeven ND, Smith MN)
    • H.R.1796 (Reps. McKinley WV, Peterson MN)
  • Carbon Capture Improvement Act Would provide for the issuance of exempt facility bonds for qualified CCS facilities. (Finance)
    • S.1763 (Sens. Bennet CO, Portman OH)
    • House introduction pending
  • Nuclear Powers America Act Would provide existing nuclear power plants with an investment tax credit. (Finance; Ways & Means)
  • Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act Would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make qualified biogas property and qualified manure resource recovery property eligible for the energy credit and to permit renewable energy bonds to finance qualified biogas property, and for other purposes. (Finance/Ways & Means, Science, Space, and Technology)
    • Senate introduction pending
    • H.R.3744 (Reps. Kind WI, Reed NY)
  • Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act Would expand the existing investment tax credit for solar energy to include energy storage technology, including large, utility-scale energy storage projects or smaller battery systems for residential use. Storage technology is only currently eligible for the ITC in certain cases. (Finance; Ways & Means)
  • Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Reform Driving America Forward Act would allow consumers to claim a $7,000 tax credit on electric vehicles on an additional 400,000 vehicles per automaker. Current law allows for up to a $7,500 tax credit on 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer, after which the credit is phased out. (Finance; Ways & Means)
    • S.1094 (Sens. Stabenow MI, Alexander TN, Peters MI, Collins ME)
    • H.R.2256 (Rep. Kildee MI)
  • Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act Would extend the energy credit for offshore wind facilities. (Finance)
    • S.1988 (Sens. Carper DE, Collins ME)
    • House introduction pending
  • HOMES Act Would establish a Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program. (Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means)
    • House introduction pending
    • H.R.2043 (Reps. Welch VT, McKinley WV)

Transportation Electrification

  • Vehicle Innovation Act Would promote investments in R&D of clean vehicle and advanced safety technologies to increase fuel efficiency. Examples technologies include vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communications, mild hybrid, engine down speeding, power pack modeling and testing, advanced boosting systems, new vehicle sensing and communication, hydrogen and natural gas refueling and electric vehicle charging technology. Also would authorize critical resources for the Vehicle Technologies Office to encourage R&D to keep pace with emerging advanced technologies. (Energy & Natural Resources; Natural Resources)
    • S.1085 (Sens. Peters MI, Alexander TN) Marked up, reported by ENR 7/16/19
    • H.R.2170 (Rep. Dingell MI)

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