On The Hill

Energy Update (June 29)

Jun 29, 2020 | SHARE  
House Dems Release Infrastructure Bill Text
On Monday (Jun. 22), House Democrats released the text of their $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill. The legislation includes billions of dollars for modernizing the grid, clean water projects, and clean energy tax credits.
The bill would authorize funding for the development of energy storage technologies through investments in research, technical assistance, grant programs, and demonstration projects. The bill also includes $250 million annually for five years for grants to improve the natural gas distribution program.
The legislation would allocate $46.5 billion for water infrastructure projects and adds $2.5 billion for regional cleanups. The bill targets PFAS and PFOA chemicals and would provide EPA with $1 billion for a five-year grant program for public utilities to limit the discharge in water. Multiple provisions were also included to ensure rural areas are included in funding opportunities.
The clean energy tax credits would extend the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for solar projects until 2025, Production Tax Credit until 2025, and 45Q credit until 2025. The legislation would also expand eligibility for the electric vehicle tax credit.[1]
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said House leadership will not come up with a way to pay for the package before next week’s vote.
“It’s disingenuous at best, and ridiculous at worst, after developing H.R. 2 in such a partisan manner, for any Democrats to now state that when it comes to figuring out how to pay for this massive bill they put together, we NOW need bipartisanship,” House Transportation Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) said.
The legislation is not expected to be taken up in the Senate.
To view the bill text, click here.
To view a section-by-section, click here.
To view a fact sheet, click here.
Green Energy Tax Credits
On Thursday (Jun. 25), a group of House Democrats released clean energy tax legislation that would expand credits for a variety of technologies. The “GREEN Act of 2020” would extend the Production and Investment Tax Credits, 45Q credit for carbon capture, energy credit for offshore wind facilities, excise tax credit relating to alternative fuels, electric vehicle credits, energy efficiency credits, and more.[2]
The 94-page proposal is similar to the tax provisions included in Democrat’s recently released $1.5 trillion infrastructure package.
The House Ways and Means Committee could mark up the legislation in the coming months.
To view the text of the legislation, click here.
To view a section-by-section summary, click here.
To view a topline summary, click here
New Legislation
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced legislation on Tuesday (Jun. 23) to ease the tax burden and royalty payments for oil and gas companies dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. S. 4041, the “Save American Vital Energy Jobs Act,” would help energy companies build liquidity by suspending certain capitalization requirements through the end of the year.[3]
This would allow firms to immediately expense some direct and indirect costs. The bill would also allow companies to expense 100 percent of intangible drilling costs in 2020. Additionally, the legislation would reduce the deposit of certain excise taxes due every two weeks, as well as delay an Obama administration rule for recalculating royalty payments.
“These reforms will allow Texas’ job creators to weather this downturn, continue paying their workers, and invest in their infrastructure for years to come,” Cornyn said.
Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are among the original co-sponsors.
To view the text of S. 4041, click here.
Bipartisan legislation was also introduced in the House and Senate on Wednesday (Jun. 24) to help the energy efficiency sector. The “HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020,” sponsored by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and David McKinley (R-WV) aims to help the industry through rebates, grants, and stipends to hire displaced workers.
The bill includes rebates for homeowners for boosting the energy savings of their properties, and $2,000 for retrofits that reduce overall home energy consumption by 20 percent to 40 percent.
Additionally, the act would authorize $500 million in grants to develop training programs and help companies incentivize contractors that participate in online training to increase their retrofit efforts.
To view the text of the “HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020,” click here.
Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) introduced legislation on Wednesday (Jun. 24) to improve efficiency and air quality in public buildings through grants to states, federal buildings, and tribal governments.
The “Open Back Better Act of 2020” would authorize $20 billion over four years, with funds guided through existing Department of Energy (DOE) Programs.
“Now, more than ever, it’s critical that schools, libraries, medical facilities and other public facilities provide a safe, clean, and energy-efficient indoor environment,” Smith said in a statement.
To view the text of the “Open Back Better Act of 2020,” click here.
Puerto Rico
This week, Puerto Rican officials selected LUMA Energy, a joint venture of Canadian utility holding company ATCO and American construction firm Quanta Services, to transform the grid of its state-owned utility.
LUMA will take over operation and maintenance of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) power grid for a 15-year period, and will operate the transmission and distribution grids responsible for delivering energy to consumers. PREPA will remain the owner of the system, and will continue to own and operate its fleet of oil, gas, and coal power plants.[4]
On Monday (Jun. 22), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced the House will vote on a package to provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in late July. The Senate cleared the legislation last week.
Hoyer said he is confident the bill would pass the House, but blamed Republican resistance for the delay.
“While I am disappointed that Republicans have indicated they would oppose this bill under suspension, which is why I will bring it to the floor under a rule later in July, I look forward to seeing it pass the House with strong bipartisan support and being sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law,” Hoyer said Monday (Jun. 22).[5]
Alaska Drilling
On Thursday (Jun. 25), the Interior Department released its final environmental review of plans to open more of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska to oil and gas development.
The final environmental impact statement included around 300,000 more acres than expected. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Alaska Chief Chad Padgett said the new alternative balances conservation and development, and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the new management plans for the reserve follow President Trump’s mandate to expand the country’s energy potential.[6]
To view the Federal Register Notice, click here.
To view the administration’s proposal, click here.
[1] Adragna, Anthony; Wolff, Eric; Bade, Gavin; & Lefebvre, Ben. “Democratic wish list includes billions for green energy, water infrastructure.” Politico Pro, 22 Jun. 2020. https://link.edgepilot.com/s/af989dbc/vwuTLv9SN0eiE9CSWEhvKw?u=https://subscriber.politicopro.com/article/2020/06/democratic-wishlist-includes-billions-for-green-energy-water-infrastructure-1955383
[2] Adragna, Anthony & Wolff, Eric. “House Democrats release green energy tax credit bill.” Politico Pro, 25 Jun. 2020. https://link.edgepilot.com/s/91695ed0/HTnbpjm_zkyOcFwexj45lA?u=https://subscriber.politicopro.com/article/2020/06/house-dems-release-green-energy-tax-credit-bill-3981960
[3] Koss, Geof. “Lawmakers propose new aid for oil, gas and efficiency.” E&E Daily, 25 Jun. 2020. https://link.edgepilot.com/s/624c72ea/anZH42-0BkSmqipnd0Wgxg?u=https://www.eenews.net/eedaily/stories/1063447373/search?keyword=save%2Bjobs%2Bact
[5] Beitsch, Rebecca. “Democrats set July vote for major conservation bill, blaming Republicans for delay.” The Hill, 23 Jun. 2020. https://link.edgepilot.com/s/3690b3e9/I8jZHrdp_0qvrRIlqSRuwg?u=https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/504069-dems-set-july-vote-for-major-conservation-bill-blaming-republicans
[6] Richards, Heather. “BLM releases ‘significant’ review of Alaska oil reserve.” Energywire. 26 Jun. 2020. https://link.edgepilot.com/s/f1824e8b/91-PqJZ61kmfrRZ1R2I8Ggu=https://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1063454793/search?keyword=alaska


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