This article comes from National Electrical Contractors Association newsletter.
The Senate, in a 84-3 vote, overwhelmingly decided to move forward with a wide-ranging energy policy bill and agreed to enter into formal negotiations for a compromise with the House. The vote on the NECA-supported legislation also formally appointed seven senators to conduct the negotiations on the conference committee: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Barrasso (R-WY) Jim Risch (R-ID), John Cornyn (R-TX), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The Housepreviously appointed 24 Republicans and 16 Democrats as conferees back in May.
Here’s some background to the Energy Infrastructure bill:
The electrical contracting industry specifies, installs and services products related to energy production and efficiency. Deployment of energy efficiency technology and infrastructure has been slow due to marketplace, government and economic barriers. NECA supports a comprehensive energy policy that increases all avenues of domestic production including domestic oil and natural gas exploration as well as clean and renewable energy sources. Key points inlcude:
- Streamline the Approval Process for Pipeline Infrastructure. Congress must ensure that future projects are not subjected to a unnecessarily complicated and protracted approval process. It should also accelerate the regulation process for pipeline safety regulations and foster improved coordination between the government and industry.
- Invest in Clean and Renewable Energy Sources. Important advancements have been made in clean and renewable energy sources, which are both environmentally friendly and efficient. Congress should provide tax incentives to promote the development and installation infrastructure related to renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, high-efficiency coal, and nuclear power.
- Incentivize Upgrades to Transmission Line Infrastructure and Smart Grid Technology. Our power line infrastructure must be modernized. Upgraded transmission line and distribution infrastructure, coupled with implementation of smart grid technology will improve the reliability, efficiency, and security of the nation’s electricity infrastructure. Congress should continue to fund the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program and other programs to fund improvements to transmission infrastructure and smart grid technologies.
- Increase the Deployment of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Waste Heat to Power (WHP). These technologies offer our industrial sector a source of clean and efficient energy, saving money for manufacturers, reducing fuel use, and lowering emissions. Congress should amend the definition of renewables to include CHP and WHP as well as increase their deployment at Federal government, including federally-assisted state and local facilities.
- Promote Development of Energy Storage Technologies. We must find new ways to harness energy generated from renewable sources and maximize its use in an efficient manner. Congress should offer tax credits to incentivize energy storage technology as part of an integrated approach to modernizing the nation’s electric grid. These additional incentives will help usher a national transformation to a smarter and more reliable power grid. NECA Asks:
- Finalize and Pass Comprehensive Energy Legislation: o S.2012, The Energy Policy Modernization Act o Sponsors: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) o H.R. 8, The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act o Sponsor: Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Filed Under: Green engineering • renewable energy • sustainability