If your business is a provider or end user of a renewable energy, efficiency, advanced transportation, or other clean energy technology, pending federal policy could affect your industry. Please review these highlights of upcoming legislation and consider taking action on issues relevant to your company. If you have any questions, please contact Lynn Abramson.
Contacting your elected officials and federal agencies
Don’t see a Pew action alert on a topic of importance to your business? Here’s how you can weigh in directly with Congress and the executive branch on the issues that matter to you:
- Find your senators and congressional representative
- Track federal legislation
- Track executive branch actions
Broad energy legislation
Both houses of Congress are considering wide-ranging legislation that would reauthorize key energy programs, establish new ones, and make changes to various policies:
- Status: Approved by the Senate on April 20. The House and Senate will work to reconcile their bills to send a final version to the president for signature.
- Key details: Provisions relate to energy efficiency, infrastructure modernization, energy supply, and federal agency accountability.
- Status: Passed the House of Representatives in December 2015 and referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; replaced an earlier, bipartisan committee draft, the Architecture of Abundance.
- Key details: Provisions relate to energy infrastructure modernization, building efficiency, agency accountability, and review of the Clean Power Plan by various federal agencies.
America COMPETES Reauthorization Act
The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act, enacted in 2007 and reauthorized in 2010, established multiyear funding goals and policies for key scientific research and development, workforce, and education programs to encourage technological innovation. Bills are pending in both houses of Congress to reauthorize the legislation.
- Status: The energy title was introduced in May 2015, and hearings were held in June.
- Key details: Authorizes a 4 percent annual increase in funding for key energy innovation programs through 2020, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E).
- Status: Passed the House in May 2015.
- Key details: Authorizes energy innovation investments for two years at fixed levels and decreases funding for ARPA-E to 50 percent below fiscal year 2015 levels.
Consolidated tax and spending package
Congress reached agreement on a package of spending and tax legislation at the end of 2015.
- Status: Signed into law Dec. 18.
- Key details: The package funds all federal agencies through fiscal 2016, which continues until the end of September. For the Department of Energy, it provides a total of $29.7 billion, including $2.1 billion (plus an 8 percent increase over fiscal 2015) for the EERE, and $291 million (plus a 4 percent increase over fiscal 2015) for the ARPA-E. The legislation also included a five-year extension and phasedown of the production and investment tax credits for wind and solar projects, and two-year extensions of various recently expired energy incentives (such as those for energy efficiency, alternative fuels, and advanced vehicle technologies). Several clean energy technologies did not receive long-term extensions in the package and may receive further consideration this year, such as fuel cells, combined heat and power, small wind, microturbines, biomass, biogas, geothermal, municipal solid waste, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic energy.
Energy Department funding bills
The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017
S. 2804: Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017
H.R. 5055: Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017
- Status: The budget request for fiscal 2017, which begins Oct. 1, 2016, was sent to Congress in February. The Senate passed its funding bill on May 12. The House has held hearings on a draft bill.
- Key Details: The White House budget proposal includes increased funding to support clean energy programs within the Department of Energy, including $1.8 billion for the basic energy sciences program, $350 million for the ARPA-E, $2.9 billion for the EERE, and $262 million for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. The Senate and House bills would both provide increases to ARPA-E (at $325 million and $306 million, respectively) compared with the fiscal year 2016 enacted level ($291 million), but relatively flat funding for EERE.
CEBN Government Policy
Highlights of upcoming legislation and policies