U.S. Senate Passes Energy Bill

Provisions promote efficiency, infrastructure, and innovation

power lines© iStockphoto

The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S. 2012) aims to upgrade America’s energy infrastructure.

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. Senate has debated comprehensive energy legislation for the first time since 2007. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S. 2012), co-sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), aims, in part, to upgrade America’s energy infrastructure and contains provisions to increase the deployment of renewable and efficient energy technologies. The clean energy provisions of the bill will deliver meaningful economic, environmental, and national security benefits to the United States.

Although the nation has made strides toward a clean energy future, federal policy uncertainty impedes investment and innovation. The legislation has the potential to help remove barriers, spur investment, save consumers money, and create jobs and businesses by:

  • Increasing efficiency. The bill supports more efficient power generation and consumption technologies through provisions that foster greater efficiency in buildings, manufacturing, and vehicles and others that encourage the increased use of performance contracting in federal facilities to improve infrastructure and reduce operational and maintenance costs.
  • Modernizing infrastructure. The legislation upgrades electricity infrastructure by encouraging distributed, renewable, and efficient technologies and addressing grid reliability and security through research, development, and improved power grid energy storage.
  • Supporting research and development. The bill ensures that cutting-edge products and processes are developed in the United States by providing continued investment in basic science and innovative energy research, including establishing microlabs near national laboratories to enhance collaboration and accelerate the transfer of technology to the private sector and instituting a research, development, and deployment program to reduce vehicle emissions.

When the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate work to craft a common energy bill, we hope they will safeguard provisions that promote and protect the nation’s energy infrastructure, security, environment, and economy. Working together, the public and private sectors, policymakers, innovators, and businesspeople can fortify the United States’ position in the growing and promising clean energy marketplace.

Phyllis Cuttino is director of Pew’s clean energy initiative. 

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.