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Tracking Legislation That Will Advance Clean Energy Innovation Solutions in the 116th Congress

To increase economic growth, create more reliable and affordable energy, and develop climate solutions, the United States needs breakthrough innovation and massive scaling of low-, zero-, and negative-emission technologies over the next 30 years. The Bipartisan Policy Center is tracking bipartisan legislation introduced in the 116th Congress that could advance U.S. clean energy solutions and reduce carbon emissions. Each bill outlined below represents a robust opportunity for continued U.S. leadership in energy innovation and emissions reduction technologies and processes.

Note: This blog post will be updated as new legislation is introduced.

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Energy and Water Research Integration Act of 2019, H.R. 34

The Energy and Water Research Integration Act ensures the integration of water considerations into DOE energy research, development, and demonstration projects. The legislation aims to advance energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices that minimize freshwater withdrawal and consumption, increase water use efficiency, and use nontraditional water sources. As droughts and extreme weather events become more frequent, decoupling water consumption from electricity production will be integral to the United States’ transition to a low-carbon energy future.

  • Key Dates
    • Introduced in House (01/03/2019)
  • Lead Sponsors
    • Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Frank D. Lucas (R-OK)
  • Statement from BPC Action

Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (USE IT Act), S. 383 and H.R. 1166

The USE IT Act (S. 383 and H.R. 1166) aims to further the development and innovation of carbon utilization and direct air capture technologies and processes. The bill would provide support for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and direct air capture (DAC) research and would also aid in permitting for CCUS and DAC projects and carbon dioxide pipelines. It would ensure the U.S. conducts crucial research and builds out the necessary infrastructure to realize the economic benefits of reducing carbon pollution.

  • Key Dates
    • Introduced in Senate (02/07/2019)
    • Introduced in House (02/13/2019)
  • Lead Sponsors
    • John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
    • Scott Peters (D-CA), David McKinley (R-WV)
  • Statement from BPC Action

Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), S.903

NELA intends to further U.S. innovation in nuclear energy technology. The bill provides for the continued development and deployment of advanced reactor designs, a university nuclear leadership program, as well as a long-term strategy for federal nuclear energy research. Furthermore, NELA establishes domestic nuclear fuel supply chains and infrastructure that are essential to America’s long-term energy security and global leadership.

  • Key Dates
    • Introduced in Senate (03/27/2019)
    • Introduced in House (6/18/2019)
  • Lead Sponsors
    • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    • Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA)
  • Statement from BPC Action

Driving America Forward Act, H.R. 2256 and S. 993

The Electric CARS Act of 2019 (H.R. 2042 and S. 993) amends the Internal Revenue Code to expand the tax credit for both new plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. Under current law, consumers may receive a tax credit of $7,500 if they purchase an eligible vehicle; however, the tax credits phase out permanently once automakers sell over 200,000 vehicles. The Driving America Forward Act would raise the cap to 600,000 vehicles, giving more consumers the chance to take advantage of the tax credit. The bill would also extend the hydrogen fuel cell credit through 2028.

  • Key Dates
    • Introduced in House (4/09/2019)
    • Introduced in Senate (4/10/2019)
  • Lead Sponsors
    • Dan Kildee (D-MI)
    • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Enhancing Fossil Fuel Energy Carbon Technology Act (EFFECT Act), S. 1201

The EFFECT Act amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and alter the focus of federal fossil energy research to promote the development and demonstration of cleaner coal and natural gas technologies. The bill supports the advancement of carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects by proposing funding increases for carbon utilization and advanced energy systems research. Such research will be crucial for advancing carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Key Dates
    • Introduced in Senate (04/11/2019)
  • Lead Sponsors
    • Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Statement from BPC Action

Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovation for Natural Gas (LEADING) Act, S. 1685

The LEADING Act requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a program to develop cost-effective carbon capture technologies that can be used at natural gas-generating power facilities. The aim is to incentivize research and innovation to accelerate the development and commercialization of natural gas carbon capture technologies. The bill will also require DOE to solicit applications for demonstration projects of such technologies.

  • Key Dates
    • Introduced in Senate (5/23/2019)
  • Lead Sponsors
    • John Cornyn (R-TX), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
  • Statement from BPC Action

Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act, S. 1602 and H.R. 2986

The BEST Act (S. 1602 and H.R. 2986) amends the Energy Storage Competitiveness Act of 2007 to create a research, development, and demonstration program for grid-scale energy storage systems. Greater incorporation of efficient grid-scale storage technologies reduces the need to build out new generation capacity, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. Energy storage is also a crucial complement to low- and zero-carbon technologies. Increased federal support for energy storage technologies will help reduce the costs and risks of grid-scale projects and advance American manufacturing and innovation.

  • Key Dates
    • Introduced in Senate (5/22/2019)
    • Introduced in the House (5/23/2019)
  • Lead Sponsors
    • Susan Collins (R-ME) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
    • Bill Foster (D-IL) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
  • Statement from BPC Action
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