Ideas. Action. Results.

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

By Lindsay Steves

Monday, May 13, 2019

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.

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

  • Reps. 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 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

  • Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA), David McKinley (R-WV), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Cheri Bustos (D-IL)

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)

Lead Sponsors

  • Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Statement from BPC Action

Electric CARS Act of 2019, H.R. 2042 and S. 993

The Electric CARS Act of 2019 amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend the electric vehicle tax credit for ten years and eliminates the manufacturer cap, allowing more consumers and companies to benefit from the transition to electric vehicles. The bill also allows buyers to use the tax credit over a five-year period or apply the credit at the point of sale. Additionally, the bill provides a ten-year extension of tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Key Dates

  • Introduced in House (4/02/2019)
  • Introduced in Senate (4/02/2019)

Lead Sponsors

  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT-At Large)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

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

  • Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Statement from BPC Action