H.R. 1041 Distributed Power Hybrid Energy Act (PDF) (Representative Mark Udall [D-CO] ), 3/07/2003
S. 2095 – Energy Policy Act of 2003, by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), February 12, 2004– The latest incarnation of the comprehensive energy bill contains many of the provisions from H.R. 6, but is much less costly. (approximately $14 billion as opposed to $31 billion.) Among other provisions, the bill provides incentives for oil and gas drilling, and authorizes the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. The legislation requires a renewable fuel content for gasoline, reaching 5 billion gallons in 2012. The bill authorizes $2 billion for the deployment of clean coal technology, contains nuclear security provisions and encourages the development of advanced reactor hydrogen cogeneration project, and encourages the use of alternative fuels. Furthermore, the bill authorizes $2.1 billion for the Bush Administration’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Initiative, addresses research and development needs in all energy areas, and seeks to enhance the reliability of the electricity grid. Tax incentives are provided for renewable energy alternative fuels, conservation and energy efficiency, clean coal, and oil and gas development.
Significantly, the bill no longer includes a provision which exempted MTBE producers from liability which was one of the major obstacles preventing passage of H.R. 6.
H.R. 6 (The Energy Policy Act of 2003), the House-passed version of the comprehensive energy bill, provides over $30 billion in tax incentives and subsidies to the oil and gas and coal industries to encourage domestic energy production. It also seeks to expedite the construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline by providing loan guarantees and attempts to stimulate a revival of the nuclear industry through a production tax credit for new nuclear power plants. Additionally, the bill contains provisions that promote research and development programs for hydrogen vehicle technologies and hydrogen fuel, and that authorize approximately $5 billion for energy efficiency research and development. More than $3 billion in tax incentives is included for more efficient homes, appliances and cars. Furthermore, the legislation provides a $3 billion production tax credit and $3 billion in research and development funding for renewable energy sources. In addition, the bill contains measures that seek to promote investment in electricity transmission infrastructure and security. The legislation does not authorize drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Descriptions of Major Energy Bills Introduced in the 107th U.S. Congress
Senate Energy Bill (Formerly S.517) (by Senate Majority Leader Daschle)
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle introduced this bill on February 15, 2002. The Energy Policy Act of 2002 contains provisions to encourage both energy production and conservation. The bill includes more than $14 billion in energy tax incentives and expedites an Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. It reauthorizes the Price Anderson Act. It addresses global climate change and environment protection by accelerating the development and introduction of new energy technologies and encouraging the creation of flexible energy market conditions. The bill also expands global climate change science programs and funds R&D that could reduce greenhouse gases. It provides for a White House Office of National Climate Change Response and establishes a national greenhouse gas database to track emissions sources and to allow for a registry of emission reductions.
The measure invests in R&D in alternative fuels, energy efficiency and technology, including clean coal technologies, nuclear energy, fuel cells, and renewable technologies. The bill also clarifies the role of FERC in regulating electricity. The energy bill increases the amount of U.S. electricity produced from renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal and biomass) by 10% by 2020 and expands the amount of renewable fuels used in motor vehicles to 5 billion gallons in 2012. The legislation encourages a 25 percent increase in industrial energy efficiency over 10 years and sets new efficiency standards for commercial and consumer products. The bill does not authorize drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, nor does it increase CAFE standards. This bill needs to be reconciled with the House Energy bill (formerly H.R.4).
S.1926 National Fuel Savings and Security Act of 2002 (by Senators Kerry and Hollings)
Provisions of this bill were stripped out of S.517. On February 8, 2002, Senate Commerce Committee leaders Fritz Hollings (D-SC) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a bill that would have required the Bush administration to increase federal average fuel economy standards for automakers’ combined car and light truck fleets to 35 miles per gallon by 2013, with modest, stepped increases beginning in 2005. The bill differs significantly from that introduced by Republican committee member John McCain (AZ) on Thursday, February 7, 2002, S.1923 (see below). S.1926 sought to ease burden on manufacturers by allowing distinctions between cars and light trucks to continue through 2010, at which time manufacturers’ passenger car fleets would have to average 33.2 mpg while their light truck fleets would have to average 26.3 mpg. The Bush administration would have had 18 months to impose the regulations; otherwise the law would have mandated stepped increases reaching 38.3 mpg for cars and 32 mpg for light trucks by 2013. The bill would have required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue safety standards for vehicle rollovers, crush resistance, crash aggressivity and other “measures to plug current real holes in auto safety.”
S.1923 Fuel Economy and Security Act of 2002 (by Senator McCain)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, on February 7, 2002, a bill addressing automobile fuel efficiency. Under current CAFE law there are separate standards for passenger cars and light trucks, 27.5 mpg and 20.7 mpg respectively. McCain’s bills would have eliminated that distinction beginning in 2007 and mandates an average efficiency of 36 mpg by 2016. S.1923 would allow lawmakers to meet up to 10% of their obligation by purchasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions credits from other companies, including those outside of the auto industry.
S.1781 Emission Reductions Incentive Act of 2001 (by Senators McCain and Brownback)
On December 6, 2001, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) introduced the Emission Reductions Incentive Act of 2001 (S.1781). The bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, where McCain serves as ranking member. The legislation would direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a national voluntary registry system for industry greenhouse gas trading under which emission reductions are assigned unique identifiers. The bill would also establish a Global Change Research Program Support office; require the National Science Foundation to establish a scholarship program for the study of global climate change; and direct the Assistant Secretary of Technology Policy to develop a plan to accelerate the introduction of highly efficient, low-emission vehicles. Additionally, the legislation directs the Secretary of Commerce to report to Congress the effects the Kyoto Protocol will have on U.S. international competitiveness, scientific cooperation and participation in international climate change mitigation efforts.
S.1766 Energy Policy Act of 2002 (by Senate Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Bingaman et al.)
This bill has been superseded by S.517;
House Energy Bill (formerly H.R.4) (by Congressman Tauzin et al.)
The House of Representatives passed the SAFE Act on August 2, 2001 by a vote of 240-189. The SAFE Act is the House version of comprehensive energy legislation including provisions to increase U.S. energy supply such as oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, conservation and energy research and development. This bill needs to be reconciled with the Senate Energy bill (formerly S.517).
S.1294 Climate Change Risk Management Act of 2001 (by Senator Murkowski et al.)
This bill, introduced on August 1, 2001, would establish a new national policy to manage the risk of potential climate change, to ensure long-term energy security, and to strengthen provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974, with respect to potential climate change.
S.1008 The Climate Change Strategy and Technology Innovation Act(by Senator Byrd et al.)
This bill was introduced on June 8, 2001, by Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). It would amend the 1992 Energy Policy Act to establish a White House climate change response strategy office. The office would be charged with developing a national strategy to stabilize U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The act would further authorize climate change technology research and development initiatives that would at least double federal efforts in this area. The measure enjoys wide bipartisan support but there are concerns that it is a much milder alternative to the Clean Power Act/Clean Smokestacks Act that could weaken the chances for that legislation and thereby defer action on emissions reductions. Provisions of this bill were incorporated into the Energy Policy Act of 2002 (S.517).
H.R.2108 Energy Security and Tax Incentive Policy Act of 2001(by Congressman Matsui)
Introduced by Representative Robert T. Matsui (D-CA) on June 7, 2001, this is the House version of S.596 (see description below).
H.R. 1864 Clean Efficient Automobiles Resulting From Advanced Car Technologies (CLEAR ACT) Act of 2001(by CongressmanCamp)
H.R.1864 was introduced by Representative David Camp (R-MI) on May 16, 2001. It is the House version of S.760 (see description below).
S.760 Clean Efficient Automobiles Resulting From Advanced Car Technologies (CLEAR) Act of 2001(by Senator Hatch et al.)
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jim Jeffords (I-VT) and others introduced on April 24, 2001, the CLEAR Act to encourage the production of Clean, Efficient Automobiles Resulting from Advanced Car Technologies. According to its sponsors, passing this legislation would improve air quality and reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, elements of a sound national energy policy. The CLEAR Act builds on Rockefeller’s 1999 legislation, the Alternative Fuels Promotion Act. It provides people with financial incentives to purchase alternative fuel vehicles, and to take advantage of available technology through a variety of other incentives.
S.596 Energy Security and Tax Incentive Policy Act of 2001(Senator Bingaman)
Introduced by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) on March 22, 2001, the bill provides tax incentives to encourage the production and use of efficient energy sources. Specifically, S.596 establishes and revises tax credits and deductions concerning energy efficient property used in business; residential energy systems; electricity facilities and production; commercial applications of advanced clean coal technologies; heating fuels and storage; and oil and gas production and petroleum products. This is the Senate version of H.R.2108.
S.597 Comprehensive and Balanced Energy Policy Act of 2001 (by Senator Bingaman et al.)
On March 22, 2001, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) introduced S.597, the Comprehensive and Balanced Energy Policy Act of 2001. This bill is intended to balance increased domestic energy supply with energy efficiency and conservation. The bill includes “investments in R&D to ensure a full range of fuels and technologies are available for the future--from advanced coal and nuclear to fuel cells and renewable technologies.” S.597 and its related hearings have been rendered moot by the introduction of S.517.
S.556& The Clean Power Act of 2001 (by Senators Jeffords and Lieberman et al.)
S.556 is also known as the “four-pollutant” bill. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Senator Joseph Lieberman (D- CT) introduced the bill with 14 cosponsors. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-New York) introduced an identical bill in the House called the Clean Smokestacks Act (H.R.1256), on March 27, 2001, with 49 cosponsors. The bills would cut nitrogen oxides by 75 percent from 1997 levels. Acid rain forming sulfur dioxide would be cut by 75 percent below Phase II of the Clean Air Act’s Acid Rain Program requirements. Toxic mercury emissions would be cut by 90 percent from 1999 levels, and global warming carbon dioxide emissions would return to 1990 levels. In addition, the bill would require every power plant to clean up to the same level required for new power plants by the facility’s 30th birthday, or five years after enactment of the Act, whichever is later, thus eliminating “grandfathering” of old plants.
S.472 Nuclear Energy Electricity Supply Assurance Act of 2001 (by Senator Domenici et al.)
This bill was introduced on March 7, 2001. It aims to increase the use of nuclear power in the United States by providing $406 million in the following areas: support for continued use of nuclear energy; encouraging new plant construction; assuring a level playing field for nuclear power; creating waste solutions; and improving Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations. The bill also calls for $60 million in fiscal year 2002 for the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative and $32.4 million to fund the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee. Furthermore, the bill calls for the creation of an office of spent nuclear fuel research within the Department of Energy to consider advanced technologies such as transmutation of nuclear waste.
H.R.1256 Clean Smokestacks Act of 2001(Congressmen Waxman and Boehlert et al.)
The text of this Bill is identical to the text of the Clean Power Act of 2001.
S.389 National Energy Security Act of 2001 (by Senator Murkowski et al.)
On February 26, 2001, Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the National Energy Security Act of 2001. Joined by Republican Senators Pete Domenici (NM), Trent Lott (MS), Chuck Hagel (NE) and Larry Craig (ID), Murkowski explained that the comprehensive package of proposals seeks to increase the supply of conventional fuels, which he described as “oil, gas, coal and nuclear.” The bill is designed to encourage increased production of traditional sources of energy but will seek to advance cleaner technologies for those sources in the future through advanced technology R&D in areas such as clean coal.