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Comprehensive Senate Energy Bill Draws Industry, Bipartisan Support, But Lags on Tax Credits, Efficiency

By District Energy posted 03-03-2020 16:20


Utility Dive


A comprehensive Senate energy package has a better chance than most energy bills of getting through Congress, according to some policy watchers. But opposition from groups opposed to its inclusion of  fossil fuels and exclusion of tax credits for renewables and electric vehicles may present challenges.

The bill's text was unveiled Thursday by Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and ranking member Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. It includes 555 pages that combine almost 50 energy bills reported by the Senate in 2019, and address everything from nuclear energy to carbon capture to renewables.

The comprehensive bill presents critical federal aid to a power sector faced with the Herculean task of mid-century decarbonization, according to supporters. And its bipartisan backing presents a rare opportunity to modernize federal energy policy, which hasn't been updated in such a broad manner since the Energy Independence and Security Act was passed in 2007.

The bill's prospects in the House appear positive as well, but there are reservations.

Bipartisan overlap on policies around energy storage, carbon capture, nuclear and renewables already exists in the House, staff from the House Science, Space and Technology Committees and Senate ENR said during a Feb. 27 webinar hosted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

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