Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Energy Bill — The House vs. Senate smackdown

By Joe Romm on September 4, 2007 at 6:34 pm

"Energy Bill — The House vs. Senate smackdown"


google plus icon

We’ve got three big hurdles before we see a new Energy Bill enacted: substantive, procedural, and presidential.

First, the substantive hurdle — the two bills differ on key points, such as fuel economy standards, a national renewable electricity standard, and energy taxes (I have reprinted a side-by-side comparison below). Merging the bills won’t be easy.

Second, the procedural hurdle — both chambers must “formally be considering the same legislation,” as E&E Daily (subs. req’d) explains:

The Senate in June passed its amendment to H.R. 6, which is the energy bill the House passed during the new Democratic majority’s opening 100 hour legislative blitz in January. Then the House last month passed a much more sweeping bill than its January effort and a companion $15 billion energy tax package.

“Right now we are in this interesting situation where we have two bills out there,” said David Marks, a spokesman for Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). “There is this procedural hurdle to get over first.”

Third, the presidential hurdle — Bush must sign whatever passes before it becomes law. And that is not a sure thing.

This chart from E&E Daily compares the House-passed energy bill, H.R. 3221 (on the left) with the Senate-passed energy bill, H.R. 6 (on the right).

The bill would require utilities to provide 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. The provision exempts publicly owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives. Establishes a credit trading mechanism. Up to 4 percent — or roughly a quarter — of the mandate may be fulfilled with energy efficiency measures. No provision. GOP opponents blocked consideration of a similar measure.
Establishes a new marine renewable energy research, development, demonstration and commercial application program at the Energy Department. Authorizes $50 million dollars annually for fiscal 2008 through 2012. The goal is to boost wave, tidal, current and ocean thermal conversion. Program includes DOE grants for creation of one or more national marine renewable energy research, development and demonstration centers.Boosts federal geothermal research, development and demonstration programs. Authorizes $90 million annually in fiscal 2008 through 2012, and $5 million annually during this period for the “Intermountain West Geothermal Consortium.” Geothermal program includes research into systems that can withstand “extreme geothermal environments” and programs to tap geothermal energy from oil and gas fields. Includes grants to establish two centers for geothermal technology transfer.

Establishes an array of DOE solar energy research, development and demonstration programs, including: a $43 million, five-year program to lower the costs and increase the viability of thermal energy storage technologies; grants for solar industry workforce training and internship programs, with an authorization of $10 million annually over five years; research and development of daylighting systems and direct solar light pipe technology; a program to lower the costs and increase the reliability of decentralized distributed solar-powered air conditioning; and grants to states to demonstrate advanced photovoltaic technology.

Requires the Interior Department to issue new “guidance” on avoiding harm to wildlife and the environment from wind power projects. The siting guidance would be based on recommendations by the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee. Authorizes $2 million annually between fiscal 2008 and 2015 for research into methods that minimize wildlife effects from wind projects.Amends the Coastal Zone Management Act to authorize grants to coastal states for surveying regions appropriate for coastal alternative energy development.Requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to issue rules to implement the NOAA administrator’s authority to license offshore thermal energy conversion facilities.

Creates a pilot program to develop “strategic solar reserves” on federal lands. Interior would select Bureau of Land Management sites that could together support solar systems to create a reserve of between four and 25 gigawatts.

Extends and expands several renewable energy tax incentives (see “Tax Provisions”).

Establishes a workforce training program for jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors and authorizes $125 million annually for the effort.

Includes the “H-Prize” Act that the House already passed earlier this year. It authorizes $50 million over a decade for hydrogen technology-development awards.

Allows the Architect of the Capitol study the feasibility of installing a photovoltaic roof on the Rayburn House office building.

Provides $30 million for the installation of photovoltaic system at the Energy Department headquarters.

Includes provisions to create “clean energy corridors” to help connect renewable power with the electric grid. It would require DOE to include limits on access to renewable energy among the factors that lead to areas being designated “national interest” corridors where more transmission facilities are needed. Requires FERC to issue rules that allow for utility cost recovery when building transmission to link clean power sources to the grid in these areas.Establishes a Renewable Energy Innovation Manufacturing Partnership Program. The program would make awards for research, development and demonstration related to the manufacture of renewable energy technologies.

Establishes a workforce training program for jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors and authorizes $100 million annually for the effort.

Establishes a new DOE research and development program for alternative marine energy such as wave and current power and several other emerging hydropower technologies. Authorizes $50 million each year between fiscal 2008 and 2017. Establishes at least one, and up to six, national ocean energy research centers at institutions of higher education.

Creates a program to accelerate use of geothermal heat pumps at General Services Administration buildings.

Authorizes renewable energy construction grants.

Clarifies that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission does not have authority to approve or license wave or current energy projects on the outer continental shelf, but this does not affect FERC’s authority with respect to regulation of transmission.

Raises oil industry taxes by over $15 billion to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives (see “Tax Provisions”).Scales back several Energy Policy Act of 2005 provisions aimed at expediting federal lands drilling. Also includes provisions that address environmental rules and guidelines for energy development.

Provisions include: repealing EPAct ban on new fees for processing drilling permit applications; lengthening deadline for drilling permit application review to 45 days; slowing down the EPAct oil shale leasing program and adds environmental review; requiring public review and comment before oil and gas lease environmental stipulations are waived; and creating incentives for energy producers to adopt “best management practices” by expediting permit reviews for producers that agree to adopt the practices without seeking waivers of lease stipulations.

Creates new requirements addressing energy drilling on split estates, including site reclamation requirements and compensation for damages that stem from drilling. Provides for surface owner reviews of operation plans. Creates new land reclamation and bonding requirements. Also specifies that energy producers must remediate or replace water supplies, and that drilling permit applications must be accompanied by water management plans.

Creates new penalties for underpayment of royalties and requires increases in the number of Minerals Management Service audits.

Bars Gulf of Mexico energy producers holding flawed 1998-1999 from buying new leases unless they agree to price thresholds or pay “conservation of resources” fees. Repeals several Energy Policy Act of 2005 incentives, including new royalty relief for deep water production as well as incentives for tapping “deep gas” in shallow gulf waters.

Aims to prevent oil and gas drilling atop Colorado’s Roan Plateau by prohibiting surface occupancy for exploration or development.

Creates an Oil Shale Community Impact Assistance Fund, paid for with oil shale leasing revenues, for counties with shale development. The money would go toward public facilities and public services.

Requires a national “oil savings” plan to curb oil use by 10 million barrels per day by 2031.Creates prohibition on gasoline “price gouging” during presidentially declared emergencies and establishes civil and criminal penalties. The House passed a separate, stand-alone price gouging bill earlier this year.

Contains the “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act,” or NOPEC, that seeks to allow the Justice Department to bring anti-trust actions against OPEC nations in U.S. courts. The House passed the NOPEC bill in May.

Requires the Energy Department to review planned refinery outages and determine whether they may affect prices or supplies. DOE would make information available to industry aimed at decreasing the amount of refineries off-line at any given time. Specifies that DOE may not prohibit a refinery from conducting a planned outage or require continued operations.

Contains provisions to streamline hiring by the federal coordinator for the proposed Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.

Includes the “Carbon-Neutral Government Act of 2007″ that aims to freeze federal greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 and make annual reductions to achieve zero net emissions by 2050.Requires agencies to buy low-emissions vehicles, comply with new efficiency standards for new and renovated buildings, and buy energy-efficient products.Creates a temporary pilot program for federal purchases of greenhouse gas offsets and renewable energy certificates. If there is no mandatory national cap-and-trade program enacted by fiscal 2010, requires U.S. EPA to craft an offset program to help agencies to meet their reduction targets.Includes the “Department of Energy Carbon Capture and Storage Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 2007.” Provisions include a requirement that DOE conduct at least seven large-volume carbon sequestration tests and three-to-five large scale demonstrations of carbon capture technologies.

Funding authorizations include $560 million over four years for the large sequestration tests and $720 million over four years for the carbon capture tests. Also authorizes other research, development and testing activities.

Requires a U.S. EPA research program to determine procedures to protect public health and the environment from potential effects of carbon capture, injection and sequestration.

Includes the “Global Change Research and Data Management Act of 2007″ to overhaul the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Goals include providing more useful information for local and state governments and others that use federal climate research. Also requires assessments of how vulnerable the United States and other regions are to global warming. Creates a working group to improve the management and archiving of climate data and seeks to improve international coordination on climate research.

Includes the “International Climate Cooperation Re-engagement Act of 2007.” The measure is aimed at driving the administration toward greater participation in international negotiations on a new global warming treaty.

Establishes an Office on Global Climate Change within the State Department, the head of which would be the principal adviser to the president and secretary of State on climate matters. The adviser would make recommendations regarding international cooperation to curb greenhouse gases. The head of the office — called the ambassador-at-large for global climate change — would be authorized to represent the United States in international talks, conferences and meetings.

Says it is U.S. policy to “participate more actively and constructively in the intergovernmental climate change process,” including the talks later this year in Bali, Indonesia, on crafting a post-Kyoto agreement. Supports an agreement that includes “binding mitigation commitments from all major emitting countries based on their level of development.”

Authorizes $200 million yearly in fiscal 2008 through 2012 for the United States Agency for International Development to support energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts in developing countries.

Requires the Commerce Department to promote U.S. exports of clean and efficient energy technologies. Also directs Commerce to expand or create trade missions to encourage private sector investment. Requires the director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to create or boost policies that seek opportunities to fund clean and efficient technologies and give preferential treatment to projects using such technologies.

Authorizes the secretary of State to establish a Global Climate Change Exchange Program to help curb greenhouse gas emissions through research, educational exchange and international cooperation. Authorizes funding — $5 million yearly in fiscal 2008 through 2012 — for the Interagency Working Group to support a Clean Energy Technology Exports Initiative.

Establishes an executive branch “International Clean Energy Foundation” that would serve the long-term foreign policy and energy security goals of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The foundation’s activities, for example, would include grants for projects in other countries that would provide “models” for curbing greenhouse gases through clean and efficient technologies. Authorizes $20 million annually in fiscal years 2008 through 2012 for the foundation.

Includes the “National Carbon Dioxide Storage Capacity Assessment Act of 2007″ that requires the Interior Department to study the national capacity for storing industrial carbon dioxide. Establishes methodology and requires periodic updates at least once every five years. Authorizes $30 million total spanning fiscal 2008 through 2012.

Requires a separate assessment of the amount of carbon stored in terrestrial, aquatic and coastal ecosystems. Interior must study the flow of carbon in and out of such systems; estimate the potential to increase sequestration through management measures or restoration; and craft strategies to enhance the sequestration in these ecosystems. Authorizes $15 million for fiscal 2008 through 2012.

Requires Interior to track carbon stored from federal energy leases and provide Congress with a recommended regulatory and certification framework for carbon sequestration on federal lands.

Requires Interior to establish a National Resources Management Council on Climate Change — comprised of various natural resource agencies — to address the effects on federal lands, the oceans and “federal water infrastructure.”

Requires Interior to provide Congress with a plan describing what the agencies will do address several climate issues, including: creating a federal database of U.S. ecosystems, water supplies and water infrastructure vulnerable to climate change; managing land, water and oceans in a way that considers effects of climate change, including prolonged drought; and developing “protocols” to weave the effects of climate change into land and water management decisions.

Requires Interior to create a “national strategy” to help wildlife and their habitats adapt to global warming.

Requires the Commerce Department to create a “national strategy” to prepare for and mitigate the effects on ocean and coastal ecosystems from global warming, sea level rise and ocean acidification.

Amends the Coastal Zone Management Act by requiring assistance to states in developing “coastal climate change resiliency plans.” Authorizes grants to states for such plans.

Establishes a “National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System” to help track and predict events linked to climate change.

Establishes a “Center for Climate Change and Environment” within the Transportation Department to curb transportation-related energy use.

Establishes a “21st Century Water Commission” with duties such as projecting the effects of climate change on flood risks, water availability and water quality to assess the nexus between water policy and climate change.

Requires that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects consider the effects of climate change.

Requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency to study increased demands on FEMA that may stem from floods, storms and other natural events related to climate change.

Requires the Architect of the Capitol to install carbon capture technologies in the Capitol Power plant. Requires the Architect of the Capitol, to the extent possible, to include climate change mitigation and energy efficiency measures in the Capitol Complex Master Plan.

Expanded biofuels mandate requires that fuels produced from new facilities have lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions that are 20 percent lower than gasoline (see fuels section).Includes the “Carbon Capture and Sequestration Act of 2007,” similar to provision in House bill. Requires that DOE conduct at least seven large-volume carbon sequestration tests involving at least 1 million tons of CO2 per year. Also includes other research and testing provisions. Authorizes a total of $795 million over five years for the carbon capture and storage research, development and demonstration program.Requires the Interior Department to complete an assessment of national carbon dioxide storage capacity, similar to plan in House bill. Authorizes $30 million total spanning fiscal years 2008 through 2012.Requires an Energy Department program to demonstrate technologies for capture of industrial CO2 emissions. Eligible projects must capture at least 85 percent of the carbon produced at the facility and at least 500,000 short tons yearly. Authorizes $100 million annually in fiscal 2009 through 2013.

Requires the Architect of the Capitol, in conjunction with EPA, to study use of carbon capture and reduction strategies at the Capitol power plant. Establishes an grant program for projects to demonstrate carbon capture from the Capitol power plant.

Requires the Interior Department to conduct an assessment of the amount of carbon stored in and released from land and aquatic ecosystems — including from man-caused and natural fires — and the annual movement of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane gas in and out of these ecosystems.

Establishes a research program on abrupt climate change within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Provides over $15 billion in extended and new renewable energy and energy efficiency credits, costs largely offset by taxes on oil and gas producers.Extends section 45 production tax credits by four years until the end of 2012. Applies to wind, open- and closed-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation hydropower, landfill gas and trash combustion. Adds marine renewable power — such as wave and tidal facilities — to the list of eligible energy types. Projected to cost $6.58 billion.Extends 30 percent investment tax credits for solar energy property and fuel cells through the end of 2016. Increases cap for fuel cells to $1,500 per half kilowatt of capacity. Projected to cost $563 million over 10 years.

Authorizes $2 billion in new clean renewable energy bonds for public power providers and electric cooperatives. Protected to cost $550 million over 10 years.

Extends through 2009 the special rule governing deferral of tax payments on sale transmission properties. Projected to be revenue-neutral over 10 years.

Removes cap on credits for residential solar and fuel cell properties. Projected to cost $89 million over 10 years.

Creates new credits of at least $4,000 for plug-in hybrid vehicles, with increases based on battery capacity. Projected to cost $1.22 billion over 10 years.

Creates a new production tax credit of 50 cents per gallon for cellulosic ethanol, available through the end of 2010. Projected to cost $24 million over 10 years.

Extends biodiesel production tax credits through the end of 2010. Extends the renewable diesel tax credit through the end of 2010. Projected to cost $279 million over 10 years. The bill modifies the renewable diesel tax credit in a manner that will prevent ConocoPhillips from receiving the credits for its plans to produce a diesel that blends petroleum with animal fats.

Extends through the end of 2010 and increases tax credits for installing renewable fuel refueling infrastructure. Increases the 30 percent credit to 50 percent, capped at $50,000. Projected to cost $184 million over 10 years.

Extends transportation fringe benefit for bicycle commuters. Projected to cost $10 million over 10 years.

Eliminates tax benefits for purchase of SUVs for business use. Projected to raise $786 million over 10 years.

Restructures New York Liberty Zone tax credits. Projected to cost $1.6 billion over 10 years.

Provides energy conservation bonds for state and local government projects such as curbing energy use in public buildings, green community programs, rural renewable electricity, conservation research and several other purposes. Projected to cost $1.46 billion over 10 years.

Energy efficiency assistance bonds for state residential energy efficiency programs. Projected to cost $903 million over 10 years.

Extends deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings for five years through Dec. 31, 2013. Projected to cost $901 million over 10 years.

Modifies and extends credits for energy efficient appliances for appliances produced after 2007. Projected to cost $351 million over 10 years.

Allows utilities a five-year depreciation for so-called smart meters. Projected to cost $1.3 billion over 10 years.

Repeals oil and gas industry’s eligibility for the Section 199 deduction on income from domestic manufacturing. Projected to raise $11.4 billion over 10 years.

Extends the amortization period for certain exploration expenses from five-to-seven years for major integrated oil companies. Projected to raise $103 million over 10 years.

Alters tax treatment related to foreign oil and gas extraction. Projected to raise $3.6 billion over 10 years.

Clarifies that credits for production of biodiesel, ethanol and other alternative fuels are restricted to production and use of the fuels in the United States. Projected to raise $109 million over 10 years.

Tax section requires the government to seek a “carbon audit” of the tax code by the National Academy of Sciences, and a comprehensive biofuels study by the NAS.

No tax provisions.
Adopts roughly a dozen bioenergy provisions that were also included in the recently passed farm bill. Provisions would: address loan guarantees for biofuels plants covering up to 90 percent of principal and interest due; advance requirements for federal procurement of bio-based products; reauthorize and extend a program that provides federal payments and loan guarantees for farm renewable energy and energy efficiency projects; mandate more research into bio-based chemicals, fuels and power, as well as forest-to-energy technologies; and several other sections also included in the farm bill. Senate bill authorizes loan guarantees for advanced biofuels plants. See “Biofuels” section on Senate chart.
Modifies the EPAct program that allows loan guarantees for advanced clean energy projects. Provides DOE authority to guarantee up to 100 percent of any loan or other debt obligation of the borrower and blocks DOE from issuing rules that establish a lower limit.Prevents appropriators from excluding any categories of eligible projects from receiving loan guarantees. This provision comes after House appropriators excluded nuclear projects from receiving guarantees under the loan guarantee authority in the fiscal year 2008 Energy and Water appropriations bill. Similarly modifies the EPAct loan guarantee program by specifying that DOE shall guarantee up to 100 percent of the principal and interest due.Specifies that the term “commercial technology” does not include a technology if the sole use of the technology is in connection with a demonstration plant or a project for which the secretary approved a loan guarantee.
No increase in corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) mandate. Directs the secretary of Transportation to implement CAFE regulations that achieve a combined standard for passenger cars and light trucks of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020. For model years 2021 through 2031, DOT would have to establish the “maximum feasible” standard for the fleet.Gives DOT the flexibility to provide both a higher mandated standard and a lower one for a particular year if there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the standard is not cost-effective.Exempts medium- and heavy-duty vehicles — defined as those weighing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds — from the mandate and directs DOT to set fuel efficiency regulations for those vehicles that would create the “maximum feasible improvement.”Requires DOT to create a credit-trading program that would allow manufacturers who exceed the CAFE regulations to sell credits to manufacturers that cannot achieve the standards.

Directs heads of executive branch agencies to purchase vehicles that are as fuel efficient as practical.

No increased mandate for biofuels. Mandates renewable fuel use to hit 36 billion gallons by 2022, with specific incremental increases each year between 2008 and 2022.Creates a mandate of 21 billion gallons by 2022 for advanced biofules, with specific incremental increases each year between 2016 and 2022.For 2023 and each year thereafter, the president in coordination with several federal agencies would set a new mandated volume based on factors such as the effect of renewable fuels on energy security, the anticipated rate of production and the availability of infrastructure to deliver the fuels. Requires that at least 60 percent of the mandate after 2023 be met with advanced biofuels.Directs the administration to establish a credit trading program to manage the renewable fuels mandate that would be essentially the same as the program created by the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Allows the president to waive certain renewable fuel mandates if their implementation would severely harm the economy or in the case of “extreme and unusual” circumstances. Also, gives the president the authority to grant state waivers.

Directs the president to establish criteria for a voluntary labeling of renewable fuels based on greenhouse gas emissions.

Directs the Energy secretary and the Agriculture secretary to establish a technology transfer center to make available information on the research and development on biorefineries and biofuels.Directs several different federal agencies as it relates to existing fuel distribution infrastructure, focusing on potential ways to adapt the existing infrastructure for the use of biofuels.Establishes at least five bioresearch programs that focus on biofuels, which would be established for a period of five years.Provides grants for institutions of higher education located in areas of low ethanol production for research and development of biofuel technologies. Authorizes $25 million for the program for each of the next three fiscal years.

Directs DOE to establish a research and development program for increasing energy efficiency in the operation of biorefinery facilities.

Directs DOE to establish a grant program for retrofitting biorefineries that exclusively use corn grain and corn starch as feedstock for ethanol into those that can accept a range of biomasses.

Directs DOE, EPA and several other agencies to examine the feasibility of increasing the use fuel blends that contain more than 10 percent ethanol but less than 40 percent.

Directs DOE and EPA to establish a research and development program to improve and develop tools to analyze life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Also directs federal agencies to establish a research program for small-scale production of biofuels.

Requires DOE to develop standards for biofuel dispenser systems if such standards have not already been adopted by the private sector.

Directs DOE to establish a grant program to provide assistance to retail and wholesale fuel dealers for installation or conversion of fuel dispensing equipment to one that can be used to dispense renewable fuels. The grants will not exceed either 33 percent of the estimated total costs for installation of the equipment or $180,000. Authorizes $200 million for each of the next seven fiscal years for implementation of the program.

Bans franchising agreements that restrict individual retailers on the installation of renewable fuel dispensing equipment or the marketing and sales of renewable fuels.

Requires the administration to undertake a rulemaking to establish uniform fuel standards for biodiesel, with the standards slated to go into effect 18 months after passage of the bill.

Creates a grant program for production of cellulosic ethanol, authorizing $500 million each for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

Requires the Transportation Department to carry out a public education campaign as to which vehicles are flex-fuel vehicles.

Authorizes $50 million in grants for research on cellulosic ethanol and biofuels to 10 entities from among historically black colleges, tribal serving institutions or historically minority institutions.

Requires each federal agency to install at least one renewable fuel pump at each federal fleet refueling center by no later than Jan. 1, 2010.

Directs DOE to provide grants for renewable fuel production to entities in states with low levels of biofuel production. Authorizes $25 million for each of the next three fiscal years to carry out the program.

Directs DOE to provide loan guarantees to private institutions for the construction of facilities that manufacture advanced vehicle batteries.

Directs DOE to provide grants to various local-government entities that encourage the use of plug-in hybrid vehicles or other electronic vehicle technologies.

Directs DOE to provide grants for production of plug-in hybrid electric motors. And directs the agency to establish programs to determine how to best integrate plug-in hybrid vehicles into the electricity grid.

Provides grants to urban areas to improve public transportation services. Authorizes $750 million for each of the next two fiscal years for the program.

Increases the federal share under the Clean Air Act to 100 percent for grants that involve acquiring clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment.

Directs DOT to establish a pilot program to carry out vanpool demonstration projects in no more than three urban areas and no more than 2 non-urban areas.

Directs DOT to establish a grant pilot program to assist railroad carriers with purchasing hybrid locomotives to demonstrate the extent toward which such locomotives improve fuel economy. Authorizes $10 million for each of the next four fiscal years for the program.

Directs DOT to establish capital grants for the rehabilitation, preservation or improvement of railroad track. Authorizes $250 million for each of the next four fiscal years for the program.

Directs DOT to establish a short sea transportation program that will encourage sea transportation to mitigate land congestion.

Requires DOT and the U.S. EPA to create a pilot program to carry out not more than 6 environmental mitigation demonstration projects at public airports.

States that the Architect of the Capitol may construct an E85 fueling station on Capitol Hill grounds.

Directs the Energy secretary to establish a competitive grant pilot program to provide no more than 10 project grants to establish refueling infrastructure corridors for renewable fuels, including for installation of distribution and support equipment. Each grant would cost no more than $20 million.Entities eligible for those grants include: state governments, local governments, Indian tribal governments, transportation authorities or partnerships among those groups. The grants would go to those entities that, among other things, are most able to maximize petroleum displacement and maximize the use of advanced biofuels.Establishes at least 11 bioresearch centers that focus on biofuels.Authorizes the Energy secretary to provide loan guarantees for projects that focus on advanced biofuels, specifically for projects that employ significant improved technologies for biofuel production compared to commercial technologies already in service.

Projects eligible for the loan guarantees must have an annual output of at least 50,000 gallons of ethanol and the loan guarantee cannot exceed $250 million for a single facility.

Directs DOE to provide grants to institutions of higher education in states with low rates of ethanol production for biofuel research and development. Authorizes a total of $25 million for the grants for each of the next three fiscal years.

Directs DOE to provide grants to local governments and tribal governments to assist in the development of local projects to support the production, processing and transportation of biomass to local refineries. Authorizes “such sums as are necessary” to carry out the program.

Directs DOE and the Agriculture Department to establish a biorefinery information center to make available information on renewable fuel resources, renewable fuel producers and renewable fuel users. And directs DOE to establish a national database that describes the physical properties of different types of alternative fuels.

Requires that starting with model year 2010, the fuel tank cap of each alternative-fueled vehicle shall be labeled to inform consumers that the vehicle can operate on alternative fuel.

Requires the president to promulgate regulations to establish a uniform labeling standard of biodiesel blends.

Requires the secretary of Agriculture to make “transitional assistance payments” to an agricultural producer during the first year in which the producer devotes land to the growth of a crop used for cellulosic fuel. The agency would determine a formula for the payments and would be authorized to receive $4 million for each of the next five fiscal years to carry out the program.

Directs the president to establish a program to provide financial support for between four and six demonstration facilities that use woody biomass for production of thermal and electric energy and biofuels. The facilities would conduct research focusing on the production of cellulosic ethanol, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental effects of the fuel. Authorizes a total of $275 million over the next five fiscal years for the program.

Establishes a grant program to encourage production of advanced biofuels, directing the Energy secretary to award the grants based on the greatest reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. Grants would not be provided to projects that do not achieve at least 50 percent reductions in GHG emissions. Authorizes a total of $500 million over the next eight fiscal years for the program.

Establishes a research and development program to determine ways in which the weight of vehicles might be reduced to improve fuel efficiency without compromising safety and to determine ways to reduce the costs of lightweight materials used in vehicles. Authorizes $60 million for each of the next six fiscal years for the program.

Provides loan guarantees for manufacturing facilities that produce fuel efficient vehicles and parts for those vehicles.

Directs DOE to carry out a research and development program to support the ability of the United States to “remain globally competitive” in energy storage systems for motor transportation. Directs DOE to create an Energy Storage Advisory Council to develop a five-year plan for integrating basic and advanced research so that the United States retains a globally competitive domestic energy storage industry for motor transportation. Authorizes $50 million for the program for each of the next 10 fiscal years.

Directs DOE to conduct an applied research program on energy storage systems to support motor transportation. Authorizes $80 million for the program for each of the next 10 fiscal years.

Establishes no more than four energy storage research centers to translate basic research into applied applied technologies for energy storage for motor transportation. Authorizes $100 million for the program for each of the next 10 fiscal years.

Creates a program to provide grants for demonstration of plug-in electric drive vehicles, giving priority to programs that are likely to contribute to commercialization and production of plug-in vehicles in the United States. Authorizes $60 million over the next five years for the program.

Directs EPA to carry out a program to inventory and analyze existing electric drive transportation technology and hybrid technologies and to identify and implement methods to remove barriers for expansion of the technologies.

Directs DOE and EPA to consult with private industry to develop methods for using the existing electricity grid to power plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Requires the relevant federal agencies to modify existing test protocols for fuel economy and emissions to ensure that any protocols for electric drive technologies accurately measure the vehicles’ fuel economy and emissions.

Directs DOE to conduct an applied research program for plug-in electric drive vehicles and engines dominated by hybrid vehicle technology. Authorizes $200 million for each of the next six fiscal years for the program.

Establishes new energy standards for home appliances, including washing machines, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, refrigerators and freezers.Establishes new efficiency standards for general purpose electric motors and residential boilers.Allows DOE to issue a direct final rule implementing an efficiency standard for a particular product if the manufacturers, states and efficiency advocates submit a joint recommendation on a new standard.Requires DOE to review and potentially update every seven years the efficiency testing procedures for a variety of products.

Defines “stand-by” mode for some products as operating on no more than 1 watt of electric power.

Prohibits by Jan. 1, 2012, the sale of 100-watt incandescent lamps unless they emit at least 60 lumens per watt. Prohibits the sale of other types of lights if they fail to meet corresponding efficacy levels.

Directs DOE to craft a plan for encouraging and providing incentives for the domestic production of bulbs that meet those standards.

Directs the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a rule-making to consider alternative labeling approaches for light bulbs to help consumers understand high-efficiency products.

Requires that each new or substantially modified federal building use the most feasibly efficient electric fixtures and light bulbs and applies a similar standard for replacement of existing fixtures or bulbs.

Updates state building energy efficiency codes for residential and commercial buildings to achieve energy savings of 30 percent by 2010 and 50 percent by 2020.

Requires DOE to establish within four years of passage of the bill standards for energy efficiency in manufactured buildings.

Reauthorizes the weatherization assistance program through the 2012 fiscal year and provides $750 million for each fiscal year up to that point.

Requires the administration to establish an office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, which would help examine and facilitate the implementation of “green building” practices. Establishes a second office with similar duties for commercial buildings, exploring the feasibility of achieving zero net-energy commercial buildings.

Requires each federal agency to designate a manager that would be responsible for reducing energy use at many of that agency’s facilities.

Provides loan guarantees for retrofits to turn buildings into “high-performance green buildings.” Limits the total loan guarantees to $100 million at any one time.

Establishes a Recoverable Waste-Energy Inventory Program to identify and designate sites where recoverable waste projects may have economic feasibility.

Establishes within the EPA a Waste Energy Recovery Incentive Grant Program to provide incentive grants to projects that produce electricity from waste energy recovery and to provide a reward for states that have achieved 80 percent or more of identified waste-heat recovery opportunities. Authorizes $900 million over the next five fiscal years for implementation of the program.

Requires DOE to implement a program that disseminates information and technical assistance to entities to help them identify, design and implement a sustainable energy infrastructure. Authorizes $15 million for each of the next three fiscal years to carry out the program.

Creates a Sustainable Institutions Revolving Fund to provide loans for construction of sustainable energy infrastructure to “institutional entities,” limiting the loans per project to $15 million. Authorizes a total of $2.25 billion for the loans over the next five fiscal years.

Creates an Energy Efficiency Block Grant program to provide federal dollars for items such as energy retrofits and the development and implementation of energy efficiency programs. Authorizes $2 billion for each of the next five fiscal years for the grants.

Increases loan limits to help small businesses develop energy efficient technologies and purposes.

Directs DOE and other agencies to undertake programs to facilitate the creation of a “smart grid” and prevents states or local governments from implement regulations that would prohibit smart-grid development. Also establishes a grid modernization commission to facilitate the adoption of smart grid standards, practices and technology across the nation’s electricity grid.

Directs DOE to establish a federal matching fund smart-grid program to provide reimbursement of one-fourth of qualified smart-grid investments. Authorizes a total of $2.25 billion over the next five years for the funds.

Bans the U.S. Coast Guard from purchasing or installing incandescent lamps.

Requires all general lighting in federal buildings to be Energy Star products.Establishes new minimum standards for fluorescent lamps and incandescent reflector lamps.Contains a Sense of the Senate that Congress should establish within the next 10 years a set of mandatory, technology-neutral standards to establish energy efficiency targets for lighting products.Creates a new renewable energy construction grants program.

States that the DOE secretary, after a federal notice and comment, may determine that more stringent conservation standards are needed for furnaces, boilers or central air conditioning equipment and may undertake regulations to implement new standards.Creates a new energy efficiency labeling program for consumer electronic products.Creates new efficiency standards for residential boilers, which are to be implemented by Sept. 1, 2012.

Establishes efficiency standards for electric motors.

Sets a timeline for DOE to issue a rule-making to determine whether efficiency standards need to be updated for appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, clotheswashers and dishwashers. Sets new standards for dehumidifiers.

Requires DOE to start awarding financial incentives for the manufacture of high-efficiency consumer products.

Directs DOE in conjunction with the private sector to start a program to support and develop the use of new materials in manufacturing that boost energy efficiency. Authorizes just under $2 billion over the next five years for the program.

Sets nationwide energy efficiency goals to reduce oil use by 2.5 million barrels per day by 2016 and 10 million barrels by 2031. Requires the Office of Management and Budget to publish an “action plan” to hit those targets.

Requires DOE and several other agencies to develop a strategic plan to improve the overall energy productivity of the United States by 2.5 percent per year by 2012 and to maintain the annual rate of improvement through 2012.

Directs DOE to launch a national media campaign to encourage energy efficiency and decrease oil consumption throughout the United States.

Requires DOE and other federal agencies to carry out programs to develop advanced electricity transmission and distribution technologies to improve reliability and increase capacity. Also directs the agency to carry out several smart-grid technology research and development programs and to establish a smart-grid regional demonstration initiative, authorizing $100 million for each of the next five fiscal years for the projects.

Requires DOE to issue regulations for federal fleets to require each federal agency to achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2015 and that requires each federal agency to increase alternative fuel use by 10 percent annually.

Requires to the extent that it is “economically feasible and technically practicable” that 15 percent of the federal government’s electricity use come from renewable sources by the year 2015. Also puts in place new energy management requirements for federal buildings and new energy efficiency performance standards.

Requires DOE to enter into an agreement with private entities to carry out an initiative to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings.

Implements a federal purchasing requirement for stand-by power products.

Creates a program to provide assistance awards to entities that carry out research and development on the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies. Authorizes $25 million each of the next six fiscal years for the program.

Requires the administration to craft a plan on assisting small businesses in becoming more energy-efficient.

Authorizes $750 million for each of the next five fiscal years for weatherization assistance for low-income individuals.

Creates an energy and environmental block grant program that helps states and other local entities to reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions. And provides energy sustainability and efficiency grants to institutions of higher education.

Authorizes $5 million each fiscal year for a program to educate states on the benefits and strategies for reducing school bus idling.

See biofuel/vehicles section for additional provision on vehicle efficiency.

Encourages the U.S. and Israeli governments to cooperate on a broad range of projects designed to expand supplies of non-petroleum energy sources for both countries.Requires the United States to support policies and programs in developing nations that promote clean and efficient energy technologies. Authorizes $200 million for each of the next five fiscal years to carry out such initiatives.Requires the Commerce Department to launch a program to encourage U.S. exports of clean and efficient energy technologies to China, India and other nations. Also encourages creating trade missions to encourage private sector trade of clean and efficient energy technologies.See climate change section for additional international provisions. Includes a Sense of the Congress provision that makes energy security a top priority for the U.S. government and encourages federal officials to find ways to reduce the use of foreign energy sources.Directs the secretary of State and DOE to establish and expand strategic energy partnerships with major energy consumers and producers to strengthen global relations, to promote peace and to develop the national security priority of developing sustainable and clean energy sources.Directs the secretary of State and DOE to establish a “petroleum crisis response mechanism” with India and China.Directs the secretary of State and DOE to establish a “petroleum crisis response mechanism” for the Western Hemisphere.

Arctic ice loss is “stunning” — total loss possible by 2030, scientists warn

China reins in liquid coal

Comments are closed.