Monday, December 28, 2020

Congressmen Unveil Bipartisan Measure to Slash Carbon Emissions from Power Plants

Reps. David McKinley (R-WV, 1st District)) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR, 5th District) are Unveiling a Bipartisan Bill, Clean Energy Future through Innovation Act of 2020, takes an “innovate first, regulate later” approach the Congressmen said they are hoping can Appeal across the Aisle and Create Durable Policy. It aims to Cut Carbon Emissions sharply from the Power Sector by dramatically Expanding Investment in Clean Energy Technologies.

The Measure would massively Scale Up Investments in Research and Development of Clean Energy Technologies, including Carbon Capture, Nuclear Energy, Wind, Solar, and Battery Storage, through 2030. After that, Regulation would kick in, Requiring Utilities to Cut their Emissions 80% by 2050.

“America needs energy policy that can endure rather than one that changes after each election and judicial decision,” McKinley said in a Press Release.

The Congressmen are introducing their Bill on the heels of Congress Passing the most Significant Clean Energy and Climate Measure in a Decade as part of Year-End Spending Legislation. The Package included Measures Increasing Funding for Carbon Capture and Advanced Nuclear Technologies as well as an Effort to Restrict Climate-Warming Coolants.

The Bill is similar to a Discussion Draft McKinley and Schrader began Circulating in the Fall. They said that they’d already Received Interest in their Approach from Colleagues in the House and Senate, including House Energy and Commerce Chairman, Frank Pallone (D-NJ, 6th District) and Bipartisan Members of the Senate.

The 10-year Innovation Program includes a Significant Increase in Appropriations for Research and Development of Clean Energy Technologies. It would also Expand and Extend the Deadlines of Federal Incentives for those Technologies, as well as create New Incentives, such as Tax Credits for Energy Storage, Offshore Wind, Carbon Capture on Natural Gas-Fired Power Plants, and Existing Nuclear Power Plants.

The Regulatory Target the Bill would set, however, is Significantly Less Strict than President-Elect Joe Biden’s Climate Plan, which calls for a Carbon-Free Power Sector by 2035. Schrader has said his and McKinley’s Target is more Realistic.

The Congressmen’s Bill is receiving Praise from a Number of Industry and Environmental Groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the United Mine Workers of America, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and the National Wildlife Federation. Several Utilities, including Duke Energy, American Electric Power, and Southern Company, are also Backing the Approach.

“The McKinley-Schrader proposal marks an important milestone along the road to developing climate legislation,” said Scott Segal, a Partner at Bracewell and a Director of EnergyForward, a Coalition of Utilities. “It is a bipartisan effort that wisely addresses roles for both forward-looking energy innovation policy and for regulatory authority as needed.”

McKinley and Schrader will continue Tweaking the Legislation Next year and work on Building Support for the Bill.

CLICK HERE for the Senate Version of an Energy Bill, The American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA).

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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