Saturday, 25 May 2024

House passes energy reform legislation

WASHINGTON – On Saturday, the House of Representatives passed the most significant energy reform legislation in over a decade.

The New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act (HR 3221 & HR 2776) will make an historic investment in new energy technologies and renewable energy, improve energy efficiency for a wide array of products, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly.

“Our district is on the cutting edge of many new energy technologies: the Geysers are the largest complex of geothermal power plants in the world; we have numerous world class wineries that are powered by solar energy," said Rep. Mike Thompson. “Our universities have also been leaders – from UC Davis’ development of the plug-in vehicle to the cutting edge biofuels research being conducted at Humboldt State. This bill improves and expands federal incentives for the development of these types of renewable and alternative energy, so communities across the nation can follow our lead."

The legislation extends federal tax credits for the production of biomass, geothermal, wind and many other types of renewable energy.

The solar investment tax credit is extended for eight years, providing long-term stability for the solar energy industry; also extended are the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credits.

Additionally the legislation creates new monetary incentives and expands existing credits for taxpayers to make their homes and their businesses more energy efficient.

The bill also makes a first-time investment in new technology known as “smart meters," which will allow consumers to better manage their electricity usage during peak hours. This is of critical importance to states like California, where electricity infrastructure is already stressed and overloaded.

Lastly, the bill sets ambitious goals that will help lower the country’s carbon emissions and reduce our dependence on tradition fossil fuels. Utility companies would be required to meet a renewable energy portfolio standard whereby 15 percent of their energy must be derived from renewable sources by the year 2020.

“This legislation makes a long overdue investment in renewable energy, and it does so without increasing the budget deficit by a single dime," said Thompson. “As I have said many times in the past, we cannot drill our way to energy independence. We have no choice but to fully embrace the renewable energy sources and innovative technologies available to us; and this bill does just that."


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