Non-partisan infrastructure framework
When President Biden first published his $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan, there was immediate opposition from Republicans, who claimed that the president’s proposal for the American Jobs Plan was too large and too big a financial burden . There was considerable back and forth as the two sides sought a compromise – with Republicans making a counter-proposal, which was rejected by the White House, which in turn looked down and indicated that a smaller package was possible. After lengthy negotiations, the president announced on June 26th that he and a bipartisan group of 21 senators had reached an agreement on a bipartisan infrastructure framework worth $ 1.2 trillion.
At this point in time, the framework is being further developed into a legal text, so that many details are still to be seen. However, the framework will make significant investments in local public transport and rail passenger transport as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; Funding the repair and rebuilding of roads and bridges with a focus on climate change, resilience, equity and security; build a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations; Electrification of thousands of school and local buses; Upgrade power infrastructure with thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines; and create an infrastructure finance agency to support clean transport and energy.
Again, we haven’t seen the details, but the framework is intended to be funded through a combination of closing the tax gap, redirecting unspent emergency aid, targeted corporate user fees and the macroeconomic impact of infrastructure investments.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) has announced that he will seek a vote on the advancement of the framework in the week of July 19 to get a final pass before Congress leaves Washington for the annual August recess . There is, however, a great possibility that Congress will work through August to finalize the infrastructure legislation, which is a top priority for the Capitol Hill Democrats and the government.
Click HERE to learn more about the non-partisan infrastructure framework.
Senate committee pushes energy legislation
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources recently passed the bipartisan Energy Infrastructure Act, which covers energy, water and public land. Legislation provides more than $ 100 billion for a range of topics including power grids and expanded transmission capacity, critical energy technologies, domestic clean energy technology supply chains, water infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, forest fires, remediation of abandoned energy infrastructure and mines. The bill would also fund the 2020 Energy Act. The Energy Infrastructure Act will serve as the legal text for important parts of the non-partisan infrastructure framework. You can find more information about the Energy Infrastructure Act HERE.
Senate Democrats prepare for reconciliation package
Along with the bipartisan infrastructure framework, the Senate Democrats will try to get an additional bill through the budget reconciliation process that doesn’t require the typical 60-vote threshold to move legislation, but instead allows the measure (limited to taxes and revenue) with 51 votes advance. The evenly split Senate makes this a significant challenge for the Democrats – and President Biden, whose policies would be implemented through the reconciliation measure. If all 48 Democrats and the two Independents who meet with them stay on board, then, given the expected unity among Republicans in the opposition, Vice President Harris will almost certainly be tied. On July 13, Senate Democrats announced they had agreed a $ 3.5 trillion cap on the reconciliation measure, well below what the progressives wanted and more than more conservative to moderate Democrats hoped. Details are still being worked out, but we expect the final reconciliation package to include a number of energy and sustainability provisions from the President’s American employment plan, such as a clean energy standard to achieve 80 percent clean energy by 2030, programs to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, financing for electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging infrastructure, a new federal accelerator for clean energy, creation of a civilian climate corps and building efficiency measures.
A copy of the reconciliation message from Sens. Schumer, Sanders (I-VT) and Warner (D-VA) can be found HERE.
Solar Energy Production Act for America
Sen. Ossoff (D-GA) was assisted by Sens. Warnock (D-GA), Bennet (D-CO) and Stabenow (D-MI) to introduce the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which provides tax credits for American manufacturers at every stage of the solar manufacturing supply chain, from polysilicon production to solar cells to fully assembled solar modules. You can find a leaflet on the law HERE. Read the invoice text HERE.
Law on Zero Emission Nuclear Power Generation
Sens. Carper (D-DE), Cardin (D-MD), Manchin (D-WV), Whitehouse (D-RI) and Booker (D-NJ) recently introduced the Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Plant Production Credit Act, which would give existing commercial nuclear owners / operators the same 1.5 cents / kilowatt hour (US $ 15 / megawatt hour) credit proposed for wind turbines. The bill was introduced across party lines in the House of Representatives by MPs Pascrell (D-NJ), Suozzi (D-NY), Katko (R-NY), Davis (D-IL), Brown (D-MD). , Ruppersberger (D-MD), Bustos (D-IL), Doyle (D-PA), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rush (D-IL) and Lamb (D-PA).
A press release states: “The current tax law provides for a production tax credit for eligible nuclear power plants only during the first eight years of operation. There is no tax credit for older nuclear power plants, many of which will retire before the end of their useful life due to lower energy prices. The proposed loan would expire when market revenue reaches 2.5 cents / kilowatt hour (US $ 25 / megawatt hour) if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are 50 percent lower than in 2020 or after 10 years. “
Read a statement of support for industry and stakeholders by clicking HERE.
DOE sets new goal for long-term energy storage
As part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Earthshot Initiative, the agency announced a new goal to reduce the cost of long-term grid-scale energy storage by 90% over the decade. The initiative, titled “Long Duration Storage Shot”, will consider all types of technologies – whether electrochemical, mechanical, thermal, chemical carriers or any combination that has the potential to meet the required duration and cost targets for network flexibility. Find out more by clicking HERE.
© 1994-2021 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 197