While negotiators largely disregarded energy issues during months of stalled discussions about COVID-19 aid, a number of significant energy and environmental regulations will get a grip on the year-end deal due today.
House and Senate leaders announced yesterday that they have reached a deal on a $ 1.4 trillion omnibus for fiscal year 2021, pandemic relief legislation and a number of key items that will come along. The final text had yet to be published at the time of publication.
“We finally have the bipartisan breakthrough the country needed,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Said from the ground yesterday.
The deal moved swiftly as negotiators agreed to compromise the language to end certain Federal Reserve loan programs set out by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. A dead end on the subject lasted for days.
In a statement released last night after the contract was announced, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) highlighted a number of climate-related provisions.
“The deal includes major clean energy reforms, R&D improvements, efficiency incentives and the expansion of clean energy tax credits to create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the clean economy,” they write.
“The package also moves the phase out of super pollutant HFCs and enables the US to lead the world in preventing global warming of up to 0.5 degrees Celsius,” they said.
In terms of taxes, the deal would delay the exit plan for the renewable energy and investment tax credits, extending the PTC by one year and the ITC by two years.
The discrepancy between the two key incentives stems from the fact that PTC received a one-year extension under a 2019 tax treaty without an ITC. In addition, the deal would call into question the waste heat power technology for the ITC.
It would extend the most important efficiency breaks until 2021 and at the same time make the 179D business tax deduction for efficiency improvements permanent.
It would allow five years for offshore wind and two more years for the carbon capture incentive under Section 45Q.
While direct payments have been widespread for many incentives to account for frozen tax stock markets, they haven’t made the cut.
By 2025, the excise tax of 9 cents per barrel of crude oil, which finances the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, would be extended.
The deal would also extend to the end of the 2021 excise duties, which will fund the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. The government charges $ 1.10 per tonne of coal removed from underground facilities and 55 cents per tonne of coal removed from surface mines.
Senior Senate Finance Committee member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Praised the year-end agreement reached with the heads of tax writing committees in both chambers.
“I hope these expansions serve as a bridge to the major reform urgently needed to end our dependence on big oil and ensure that green jobs are good jobs,” Wyden said in a statement. “I plan to hold onto it until America gives up its carbon habit once and for all.”
Energy bill, pipelines
The package includes approvals for nearly $ 35.2 billion in research and development spending over the next decade in a clean energy innovation bill.
Under the direction of the Senate for Energy and Natural Resources, the House of Energy and Commerce, and the House’s Science, Space and Technology Committees, the legislation is a culmination of nearly two years of work and a keystone for chairing the Republican Senator’s ENR committee Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.
With instructions for higher spending and the demonstration of a number of new technologies to combat climate change – including energy storage, carbon capture, direct air capture and advanced nuclear technology – the bill marks the first major overhaul of the country’s energy policy in over a decade (E&E Daily, Dec. . December).
The spending and pandemic package also includes a five-year re-authorization from the transportation division’s pipeline and hazardous materials safety agency, which expired over a year ago and was sniffed by partisans.
The inclusion appears to rely heavily on the Senate bipartisan bill, p. 2299, passed in August after a breakthrough after Senate Republicans gave in and Senator Tom Udall (DN.M.) made demands on the operators to use the latest technology to detect and prevent methane leaks, including those related to methane (E&E Daily, Aug 7).
Democrats have focused on monitoring PHMSA methane to better manage the climate effects of fossil fuel infrastructure. Methane is a greenhouse gas 26 times as powerful as carbon dioxide.
Originally introduced by House Democrats, the PHMSA re-authorization was much more ambitious on methane and climate. Republicans in both chambers said it was a non-runner (E&E Daily, Jan. 8).
The compromise agreement includes laws to end the use of HFCs, an effective class of greenhouse gases used in air conditioners and refrigerators.
It would be one of the most important climate laws that Congress has passed in years. The HFC bill could help prevent global warming by half a degree Celsius as part of a larger international phase-down agreement signed in 2016.
The move aimed at eliminating HFCs by 85% over a 15-year period caused the Senate’s review of the energy bill to fail earlier this year. However, those responsible for the Committee on the Environment and Public Works reached an agreement in September that ultimately enabled the bus to be included in the bus (E & E Daily, September 11).
The final collective invoice contains the language of the “Law on the Development of Water Resources of 2020”, p. 1811, which the House passed earlier this month.
The compromise legislation would, among other things, approve a record number of Army Corps of Engineers projects (E&E Daily, Dec. 7).
The Senate appropriators objected to the approval of $ 10 billion spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
According to a Democratic press release, the final bill will address these concerns as “the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund goes live.”
No ‘RESTART Act’
The final business cycle agreement did not include any language that would have enabled nonprofits organized as 501 (c) (6) organizations to qualify through a fund structured similar to the Paycheck Protection Program.
This was a key issue for the outdoor leisure industry, representing trade associations that have suffered debilitating lost revenue from the pandemic-induced trade show and conference cancellations.
While the original coronavirus aid package that created the PPP explicitly allowed 501 (c) (3) nonprofits and churches to apply for loans, 501 (c) (6) groups were exempt from participation.
Bipartisan Legislation by Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) And Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) – The Sustainable Revitalization of the Economy on the Road to Recovery Act 2020 (RESTART), p. 3814 – would have a loan program set up open to a wider pool of applicants, including trade groups.
Sources said at one point there was a “real chance” that this language would make it into the next phase of coronavirus control legislation. Young told E&E News in October that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin liked the concept (E&E Daily, October 22). .
However, a Senate adviser confirmed to E & E News yesterday evening that the “RESTART Act” did not make it into the closer compromise proposal for coronavirus stimuli.
The deal also includes:
- $ 284.5 billion for the PPP.
- Unemployment insurance extension of $ 300 per week through March 14, 2021.
- $ 600 for direct payments to individuals, $ 1,200 for married couples, and $ 600 for dependent children.
- $ 45 billion for transportation, of which $ 14 billion for difficult transit agencies.
- Agricultural assistance of $ 13 billion with discretionary discretion to the Secretary of Agriculture to assist biofuel manufacturers.
Reporters Nick Sobczyk and Hannah Northey contributed to this.