As we near the end of the current 116th Congress on January 3, there were a number of energy-related activities on Capitol Hill, as well as with the President-elect from Biden to Harris, as President-elect Biden moved on to his inauguration prepared on January 20th.
Biden-Harris transition updates
President-elect Biden has further rounded off his energy, environmental and climate teams, naming cabinet-level nominations and other roles that do not require Senate approval.
- Jennifer Granholm, the former Michigan governor, has been named chief energy secretary.
- Michael Regan, Secretary of the Environmental Quality Department in North Carolina, has been named administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
- MEP Deb Haaland (D-NM) has been appointed Minister of the Interior.
- John Kerry, former Senator and Secretary of State, will serve as Special Envoy on Climate (a new post created by the President-elect).
- Gina McCarthy, former EPA administrator, will serve as the White House’s national climate advisor (a new post created by the President-elect).
- Ali Zaidi, who served in the Obama administration as Deputy National Climate Advisor to the White House (a new post created by the President-elect).
- Environmental law expert Brenda Mallory will serve as Chair of the White House Environmental Quality Council.
- Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor to President Obama, will serve as chair of the Home Affairs Council.
Congress approves bipartisan energy package
The Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2021, which finally determined the federal government’s funds for the current fiscal year that began October 1, contained a bipartisan bicameral agreement (Energy Act of 2020), in which the American Senate Energy Innovation Act (p . 2657) was summarized. and the House of Representatives’ Clean Economy Law on Innovation and Employment (HR 4447). This is the first comprehensive energy legislation in more than a decade.
The package focuses on energy storage; advanced nuclear; Carbon capture, use and storage; Carbon removal; renewable energy; critical minerals and materials; Merger; Industrial technologies; intelligent manufacturing; and network modernization among others. It also re-approves ARPA-E and the Weathering Support Program, and includes a range of energy efficiency measures as well as administrative reforms to improve the Department of Energy.
A general summary of the Energy Act can be found HERE.
You can find a more detailed section-wise summary of the Energy Act HERE.
Energy tax provisions permanent or expanded
The year-end omnibus legislation, which covered funds for fiscal year 21 and COVID relief measures, also contained numerous provisions that either made certain provisions on energy and energy efficiency tax permanent or expanded. The “Tax Extender” language in the bus extends the investment tax credit by two years and the production tax credit by one year. extends tax incentives for offshore wind power, waste heat to power properties and efficient biomass stoves; Create incentives for energy-efficient commercial buildings by making the deduction for certain energy-efficient properties permanent; and extends loans for energy efficient and renewable energy real estate for homeowners, new energy efficient homes, charging stations for electric vehicles and filling stations for fuel cells, and certain zero emission vehicles.
More precisely, the bill:
- Extension of the production tax credit for renewable energy systems, construction of which will begin by the end of 2021. For wind turbines whose construction begins by the end of 2021, the credit will continue to be reduced by 40 percent.
- Extends the current tax credit of 26 percent for solar energy properties, fiber optic solar systems, fuel cell properties, and small wind energy properties starting construction in late 2022 and 22 percent for properties starting construction in late 2023, after which the credit will be reduced to 10 or zero percent . The bill extends the 10 percent investment loan for microturbine properties, geothermal heat pumps, and cogeneration properties, which will begin construction by 2023.
- Extends credit for non-commercial energy property purchases through 2021. The provision provides for a credit of 10 percent of the amounts paid or accrued by the taxpayer for qualified energy improvements to the building envelope of main residences. The provision allows credits of $ 50 to $ 300 for energy efficient properties such as stoves, boilers, biomass stoves, heat pumps, water heaters, central air conditioners, and circulation fans, and is subject to a $ 500 lifetime limit.
- Extension of credit for the purchase of new qualifying fuel cell vehicles through 2021. The provision allows for credit between $ 4,000 and $ 40,000, depending on the weight of the vehicle.
- Extends a loan to 2021 to install vehicles to refuel vehicles with alternative fuels, including properties that dispense alternative fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, hydrogen and electricity. Funds are capped at $ 30,000 per location for commercial real estate and $ 1,000 for real estate installed in a primary residence.
- Extends a credit of 10 percent for motorway-compatible two-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles until 2021. The balance is capped at $ 2,500. The battery capacity in the vehicles must be at least 2.5 kilowatt hours.
- Until 2021, the loan will be extended up to $ 2,000 for qualified new energy efficient homes.
- Extends the $ 0.50 per gallon excise tax credit or alternative fuel payment and $ 0.50 per gallon credit for alternative fuel blends through 2021.
- Extends the credit for energy-efficient properties for residential buildings until 2022 at the current rate of 26 percent for properties in use until 2022, with the rate for properties in use being reduced to 22 percent in 2023. From 2021, the provision will expand the definition of eligible real estate to include qualified energy-efficient biomass fuel properties with a thermal efficiency of at least 75 percent. Biomass stoves are no longer qualified under Section 25C to prevent dual use.
- Allows energy recovery for waste recovery for energy investment tax credit. Waste energy properties starting construction after 2021 or 2022 will receive 26 percent credit, and properties beginning construction in 2023 will receive 22 percent credit.
- Extension of investment tax credit for choice of offshore wind turbines, construction of which begins by 2025. Offshore wind turbines that begin construction between 2017 and 2025 are not subject to the onshore wind turbine exit rates and are eligible for the full loan amount.
A summary of the tax regulations of the Senate Finance Committee can be found HERE.
The House Democrats complete the duties of the 117th Congress Committee
The House Democratic Steering Committee has completed the duties of the committee for the 117th Congress, which will meet on January 3, with a number of new members to the House Energy & Commerce Committee: Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D. -TX) Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) Rep[. Kim Schrier (D-WA), and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA). The House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax matters, will also gain one new Democratic member with Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI).