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APPA, other groups urge House leaders to include energy innovation legislation in agenda

August 25, 2020

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
August 25, 2020

The American Public Power Association recently joined a coalition of 38 organizations, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in support of including energy innovation legislation in the House’s fall legislative agenda.

“Our diverse organizations recognize and agree that climate change is an important national priority that demands Congressional attention,” APPA and the other organizations said in their Aug. 17 letter to Pelosi and McCarthy.

“While we may not agree on everything, we believe there is much common ground upon which all sides of the debate can come together to begin to address climate change, promote American technological leadership, and foster continued economic growth,” the groups said.

“There is a growing consensus that the development and commercialization of new technologies are an important factor that will determine how quickly and at what cost greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced,” the letter said.

The groups noted several bills that could be brought to the House floor this fall to address energy and climate technology and innovation, including:

  • H.R. 2986, the Better Energy Storage Technology Act: The bill would create a grid-scale energy storage research and development program at the Department of Energy, including a demonstration program for which public power utilities would be eligible to apply;
  • H.R. 3306, the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act: The bill would direct advanced nuclear research and development and authorizes federal long-term power purchase agreements;
  • H.R. 6097, the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act: The bill which would authorize research and development programs, including on advanced fuels and extending the safe operation of existing plants, through the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy;
  • H.R. 3597, the Solar Energy Research and Development Act: The bill would reauthorize DOE solar research and development programs through fiscal year (FY) 2024;
  • H.R. 3607, the Fossil Research and Development Act: This bill would direct DOE research and development related to fossil fuels, including carbon capture technology for power plants, carbon utilization, and removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide;
  • H.R. 3609, the Wind Research and Development Act, which would reauthorize DOE wind research and development programs through FY2024;
  • H.R. 6084, the Water Power Research and Development Act, which would reauthorize, through FY2025, DOE research and development programs related to hydropower, pumped storage, and marine energy technology;
  • H.R. 4091, the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act of 2019, which would reauthorize the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, or ARPA-E program at DOE through Fiscal Year (FY) 2024;
  • H.R. 4230, the Clean Industrial Technology Act, which would create a DOE research and development program aimed at reducing emissions in the industrial sector; and
  • H.R. 5374, the Advanced Geothermal Research and Development Act, which would authorize DOE research and development for advanced geothermal technology through FY2024.

APPA and the other organizations also highlighted H.R. 5428, the Grid Modernization Research and Development Act.

This bill would authorize several DOE research and development efforts, including a smart grid regional demonstration initiative, a program related to grid modeling, sensing, and advanced operation and controls, and a program on integrating electric vehicles onto the grid.

The bill also would create a grant and technical assistance program for which electric utilities, as well as state, local, and tribal governments, are eligible, to improve grid resiliency.

The groups note that the list of bills included in the letter is not comprehensive, but represents bipartisan efforts, that if signed into law, could accelerate technological breakthroughs and adoption of cleaner or more efficient energy technologies.

The letter is available here.