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Policy Program Updates

S.2012, Energy Policy Modernization Act [Summary Analysis]

Published on 02 Aug 2016  |   Written by 

Overview

The Senate bill is a bipartisan effort, assembled by Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who have worked to find common ground and avoid controversial issues that could spark partisan divisions – including, for example, proposals for a national renewable energy standard or, conversely, proposals to block implementation of EPA’s carbon rules. As approved by the Senate in an overwhelming vote 85-12 on April 20, 2016, the bill is shaping up to be a mixed bag, with a number of provisions that advance renewable energy and a couple that are of concern.  Most notable on the positive side are provisions that facilitate permitting of new hydropower projects and promote geothermal energy development on public lands. The most troubling of the negative provisions include a measure that undermines the credit subsidy in the DOE loan guarantee program and a measure that weakens the current requirement for new or renovated federal buildings to phase out fossil fuel consumption by 2030. 

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