Energy Efficiency and Climate Justice

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 29 Jul 2021 17:00:00 GMT

Exposure to pollution and lack of access to clean, affordable energy solutions has created economic and health disparities – particularly in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities. What are the Biden administration’s policy priorities around environmental justice and pollution-free energy infrastructure? And how do we ensure all Americans have access to clean air, water, and sustainable housing?

The Hill will convene advocates and sustainable energy experts for a comprehensive discussion on environmental justice and climate priorities, moderated by Steve Clemons.

  • Kim Foreman, Executive Director, Environmental Health Watch
  • Brenda Mallory, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Ben Passer, Lead Director, Energy Access and Equity, Fresh Energy
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Founder and Executive Director, The Chisolm Legacy Project
  • Adrianna Quintero, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Energy Foundation
Sponsor Perspective
  • Flo McAfee, President, Summerland Studios
  • Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice


Pending legislation to strengthen American manufacturing through improved industrial energy efficiency (S. 661)

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 26 Mar 2009 13:30:00 GMT

Restoring America’s Manufacturing Leadership through Energy Efficiency Act of 2009

The United States faces long-term energy, climate, and competitiveness challenges that go far beyond the economic hurdles that we are facing today. Our global competitors are gaining in productivity and capturing high-value manufacturing capabilities and products that were invented in the U.S. With the convergence of these challenges, we have reached a turning point in our industrial history – to use these challenges as an opportunity for the renewal and transformation of U.S. industry and manufacturing to compete globally through sheer technical prowess and product value superiority, reducing our dependence on carbon-based fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing productivity. This legislation takes the first steps in achieving this transformation by focusing on providing financing mechanisms for manufacturers to implement cost-competitive, energy efficient equipment and processes, as well as by establishing public/private partnerships with industry to map out where advanced American manufacturing is headed and to develop and deploy the breakthrough processes and technologies that will take us there.

1. Provides financing mechanisms for industry to retool and implement advanced technology, reducing energy intensity and emissions, while increasing competitiveness.
  • Establishes DOE grants to community lender/state partnerships to establish regional revolving loan programs for manufacturers.
  • Links DOE’s energy assessments to SBA Loans
2. Revives and strengthens our industrial competitiveness through public-private partnerships to develop and deploy the new technologies and processes needed to be globally competitive in a carbon and energy constrained world.
  • Establishes partnerships between the Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) and other Federal applied technology programs to engage in early stage manufacturing technology development.
  • Directs DOE to benchmark our domestic industry by assessing the cost, energy and ghg emissions savings potential of commercially available, but not widely implemented industrial technologies.
  • Develops with industry, technology roadmaps to map out how to achieve decreased energy intensity and emissions, while increasing competitiveness.
  • Expands the regionally based Industrial Assessment Centers to reach more small and medium-sized manufacturers and train the industrial engineers of tomorrow.
  • Establishes Industrial Innovation Grants to encourage and reward innovation in industrial processes and technologies.
3. Realizing and Capturing the Future of Manufacturing in the United States.
  • Establishes a joint industry-government manufacturing partnerships to shift our industry towards utilizing advanced, sustainable manufacturing technologies and processes to compete in a low-carbon global economy.
  • Directs the National Academies of Science to evaluate the critical manufacturing capabilities and supply chain components needed to capture the development and production of advanced energy technologies in the U.S.

Full text of S. 661

House Debating Oil-For-Renewables Package Today

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 27 Feb 2008 17:11:00 GMT

From the beginning of her tenure, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has attempted to pass legislation cutting billions in tax breaks and royalty payments to oil and gas companies to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The legislation has died twice by a single vote in the Senate – in December as part of the energy bill (H.R. 6), and three weeks ago as part of the economic stimulus legislation (H.R. 5140).

House leadership announced plans to immediately reintroduce the legislation as a standalone bill, named the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008 (H.R. 5351).

Debate on the bill is now taking place, with a final vote scheduled for some time after 3 PM EST.

Update: HR 5351 passed by a roll call vote of 236-182. 17 Republicans joined the Democratic majority; 8 Democrats (Barrow, Boren, Cuellar, Gene Green, Lampson, Melancon, Ortiz, Rodriguez) voted against passage.

CRS summary:
Extends: (1) the tax credit for production of electricity from renewable resources through 2011; (2) the energy tax credit for solar energy and fuel cell property through 2016; (3) the special rule for treatment of gain from electronic transmission transactions by certain electric utilities through 2009; (4) the tax credit for residential energy efficient property expenditures through 2014; (5) the tax credit for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property expenditures through 2010; (6) the tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel used as fuel through 2010; (7) the tax credit for nonbusiness energy property expenditures through 2009; and (8) the tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings through 2013.

Allows new tax credits for: (1) investment in new clean renewable energy bonds and qualified energy conservation bonds; and (2) the production of plug-in hybrid motor vehicles, cellulosic alcohol fuel, and electricity from marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy sources.

Revises the definition of “passenger automobile” for purposes of the limitation on depreciation deductions.

Allows a tax exclusion for bicycle commuting reimbursements.

Revises certain tax incentives for investment in the New York Liberty Zone.

Revises tax credit amounts for certain energy efficient household appliances produced after 2007.

Allows a five-year recovery period for the depreciation of qualified energy management devices.

Places limits on the tax deduction for income attributable to the domestic production of oil, natural gas, and any related products.

Revises tax rules relating to foreign oil and gas extraction income and foreign produced fuel used or sold outside the United States.

McKinsey: Energy Efficiency Investment Offers Massive Returns

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 15 Feb 2008 16:03:00 GMT

At yesterday’s Investor Summit on Climate Risk, McKinsey’s economic research arm, the McKinsey Global Institute, released the report The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity (lead authors Jaana Remes and Diana Farrell).

The report finds that global investments on the order of $170 billion annually through 2020 ($38 billion in the US) in energy efficiency (what they call “energy productivity”) would deliver annual returns at a rate of 17 percent. Furthermore, these investments would reduce energy demand at half the cost of building out infrastructure to meet that demand. (For a sense of scale, $170 billion is 1.6 percent of global fixed-capital investment today.)

MGI finds some key energy-market failures that block the needed capital outlays:
Fuel subsidies that directly discourage productive energy use; a lack of information available to consumers about the kind of energy productivity choices that are available to them; and agency issues in high-turnover commercial businesses.
The report’s top-line recommendations for repairing these failures:
  • Set energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment
  • Finance energy efficiency upgrades in new buildings and remodels (see Architecture 2030)
  • Raise corporate standards for energy efficiency
  • Invest in energy intermediaries (such as energy service companies aka ESCOs)

For more, read the full report.

House Plans to Resubmit Renewable Tax Package Stall

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 12 Feb 2008 22:09:00 GMT

Following the second one-vote defeat of the renewable tax package in the Senate last week, House leadership let slip they planned to re-introduce the oil-for-renewables legislation some time this week, for passage before the President’s Day recess.

Today Katherine Ling reports in E&E News that timeline is now in doubt:
The death of Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and last-minute negotiations may delay House plans to take up a renewable energy tax incentive package later this week. Lantos died yesterday morning due to esophagus cancer complications. . .

The bill was expected to be introduced this morning, according to Matthew Beck, a spokesman for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.). Beck said the committee was writing the bill but had not completed it yet as they were waiting for decisions from the leadership.

Senate Finance Committee Includes Green Jobs, Renewables In Stimulus Package

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 30 Jan 2008 21:39:00 GMT

In today’s executive session on the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, the Senate Finance Committee passed by a 14-7 vote a package that includes $5.6 billion in “green” incentives, including $400 million in new “clean renewable energy bonds”, a one-year extensions for:
  • the renewable electricity production credit
  • solar, fuel cell, and microturbine credits
  • energy-efficient building deductions and credits;
and two-year extensions for:
  • the high-efficiency appliances manufacturing credit
  • stripper well depreciation credit
  • energy-efficient home retrofitting credit

Full details are available here.

Last Friday, 33 senators sent a letter to the Committee leadership urging support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs incentives.

According to the Sierra Club, by today the number of Senators was up to forty:
Senators who have expressed support for the inclusion of the renewable energy incentives include: Cantwell, Snowe, Wyden, Smith, Klobuchar, Kerry, Sununu, Sanders, Dole, Boxer, Johnson, Allard, Salazar, Mikulski, Stabenow, Murray, Dorgan, Brown, Bayh, Clinton, Collins, Specter, Menendez, Thune, Feingold, Dodd, Levin, Obama, Brownback, Coleman, Murkowski, Feinstein, Schumer, Stevens, Lautenberg, Leahy, Akaka, Kohl, Roberts, Grassley, Bingaman, and Domenici.

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 30 Jan 2008 19:30:00 GMT

Modification Energy Package part of package passed by committee.

Provision Approx Cost (billions)
PTC (Sec. 45) 3.0
Solar (residential & business, including fuel cells, microturbines) 0.13
CREBs ($400m allocation) 0.2
Commercial buildings 0.15
Efficient homes (new) 0.06
(exp. 12/07) Efficient homes (existing) 1.5
(exp. 12/07) Efficient appliances 0.32
Percentage Depletion (marginal wells and stripper wells) 0.25
TOTAL 5.57

1. Production Tax Credit (Section 45). Extends placed-in-service deadline for qualifying electric generating facilities (wind, biomass, geothermal, etc.) for one year. Estimated cost is $3b/10.

2. Solar, fuel cell, microturbine credits (Sections 48 and 25D). Extends Section 48 (30% investment credit for solar and fuel cell property, 10% credit for microturbines) and Section 25D residential solar credit for one year. Cost is approx. $130m/10.

3. Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs). Provides $400m in new CREBs issuance, at estimated cost of $206m/10.

4. Appliances Manufacturer Credit. Extends manufacturer credit for high-efficiency appliances for two years through 2009, at cost of approximately $323m/10.

5. Energy-Efficient Existing Homes. Extends 10% investment tax credit for energy-efficient home retrofits (windows, heating and cooling equipment, etc.) through 2009, at estimated cost of $1.5b/10.

6. Energy-efficient Commercial Buildings: Extends deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings for one year, at estimated cost of $153m/10.

7. Energy-efficient New Homes. Extends credit for energy-efficient new homes for one year, at estimated cost of $61m/10.

8. Percentage depletion for marginal wells. Extends suspension on the taxable income limit for purposes of depreciating a marginal oil or gas well through 2009, at estimated cost of $247m/10.

Bright Lights in the Cities: Pathways to an Energy-Efficient Future

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 02 Nov 2007 18:30:00 GMT

The Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming will hold a hearing on Friday November 2, at 2:30 p.m. in the Olympic Room at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The hearing is entitled, “Bright Lights in the Cities: Pathways to an Energy-Efficient Future.” Witnesses will be by invitation only.

  • Mayor Bloomberg, City of New York
  • Mayor Diaz, City of Miami, Florida
  • Mayor Nickels, City of Seattle, Washington
  • Mayor Palmer, City of Trenton, New Jersey
  • Mayor Villaraigosa, City of Los Angeles, CA

House Passes Energy Storage and Industrial Energy Efficiency Bills

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 23 Oct 2007 00:29:00 GMT

The House passed HR 3775 and 3776 today, both authored in the House Committee on Science and Technology.

Rep. Bart Gordon’s (D-TN) H.R. 3776, the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Act of 2007, provides for research, development, and demonstration programs to accelerate the development of advanced energy storage systems for vehicular, stationary, and electricity transmission and distribution applications, and support the ability of the United States to remain globally competitive in this field.

Endorsing groups include the Edison Electric Institute, American Electric Power, the Electric Drive Transportation Association, Johnson Controls, and Southern California Edison.

Rep. Nick Lampson’s (D-TX), H.R. 3775, the Industrial Energy Efficiency Research and Development Act of 2007, authorizes and supports research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of new industrial processes and technologies that will optimize energy efficiency, environmental performance, and economic competitiveness of energy intensive industries. It also enhances ongoing efforts through better coordination of interdepartmental research, and expands Industrial Assessment Centers programs at universities to promote student training and adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices by small and medium-sized industries.

The budget for Industrial Technologies Program has decreased dramatically in recent years. The Fiscal Year 2007 budget request for Industrial Technologies was $45.6 million, an $11.3 million reduction from the Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriation. By comparison, appropriated levels as recently as Fiscal Year 2000 were as high as $175 million. These funding levels reflect a dramatic shift in priorities away from industrial efficiency R&D. H.R. 3775 works to restore this program and ensure continued gains in industrial energy efficiency and environmental performance through collaborative research and development.

Endorsing groups include the National Association of Manufacturers, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America and the Association of Materials Manufacturing Excellence.

Solar Decathlon Awards Ceremony

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 19 Oct 2007 18:00:00 GMT

The winner of the Solar Decathlon will be announced at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the Engineering judging.

The Solar Decathlon competition is being held on the National Mall, Washington D.C., from October 12-20, 2007.

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