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Pallone Applauds Committee Passage of Five Energy Bills

Jul 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement after five energy bills were favorably reported to the full House of Representatives today:

“The five energy bills reported to the House of Representatives today will dramatically improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy and improve tribal communities’ access to affordable, reliable energy sources.  These are good, bipartisan pieces of legislation that will help save consumers’ money on their energy bills at a time they need it most.  Similarly, the Tribal Power Act builds on the discussion we had at last week’s full committee hearing on the urgent needs of our tribal communities, including Congress’ obligation to ensure they have reliable energy access.  I thank all the sponsors of these five bills for their hard work and bipartisan collaboration and I look forward to the full House voting on these bills soon.”

H.R. 1426, the “Timely Review of Infrastructure Act,” was introduced by Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) and addresses insufficient compensation of employees and other personnel at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  It amends the Department of Energy Organization Act to grant the FERC Chairman additional authority to adjust compensation for a category of employees and other personnel without regard to certain civil service laws.  The Chairman must publicly certify that other approaches to retaining and attracting employees are inadequate and that the adjustment to compensation is necessary to carry out the functions of the Commission in a timely, efficient and effective manner.  The bill also requires that the Chairman periodically submit to Congress a report including information related to hiring, vacancies, compensation, and efforts to retain and attract employees.  The bill was favorably reported by a vote of 48-3.

H.R. 3079, the “Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2019,” introduced by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), would amend the National Energy Conservation Policy Act to encourage the increased use of performance contracting in federal facilities.  Performance contracting is a method of financing by which an entity may fund energy efficiency upgrades over time with savings generated from capital improvements.  Current law requires federal facility energy managers to evaluate and identify energy and water efficiency measures for federal facilities, but does not require agencies to implement those measures.  This bill would establish that requirement, provided the measures are cost-effective.  The bill also enables the development of more renewable energy and resiliency projects by allowing agencies to use existing revenue streams to help fund a project.  The bill was favorably reported by voice vote.

H.R. 3361, the “Reliable Investment in Vital Energy Reauthorization Act,” was introduced by Reps. David B. McKinley (R-WV), Paul Tonko (D-NY) and David Loebsack (D-IA).  It would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reauthorize the hydroelectric production incentives program and the hydroelectric efficiency improvement program.  The hydroelectric production incentives program provides payments to owners or operators of hydroelectric facilities that are added to existing dams or conduits.  The hydroelectric efficiency improvement program similarly provides payments, but for the purpose of making changes in a facility that improve its efficiency by three percent or more.  This bill reauthorizes both programs from Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 through FY 2036 at the originally authorized level of $10 million each year.  The bill was favorably reported by voice vote.

H.R. 5541, the “Tribal Power Act,” was introduced by Reps. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). The bill would amend the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to reauthorize programs to assist consenting Indian tribes in meeting energy education, planning and management needs.  The legislation amends the definition of Indian Land to extend eligibility for grant funding to consenting Alaskan Native Tribes.  The bill also provides the Department of Energy’s Director of the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs the authority to expand programmatic access by reducing applicable cost-share based on criteria such as proven financial need.  Finally, the bill reauthorizes the program at $30 million annually from FY 2021 through FY 2025. A Manager’s Amendment was offered and approved to make technical and conforming changes to the bill.  The bill was favorably reported, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5758, the “Ceiling Fan Improvement Act of 2020,” was introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). The bill would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to make technical corrections to the energy conservation standard for large-diameter ceiling fans. The Department of Energy issued a final rule in January 2017 setting energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans with a compliance date of January 2020. The bill amends the final rule to adjust compliance requirements related to total airflow and power consumption for large-diameter ceiling fans.  The bill was favorably reported by voice vote.