While the Clean Power Plan has attracted a great deal of attention in recent weeks, a number of Congressional initiatives may well be the focus of the fall legislative session. With both the House and Senate considering what would be the first comprehensive energy packages since 2007, energy promises to play a prominent role when the congressional session resumes in September.
A few potential initiatives include:
- Senate Energy and Natural Resource (ENR) Committee: ENR passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015. The bipartisan bill includes five titles focused on Efficiency, Infrastructure, Supply, Accountability and Conservation.
- House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C): E&C passed a broad energy bill, the Architecture of Abundance. This bill focuses on Modernizing Energy Infrastructure, Workforce Development Energy Security and Energy Efficiency.
- Senate Finance Committee: Energy Tax Reform gained some traction over the summer as the Committee passed a $95 Billion dollar tax incentives bill. Despite not being picked up by the House, the tax credits in question will likely receive attention as the 2015 draws to a close.
- Crude Oil Exports: ENR passed a bill that would lift the crude oil export ban. Speaker John Boehner also signaled that this could be an issue with support in the House.
The amendment process will likely complicate, at minimum, the prospects for both comprehensive packages. The other bills face their own unique challenges ahead of reaching the President’s desk. Further, with the Presidential election around the corner, the window for passing energy legislation seems to be small.