Summary of the Energy Independence and Security Act, H.R. 6.
The Energy Independence and Security Act was signed into law moments ago by President Bush. This Energy Priorities summary, based on a list provided by Rep. Jay Inslee's (D-WA) office, focuses on the highlights of the bill. Renewable electric energy provisions are in Title VI; green building provisions are in Title IV.
December 19, 2007
Improve Vehicle Fuel Economy – Title I
- The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Actincreases the fuel economy standards for cars and trucks to 35 miles per gallon in 2020 for new cars and trucks. This is the first increase in the fuel economy standard by Congress since 1975, and in 2020 it will bring the American MPG standard almost to that of China in 2006. The bill requires manufacturers to maintain a fleet-wide average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, and allows them to calculate the mileage based on the attributes of vehicles and to distinguish between cars and trucks.
- The bill also encourages the domestic development and production of advanced technology vehicles and the next generation of vehicle batteries and plug-in hybrid vehicles and requires the reduction of petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for the federal fleet.
- This legislation rolls back the 2005 Energy Bill tax break for "geological and geophysical expenditures" (a faster tax write-off for the cost of exploring for oil and gas) and uses the money to pay the cost of this provision. Repeals of oil company subsidies were not included in the final bill.
Steve at "Citizens for Tax Justice" blogged in January on the latter point:
The basic idea of the bill is to take certain tax breaks away from oil and gas companies (who have been enjoying record profits and thus seem to make poor candidates for tax subsidies) and reallocate that money to the development of alternative fuels. In a fit of brazen hypocrisy, the President's Office of Management and Budget declared that this bill embodied a "tax and spend philosophy" since it was reallocating the money to encourage energy independence.
Increased Production of Biofuels – Title II
- The bill increases the Renewable Fuels Standard, which sets annual requirements for the amount of renewable fuels produced and used in motor vehicles. Under the bill, the expanded renewable fuels standard (RFS) requires 9 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2008 and progressively increases to a 36 billion gallon requirement by 2022.
- Beginning in 2016, an increasing portion of renewable fuels must be advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, starting at 3 billion gallons in 2016 and increasing to 21 billion gallons in 2022.
- Conventional biofuels will be required to emit 20 percent fewer lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline, and the bill includes protections to ensure that increased use of biofuels will not harm our air or water quality.
- The bill includes several provisions to study and improve the infrastructure for delivering renewable fuels.
Energy Savings Through Improved Standards for Appliance and Lighting -- Title III
- HR 6 sets new efficiency standards for appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, requires more efficient lighting, and improves energy efficiency of consumer appliances, such as dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators and freezers.
- Puts pressure on the Energy Department to act on energy efficiency. If the Department of Energy takes more than 2 years to finalize new efficiency standards, then states can act on their own standards.
- Requires the Federal Government to substitute energy-efficient lighting for incandescent bulbs.
Energy Savings in Buildings and Industry –Title IV
- Requires improved Federal and commercial building energy efficiency, with green building standards for new federal buildings.
- Includes a zero net energy initiative to develop technologies, practices and policies to reach the goal of having all commercial buildings use no net energy by 2050.
- Includes new incentives to promote industrial energy efficiency through converting waste heat into electricity.
Energy Savings in Government and Public Institutions – Title V
- Promotes and strengthens accountability in the federal government’s use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts, with more flexible financing and better training of federal contracting officers.
- Promotes the purchase of energy efficient products, and procurement of alternative fuels with lower carbon emissions, by federal government, with reports on the success of those efforts, along with taxpayer savings.
- Reauthorizes state energy grants to address state’s energy priorities and adopt emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies through FY 2012. Establishes an Energy and Environment Block Grant to be used for seed money for innovative local best practices to fund local initiatives, including building and home energy conservation programs, energy audits, fuel conservation programs, building retrofits to increase energy efficiency, "Smart Growth" planning and zoning, and alternative energy programs.
Alternative Energy Research & Development –Title VI
- This legislation includes training to develop a skilled workforce to install and maintain solar energy equipment, and research and development to improve technologies to store solar power.
- Supports marine renewable energy research and development of technologies to produce electric power from ocean waves in order to bring them to commercial readiness.
- Authorizes the research and development of technologies to locate and develop geothermal energy resources – the vast untapped potential for electric power from heat inside the earth. (Title VIII additionally requires nationwide assessment of geothermal resources.)
- Awards cash prizes to spur innovation in hydrogen energy technologies and advance the use of hydrogen as a fuel for transportation.
- Authorizes a research and development program on energy storage and advanced battery development for vehicles and electricity transmission.
- Extensions of the Investment Tax Credit and a national renewable portfolio standard for electricity were not included in the final bill.
Carbon Capture and Sequestration – Title VII
- This bill supports carbon capture and sequestration as a cleaner way to use coal.
- Authorizes a nationwide assessment of geological formations capable of sequestering carbon dioxide underground.
- Includes research and development, including large-volume sequestration tests in a variety of different geological formations.
- Includes grants to demonstrate technologies for large scale capture of carbon dioxide from industrial sources.
Improved Management of Energy Policy -- Title VIII
- Bans oil companies from engaging in market manipulation or providing false information about price in the wholesale petroleum markets, and imposes new civil and criminal penalties for oil companies that break these rules.
- Authorizes a media campaign to educate consumers about efficiency and conservation and to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
International Energy Programs– Title IX
- Directs the federal government to promote U.S. energy exports in clean, efficient technologies to India and China and other developing countries.
- Authorizes USAID to increase funding to promote clean energy technologies in developing countries, and promotes the export of clean and efficient American energy technologies through several U.S. agencies, including the International Trade Administration (Commerce Department), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
- Includes U.S.-Israel Energy cooperation, authorizing joint energy projects between American and Israeli businesses, scientists and academics to research, develop and commercialize alternative energy sources, improved energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
Green Jobs -- Title X
- Creates an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program to train for “green collar” jobs, such as solar panel manufacturer and green building construction worker, created by federal renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.
- This program will provide training opportunities individuals and to those workers in the energy field needing to update their skills.
Energy Transportation and Infrastructure – Title XI
- The bill encourages states to carry out transportation projects that reduce air pollution.
- Creates a Transportation Department Office of Climate Change and Environment to plan, coordinate, and implement research, strategies, and actions to reduce transportation-related energy use and mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Promotes short-sea shipping as an alternative to land-based freight transportation and includes capital grants for railroads for more efficient transportation.
Small Business Energy Programs – Title XII
- This legislation increases loan limits to small businesses to develop energy efficient technologies and for purchases; provides information to small businesses to reduce energy costs; and increases investment in small firms developing renewable energy solutions.
Smart Grid -- Title XIII
- Promotes a smart electric grid to modernize and strengthen the reliability and energy efficiency of the electricity supply.
Pool and Spa Safety – Title XIV
- Requires the use of anti-entrapment drain covers in pools and spas.