Update on the US Senate Energy Bill, Part 2
15 June 2007
Some 100 amendments to the energy bill under deliberation in the Senate emerged in the first three days of debate, among them being a proposal for a National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (Obama, SA 1579) and another being a proposal to promote the development of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, and deploying near-term programs to electrify the transportation sector (Salazar, SA 1572).
The Levin/Stabenow more lenient proposal on CAFE is coming to the floor today, although the two senators and other co-sponsors held a press conference on Thursday to describe the basics: 36 mpg for cars by 2022; 30 mpg for light trucks by 2025; 50% flex-fuel production mandated by 2015. (Earlier post.)
A number of new amendments proposed major initiatives. SA 1539 (Akaka) establishes a marine and hydrokinetic energy program (wave, tide and current energy). SA 1547 (Tester) establishes a national goal of 15% geothermal energy by 2030 (National Geothermal Initiative Act), and puts more than half a billion dollars to it through 2012. SA 1558 (Obama) establishes a program in which the Federal government will reimburse automakers for a portion of their healthcare costs for retirees, if the automakers then put at least 50% of that money back into advanced, fuel-efficient vehicles.
There is a continuing push on the part of some senators to include coal-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids as clean and alternative options; there is a corresponding pushback by senators who want to keep the coal option off the fuel table.
The Senate voted down the Inhofe amendment (SA 1505) proposing support for refineries, an evaluation program for Fischer-Tropsch transportation fuels, and support for Coal-to-Liquids projects. Senator Inhofe subsequently resubmitted some of the amendment’s proposals as newer amendments.
The Senate also tabled an amendment (SA 1538) that would have established a clean energy portfolio standard (rather than a renewable portfolio standard)—clean energy being defined as including nuclear, carbon capture and sequestration, efficient, and efficiency and demand programs.
A table of the current status of amendments follows. Amendments with numbers in bold have been accepted; amendments with number stricken through have been rejected, tabled or withdrawn.
|Proposed Amendments to Senate Energy Bill (amended H.R.6) 12 June 07|
|Amendment||Sponsor(s)||Title and/or notes|
|Inhofe and Thune||“Gas Price Act”|
Defeated 13 June by Yea-Nay vote of 52 to 43. Record Vote Number: 210
|SA 1506||Stevens and Landrieu||Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
|SA 1508||Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Salazar, Lincoln, Cantwell, Kerry, Dodd, Kohl, Reed, Collins, Nelson||Oil Savings Plan and Requirements. Directs the appropriate agencies of the Federal government to develop a plan to reduce oil consumption by:
SA 1508 agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 63 - 30. Record Vote Number: 209.
|Craig||Geologic Mapping Reauthorization. Provides $640 million over 10 years (fiscal years 2007 through 2016) for updating and expanding geologic mapping of the US.|
|SA 1510||Cochran||Increased Capacity of Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Raises the SPR to 1.5 billion barrels from current 1.0 billion barrels.|
|SA 1511||Murkowski||Study of CAFE Standards for Commercial Trucks. NHTSA to conduct study of the anticipated economic impacts and fuel saving benefits that would result from vehicle fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy duty vehicles, as specified in the main body of the bill.|
|SA 1512||Murkowski||Broadens the potential uses of funding proposed to support renewable energy projects in Section 215 of the bill.|
|SA 1513||Murkowski and Stevens||Adds personnel hiring language to the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act.|
|SA 1514||Kerry and Sanders||Renewable Portfolio Standard.
|SA 1515||Sanders, Clinton, Kerry, Biden, Salazar||Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training. Establishes a public program and funds other initiatives that provide training for jobs that are created through renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives with authorized funding of $100 million per fiscal year.|
SA 1515 agreed to in Senate by unanimous consent.
|Menendez||Evaluate the effect the laws (including regulations) limiting the siting of privately owned electric distribution wires on and across public rights-of-way might have on the development of combined heat and power facilities.|
|SA 1517||Menendez||Expands the definition of “State”in the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6862) to include the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.|
|SA 1518||Menendez||Prohibits oil and gas leasing in the Mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic planning area of the Outer COntinental Shelf.|
|SA 1519||Kohl, Specter, Leahy, Grassley, Biden, Snowe, Feingold, Schumer, Coburn, Durbin, Lieberman, Boxer, Sanders||NOPEC—“No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007”. Makes it illegal under the Sherman Act for foreign cartels to limit production of oil, natural gas or petroleum products, or to set or maintain prices. The Attorney General can sue.|
|SA 1520||Cardin||Establishes a “National Commission on Energy Independence” for the US.|
|SA 1521||Biden||Compact Fluorescent Lighting Grant Program. Establishes a program for grants to States for the distribution of medium base compact fluorescent lamps to households in the State.|
|SA 1524||Salazar, Grassley, Obama, Harkin, Hagel, Lugar, Feingold, Clinton, Casey, Nelson (Nebraska), Brownback, Kohl, Kerry, Johnson, Tester, Cantwell, Thune, and Cochran||Sense of Congress. By 2025, a US goal of 25% of total energy consumed should be from renewable resources, while the US continues to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber.|
|SA 1525||Sanders||Standards for solar hot water heaters.|
|SA 1526||Thune||Extension and modification of renewable electricity production credit.|
|SA 1527||Thune||Extension of the ethanol tariff. Extends the tariff on imported ethanol through 2010.|
|Proposed Amendments to Senate Energy Bill (amended H.R.6) 13 June 07|
|Amendment||Sponsor(s)||Title and/or notes|
|SA 1528||Bingaman, Domenici|
|SA 1529||Bingaman and Domenici||Annual reports on the quantity, type, and cost of each lighting product purchased by the Federal Government.|
|SA 1530||Pryor||Promotion of energy-saving performance contracts.|
|SA 1531||Pryor||Energy and water evaluations and efficiency measures for the Federal government.|
|SA 1532||Thune||Fast-track (180-day) approval of higher blends of ethanol for use in non-flex fuel vehicles for vehicles that receive a satisfactory review based on a study (also in the bill).|
|Nelson||Biofuels Investment Trust Fund.|
|SA 1535||Cardin, Mikulski, Doss, Kerry, Reed, Kennedy, Whitehouse||Siting, construction, expansion and operation of LNG terminals. Federal government cannot approve or disapprove an application for an LNG terminal without the express concurrence of each State affected by the application.|
|SA 1537||Bingaman, Cardin, Reid, Salazar, Snowe, Durbin||Renewable Portfolio Standard. A different timeline table and different end percentage:
|Domenici, McConnell, Craig, Bennett, Crapo, Graham, Murkowski||“Clean” Portfolio Standard. Amendment to SA 1537. More aggressive percentage.
Defines clean energy to include nuclear generation, carbon capture and sequestration, energy efficiency or demand response programs.
Tabled by a vote of 56-39, 14 June.
|SA 1539||Akaka, Murkowski, Snowe||Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion. development of power generation from waves, tides and currents.|
|SA 1540||Carper, Biden||Study of Offshore Wind Resources.|
|SA 1541||Smith, Cantwell, Murkowski, Wyden||National Ocean Energy Research Centers.|
|SA 1542||Brownback||Agricultural Byproduct Use Exposition. A trade-show for new products, such as plastics, carpets, disposable dishes, and cosmetics, produced by the entities from agricultural byproducts.|
|SA 1543||Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Salazar||GEM Flex-Fuel Vehicle. Expands definition of flex-fuel vehicle to include M85 (85% methanol, 15% gasoline). Gasoline-E85-M85 = GEM.|
|SA 1544||Casey||Energy Security and Corporate Accountability Act of 2007. Targeted at oil companies.|
|SA 1545||Enzi||Some escape clauses for the Renewable Fuels Standard. (Drives price of food up, impacts deliverability of goods, etc.)|
|SA 1546||DeMint||Limitations on legislation that would drive up average fuel price for autos.|
|Tester, Bingaman, Reid, Murkowski, Stevens, Salazar, Akaka, Sanders, Snowe||National Geothermal Initiative Act of 2007. Declares a national goal to achieve at least 15% of total electrical energy production in the United States from geothermal resources by not later than 2030. Establishes an initiative to achieve that goal. $515 million from 2008 through 2012; sums as necessary 2013 through 2030.|
|SA 1548||Durbin||Legislative branch fleet compliance with the efficiency sections of the bill.|
|SA 1549||Kohl, Feingold, Burr||Use of highly energy-efficient commercial water heating equipment in Federal buildings.|
|SA 1550||Wyden, Chambliss||Weighing Intelligence for Smarter Energy Act of 2007. Director of National Intelligence to submit to Congress a report on the long-term energy security of the United States.|
|SA 1551||Cantwell||Federal Standby Power Standard.|
|SA 1556||Lincoln, Domenici, Pryor, Craig, and Landrieu||Clarifies regulatory scheme for the application, transportation, or storage of livestock manure or poultry litter as energy or fuel production feedstock.|
|SA 1557||Klobuchar, Snowe, Bingaman||National Greenhouse Gas Registry. Establishes a national greenhouse gas registry.|
|SA 1558||Obama||Health Care for Hybrids. Federal government will reimburse automakers up to 10% of the total health care costs for retired autoworkers, with the caveat that at least 50% of the reimbursement is put research, development production and worker retraining for fuel-efficient vehicles. Program ends in 2017.|
|SA 1559||Hagel||Energy-related Regulatory Reform.|
|SA 1560||Hagel||Tax incentives for the production and conservation of energy. Includes special measures for cellulosic ethanol plants, ethanol pipelines, and coal-to-liquids facilities.|
|SA 1561||Kohl||Establishes a Strategic Refinery Reserve. Refinery reserve represents excess production capacity that can be used in emergencies. Reserve refineries can be new or reopened closed refineries.|
|Proposed Amendments to Senate Energy Bill (amended H.R.6) 14 June 07|
|Amendment||Sponsor(s)||Title and/or notes|
|SA 1562||Dorgan and Craig||Domestic Offshore Energy Security Act.|
|SA 1563||Dorgan, Craig and Kerry||Support for installation of E85 pumps at retail stations.|
|SA 1564||Tester||Energy-Efficient Schools. Establishes a program to improve the energy-efficiency of, and use of renewable energy in, school buildings.|
|Warner||Authorizes governor of Virginia to petition for offshore gas exploration and extraction 50 miles off the coast.|
Rejected by Yea-Nay vote of 43-44, 14 June.
|SA 1567||Bingaman and Domenici||Demonstration program for cost-effectiveness of advanced insulation.|
|SA 1568||Bingaman and Domenici||Coordination of planned outages of refineries.|
|SA 1569||Bingaman and Domenici||Amends technical criteria for proposed Clean Coal Power Initiative.|
|SA 1570||Inhofe, Thune and Craig||Pollution audits and reports. Requires detailed bi-annual audit of any funds of more than $100,000 disbursed by National Pollution Funds Center.|
|SA 1571||Hagel||Facilitate information sharing about and accelerate development of energy-related research.|
|SA 1572||Salazar, Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Cantwell, Lincoln, Clinton, Biden, Klobuchar, Durbin||Electric-Drive Transportation Program. Promotes the development of plug-in electric vehicles, deploying near-term programs to electrify the transportation sector, and including electric drive vehicles in the fleet purchasing programs.|
Agreed to by voice vote, 14 June.
|SA 1573||Bingaman, Klobuchar, Reid, Cardin, Salazar||Amendment to amendment SA 1537 (Renewable Portfolio Standard).|
|SA 1574||Lautenberg||Federal Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Establishes a Federal Emissions Inventory Office within the EPA.|
|SA 1575||Voinovich, Carper and Inhofe||Amends loan guarantee authority for commercial technology.|
|SA 1576||Inhofe||Program to accelerate use of geothermal heat pumps at General Services Administration facilities.|
|SA 1577||Martinez||Establishes a number of penalties and sanctions applied to persons who contribute to Cuba’s development of the undersea hydrocarbon resources off of its north coast.|
|Menendez, Lautenberg and Dole||Modifies amendment SA 1566 to require consent by states within 100 miles of the coastal waters of Virginia.|
Withdrawn, based on rejection of SA 1566.
|SA 1579||Obama||National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. Establishes a full lifecycle-based low-carbon fuel standard requiring reduction in average lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy of the aggregate quantity of fuels:
|SA 1580||Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Salazar||Adds methanol to listing of renewable fuels.|
|Gregg, Feinstein, Sununu, Kyl, Ensign||Elimination of ethanol tariff.|
|SA 1582||Martinez||Encourages biofuel blenders to share credits with pipeline and common storage facilities.|
|SA 1583||Martinez||Accelerates waiver procedure for fuel blends.|
|SA 1584||Martinez||Categorization of certain blends of gasoline of not more than 3.7% oxygen, by weight, such that the gasoline is equivalent to E-10 gasoline.|
|SA 1585||Lautenberg and Menendez||State liability for costs incurred by other States as a result of oil or natural gas spill from offshore production.|
|SA 1587||Brown||Renewable Energy Innovation Manufacturing Partnership Program. Makes grants to eligible entities for use in carrying out research, development, and demonstration relating to the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies.|
|SA 1588||Brown||Development of a carbon labelling system for goods sold in the US.|
|SA 1589||Brown||Directs DOE to give financial assistance preference to higher-education for-profit partnerships involved in the development of liquid crystal, photovoltaic, and wind technologies.|
|SA 1590||Brown||Adds “institutions of higher education, and nonprofit hospitals” to local government buildings for receiving assistance.|
|SA 1591||Brown||Preference given to existing and former DOE facilities and sites for the conduct of projects and activities.|
|SA 1592||Brown||Emissions standards for watercraft and small spark-ignition engines.|
|SA 1593||Isakson||Amendment to alternative average fuel economy standard for low-volume manufacturers and new entrants.|
|SA 1594||Durbin||Study of establishment of a refined petroleum product reserve.|
|SA 1595||Kohl||Set asides for auto- and component-makers employing less than 500 people.|
|SA 1596||Kohl||Study of adequacy of refining infrastructure.|
|SA 1597||Inouye and Dorgan||Study of the adequacy of transportation of domestically-produced renewable fuel by railroads and other means of transportation.|
|SA 1598||Inhofe||Adds Gas-to-Liquids and Coal-to-Liquids to renewable fuels standard.|
|SA 1599||Inhofe||Study on modernization of the hydrocarbon reserves disclosures classification system of the Commission to reflect advances in reserves recovery from nontraditional sources (such as deep water, oil shale, tar sands, and renewable reserves for cellulosic biofuels feedstocks).|
|SA 1600||Inhofe||Evaluation of Fischer-Tropsch Transportation Fuels. Originally part of SA 1505, which was rejected.
|SA 1601||Inhofe||Enables sale of additional credits by the Federal government to refineries, blenders, and importers at a price of $1.00 per gallon of gasoline equivalent to meet obligations under the renewable fuels standard.|
|SA 1602||Inhofe||Transitional assistance for farmers who plant dedicated energy crops for a local cellulosic ethanol facility.|
|SA 1603||Brown||Amends performance goals for Federal government:
|SA 1604||Schumer||Updates state building energy efficiency codes and standards.|
|SA 1605||Schumer||State requirements for energy efficiency.|
|SA 1606||Schumer||In the absence of Federal determination or a standard for energy-efficiency of an appliance, no State standard to be pre-empted.|
|SA 1608||Corker||Expands definition of clean fuel:|
|SA 1609||Thune||Report on electric transmission corridors.|
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