Regulation - June 26, 2020
U.S. Congress deliberates GREEN Act addition to infrastructure package
Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives inserted the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act, which was first drafted in November, into the infrastructure package currently under congressional debate.
The GREEN Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-VA), would build on tax incentives for carbon emissions strategies, including expanding benefits for investing in offshore wind and geothermal, introducing new credits for investments in energy storage, biogas and waste heat to power and extending the credit for carbon sequestration. The bill also emphasized encouraging investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency by residential customers, such as providing incentives for individuals to execute energy efficiency projects like home energy audits, battery storage and biomass fuel property.
“We applaud Chairman Thompson and Chairman Neal for introducing the GREEN Act, which would go a long way toward providing a stable and effective policy platform for clean energy deployment over the next five years,” Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), said in a statement. “In addition to the PTC and ITC extensions, the energy storage, offshore wind and direct pay provisions would be especially helpful in realizing the full potential of the renewable energy sector. We look forward to working with Congress to advance these critical priorities for the benefit of America’s renewable energy future. At the same time, the renewable sector continues to be in need of commonsense emergency relief to mitigate ongoing pandemic-related impacts in forthcoming COVID legislation.”
Another key piece of the GREEN Act is supporting the widespread adoption of a “green fleet and alternative vehicles.” This would include tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles and supporting the creation of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In particular, the bill suggests creating a new credit for zero-emission commercial vehicle and bus manufacturers and expanding a credit for lower-income families who purchase used electric vehicles.
Other tax credits that will be considered under the GREEN Act include benefits for renewable energy and efficiency projects that engage in sustainable job creation and providing a capped credit for university programs that focus on the impact of climate change on low-income communities and communities of color.