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Industrial competitiveness, nuclear innovation top legislative list

Jul 26, 2017

SMACNA’s Capitol Hill office is lobbying hard to pass current legislation supporting the industrial market sector including industrial efficiency, comprehensive energy policy, incentives to advance industrial competitiveness, and nuclear energy financing reform.

Industrial-related legislation that SMACNA is supporting on our members’ behalf includes:

Industrial efficiency, tax incentives
Lobbying efforts to include the “Power Efficiency and Resiliency (POWER) Act” (S. 1516 / H.R. 1090) in the currently developing tax reform package is advancing. SMACNA has supported Rep. Tom Reed (R-23rd-N.Y.) in his effort to grow co-sponsors for his bill. Nearly 100 bipartisan members have signed on the bill.

With two tax bills expected to pass Congress in 2017, the odds are good for The POWER Act to be included. The legislation would give Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Waste Heat to Power (WHP) the same 30 percent investment tax credit that other low and zero-emitting technologies receive for commercial, industrial, public, and private building energy systems.

Comprehensive energy policy
The final hours of 2016 witnessed near history for energy efficiency policy after eight years of bipartisan effort. Congress was on the verge of passing a comprehensive national energy policy package but a last-minute breakdown in negotiations between House and Senate leaders postponed the energy policy bill from becoming law.

On June 30, that energy policy bill was reintroduced as “The Energy Resources Act of 2017” (S. 1460). The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the top two senators on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Most importantly, in July, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) granted S. 1460 fast track permission to go directly from introduction to floor votes rather than go back to committee for markup and votes.

The energy package includes an extensive efficiency policy section and includes sections on infrastructure, energy supply systems, water infrastructure, which were significantly modified after the election to reach a bipartisan compromise version that was supported by House and Senate energy policy leaders.

Energy savings and industrial competitiveness
SMACNA has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the other major Senate/House bipartisan energy bill, “The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2017” (S. 385 / H.R. 1443).

The bill contains a major efficiency title to address commercial, industrial, public and residential structures as well as upgrades to energy-related infrastructure. For 2017, SMACNA’s Capitol Hill office is working with returning House members to advance legislation that retains the energy efficiency incentives designed to promote an active contractor role for public, residential, commercial and industrial sector efficiency upgrades.

Nuclear energy financing reform
A new issue of importance to SMACNA is moving quickly this Congress—nuclear energy financing reform: “The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act of 2017,” (S. 512) introduced by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

The bill also features six high-profile bipartisan co-sponsors. This important legislative vehicle to boost nuclear power finance and construction awaits a Senate floor vote after an 18-3 affirmation by the Senate.

Take action and contact your lawmakers to show your strong support for these issues. Visit SMACNA’s Advocacy webpage at www.smacna.org/advocacy/take-action.