A Green Strategies Bulletin

With Ohio's 129th General Assembly just getting started following last year's election, legislative activity on the energy and environmental fronts remains sparse. The new U.S. Congress is also settling in, with little in the way of new legislation.

New Ohio Legislation

There is no new Ohio legislation on which to report. Worth noting, however, is the appointment of state Rep. Todd Snitchler (R-Uniontown) as chair of the House Public Utilities Committee, which has oversight of renewable and advanced energy issues. Rep. Snitchler has also applied to be a commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, so his tenure on the House Public Utilities Committee could be short-lived.

New Federal Legislation

New U.S. House members have introduced several bills related to renewable and advanced energy. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 66, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide for an investment tax credit for waste-to-energy facilities. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 230, which would authorize the Secretary of Energy to make loan guarantees for cellulosic ethanol production technology development. Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 253, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide a business credit relating to the use of clean-fuel and fuel-efficient vehicles by businesses within designated nonattainment areas under the Clean Air Act. And Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced H.R. 271, which would require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a program to provide no-interest loans for capital costs related to biomass energy projects.

Update on Federal Initiatives

With comprehensive energy and climate legislation currently stalled in Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on its own. To that end, beginning this month, industries that are large emitters of greenhouse gases and are planning to build new facilities or make major modifications to existing ones, must obtain air permits and implement energy efficiency measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of affected facilities include power plants, oil refineries and cement production facilities. Information on the new regulations is available on the EPA website.