On July 20, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) introduced the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (H.R. 2594) seeking to negate the EU’s attempt to limit GHG emissions from international flights. The co-sponsors said the bill would give the International Civil Aviation Organization more time to develop an international industry-wide consensus on the issue. Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rahall, the transportation panel's ranking Democrat, said the bill would direct the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit the operator of any U.S. civil aircraft from “participating in any emissions trading scheme unilaterally established by the European Union.”
On July 20, Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, a bill giving the EPA 15 more months to finalize rules on air pollution standards for boilers and incinerators and give industry at least five years, instead of three years, to comply with the regulations. The bill was co-sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA), and Mark L. Pryor (D-AR). A bipartisan group introduced a similar version of the EPA Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 2250) in the House this June. The House bill also provides EPA with an additional 15 months to finalize rules and provides industry with five years to comply.
On July 20, Representatives Dan Lungren (R-CA), Nan Hayworth (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) on introduced PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Assessment Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 2599). The representatives said this is a revision of a similar 2010 plan seeking to assuage concerns by financial regulators about PACE. Energy efficiency retrofit programs have been implemented in 27 states and are financed through state or local tax assessments on individual properties. The proposal calls for limits on the amount of energy conservation improvements that can be financed and states that the cost of the PACE retrofits cannot surpass 10% of a residential property’s estimated value. The bill also requires that a residential property owner must have at least 15 percent equity in the home (excluding value of PACE upgrades).
On July 21, Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act (S.1397). The bill incentivizes investment in offshore wind energy for the first 3,000 MW of offshore wind facilities (about 600 turbine facilities) through tax credits. The bill is modeled closely upon the 2005 Energy Policy Act's nuclear power production tax credit and would allow Treasury to allocate a 30% tax credit for the first 3,000 MW of offshore wind energy.