On July 25, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced legislation (S.1413) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to temporarily increase the investment tax credit for geothermal energy property.
On July 26, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced legislation to improve the tax credit for fuel cell-powered industrial vehicles, the legislation is designed to compliment that of Congressmen Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson in the House of Representatives, to modify these existing tax credits. The legislation would amend section 30B of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 – the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit (AMVC) – to change the definition of “fuel cell motor vehicle” to include fuel cell-powered material handling vehicles.
On July 28, Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK), Mike Ross (D-AR), and eight other members, introduced the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (H.R. 2681) to force EPA to develop less burdensome emissions regulations for cement producers that would not go into effect for at least five years, in addition to addressing other agency rules. In August 2010, EPA issued the cement kiln pollutant rule, known as National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, requiring major-source cement, and smaller area-source, kilns to tightly control emissions of mercury, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter. The bill requires EPA to publish new “achievable” requirements at least 15 months after the bill's enactment, and those rules would be enacted 5 years later. The bill also calls for the redrawing of two other cement industry rules published this year by EPA. One sets new source performance standards for hazardous air pollutants from solid waste incinerators, and the other revised procedures for nonhazardous material regulated waste handling as currently outlined in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This comes soon after a July 28 letter from two dozen senators, led by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to halt or significantly alter the same rules. The letter argues that the rules threaten not only the cement industry as well as dependent sectors of the economy like construction.