The Week Ahead: Senate May Try to Revive Production Tax Credit, Include Climate Change in Reauthorization for Water Projects


An energy tax incentive bill, which failed to clear a procedural vote in the Senate May 15, may be revived by the Senate Finance Committee May 20, according to committee chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

As covered in a May 15 Energy and Climate Report article, Wyden said he would advance the EXPIRE Act of 2014 (H.R. 3474) on condition that Republicans forward a list of amendments they want to bring up.

H.R. 3474, which would retroactively extend until 2015 more than $20 billion in energy tax credits, failed to obtain the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and shut off debate to proceed to further consideration of the measure. The vote was 53-40.

Largest among the energy tax credits in the $84 billion bill was a $13.4 billion extension of the production tax credit, which provides 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity from wind and other renewable sources.

Among the Republican amendments that have been filed to the bill is a measure by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) that would strip the production tax credit from the legislation. It is unknown if Republican leadership is pushing for a vote on that amendment.

Another possibility is the Senate will try again to reach a deal on the legislation during a lame duck session of Congress after the November elections.

Will Climate Change be Part of Water Reauthorization Bill?

The House is expected to take up a conference report the week of May 19 on the first reauthorization of water projects since 2007.

As detailed in a May 8 article, Senate conferees completed work on the reauthorization bill (H.R. 3080) after having resolved a dispute over climate change provisions opposed by House Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the agreement contains language about the effect of global warming on sea levels and ocean temperatures. However, in exchange, Senate Democrats dropped their demand for an ocean-endowment fund.

H.R. 3080 would authorize more than $12 billion for harbor dredging, waterway construction and flood-control projects.

CARB to Meet on Climate 'Scoping' Plan

The California Air Resources Board will meet May 22 in Sacramento to discuss, among other items, its first proposed update to the state's "Climate Change Scoping Plan."

The plan is aimed at continuing to drive down greenhouse gas emissions from all major industrial sectors beyond 2020. The board is expected to vote on the proposed scoping plan in October.

In February, CARB proposed a scoping plan designed to continue driving down greenhouse gas emissions from all major industrial sectors beyond 2020. The board is expected to vote on it in October.

California Energy Commission to Discuss Climate Impacts

On May 19, the California Energy Commission will hold a meeting in Sacramento on "Climate Scenarios for the California Energy Sector." The meeting will include discussion of new climate change projections that may effect the state's energy system, including adaption options for solar and wind power. 

Seventh Meeting of the Green Climate Fund Board

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will hold its seventh meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) board May 18-21 in Songdo, Republic of Korea. The GCF is an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC. 

Other Climate, Energy Events

On May 19 will host "The State of Our Climate: A White House Google+ Hangout" featuring EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. 

The 2014 Energy Efficiency Global Forum will be held May 20-21 in Washington. Energy Department Secretary Ernest Moniz will give a speech May 21 during a plenary session on "What Actions Are Needed to Double U.S. Energy Productivity by 2030?"  

The EPA and Antioch University will hold conference May 19-20 in Manchester, New Hampshire on "Northeast Climate Change Preparedness." The conference will cover how communities can be more resilient to severe weather and climate impacts.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will hold an event in Washington May 22 on "Carbon Pricing: State and Federal Options."

On May 20, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold an event in Washington on "National Landmarks at Risk: How Rising Seas, Floods, and Wildfires Are Threatening the United States’ Most Cherished Historic Sites."

EESI also will hold an event May 22 in Washington on "Losing Ground: Managing Climate Risks in the Southeast."


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