This bill would increase spending on clean energy initiatives, plans to modernize energy infrastructure and reduce pollution — all while promoting energy efficiency and research into developing technologies. The bill seeks to mitigate the threats of climate change and promote energy efficiency.
The bill directs the U.S. to work with other countries to secure promises for cutting emissions. Electric utilities would have until 2030 to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent. Tax credits for wind and solar powered electric utilities would be extended, along with other policies that aim to make it cheaper for the average person to invest in their own solar power. Researched would also be increased on how to make trucks and factories more energy-efficient. Here are some more in depth highlights in this "compendium of state-of-the-art energy policy":
Fossil Fuel Taxes
Oil sands would be taxed at the same rate as crude oil, the definition of which would be broadened to include oil sands;
Tax incentives for the extraction and refining of oil and natural gas would be eliminated, including domestic manufacturing deductions, expensing for drilling costs, among other provisions.
Modernizing Energy Infrastructure
A total of $3.5 billion in appropriations for fiscal years 2016 through 2019 would be authorized to develop grants for states to improve the performance of their natural gas distribution systems;
The DOE would be authorized to pursue a research and development program focused on grid-scale electrical storage;
Also, the DOE would conduct a research and development program for medium- and heavy-duty trucks to improve the efficiency of transporting freight by 50 percent.
Clean Energy Investments
Tax incentives for clean energy would be expanded on a number of fronts, including:
An increase in the new commercial building efficiency deduction from $1 per square foot up to $4.75 per square foot;
An increase in the energy efficient home tax credit from a maximum of $1,750 to $6,500 as efficiency gains increase;
The creation of a new clean energy bond with a tax credit worth 28 percent of the bond’s interest;
Clean fuel production could receive a maximum tax incentive of $1 per energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline.
Pollution Reduction and Energy Efficiency
The U.S. would be required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least two percent each year through 2025;
Retail electric and gas utilities would be required to reduce their energy use by one percent in 2017. That standard would increase each year, and require a total reduction of 20 percent by 2030;
After 2030, the Dept. of Energy (DOE) would be required to issue new guidelines every 10 years;
Energy efficiency grants would be available to states that would be renewable after one and a half years for use in ongoing efforts to implement state plans.