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HR 4447 - Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019 - National Key Vote

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Title: Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to award grants to rural electric cooperatives to assist with identifying, evaluating, designing, and demonstrating energy storage and microgrid projects that utilize energy from renewable energy sources, among other provisions.

Highlights:

 

  • Requires the Secretary of Energy to establish an energy storage and microgrid assistance program under which they will (Sec. 2122):

    • Provide grants to eligible entities; 

    • Provide technical assistance to eligible entities; and

    • Disseminate information to eligible entities on potential and existing energy storage and microgrid projects.

  • Requires the DOE Secretary to award grants to eligible entities for identifying, evaluating, designing, and demonstrating energy storage and microgrid projects that utilize energy from renewable energy sources (Sec. 2122).

  • Requires an eligible entity that receives a grant to (Sec. 2122):

    • Conduct feasibility studies to assess the potential for implementation or improvement of energy storage or microgrid projects; 

    • Analyze and implement strategies to overcome barriers to energy storage or microgrid project implementation, including financial, contracting, siting, and permitting barriers; 

    • Conduct detailed engineering of energy storage or microgrid projects; 

    • Perform a cost-benefit analysis for energy storage or microgrid projects; 

    • Plan for both the short- and long-term inclusion of energy storage or microgrid projects into the future development plans of the eligible entity; 

    • Purchase and install the necessary equipment, materials, and supplies for demonstration of emerging technologies; or

    • Obtain technical assistance from experts in carrying out the activities listed above.

  • Authorizes $5 million per year in appropriations for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 to carry out the above provisions (Sec. 2123).

  • Defines an “eligible entity” as (Sec. 2121):

    • A rural electric cooperative; or

    • A nonprofit organization working with at least 6 rural electric cooperatives.

  • Defines “energy storage” as the use of equipment or facilities relating to the electric grid that are capable of absorbing and converting energy, storing the energy for a period of time, and dispatching the energy that (Sec. 2121):

    • Use mechanical, electromechanical, biochemical, or thermal processes to convert and store energy that was generated at an earlier time for use at a later time; 

    • Use mechanical, electromechanical, biochemical, or thermal processes to convert and store energy generated from mechanical processes that would otherwise be wasted for delivery at a later time; or

    • Convert and store energy in an electric, thermal, or gaseous state for consumption at a later time in a manner that avoids the need to use electricity or other fuel sources, as is offered by grid-enabled water heaters, building heaters or coolers, electric vehicles, mini-pumped hydroelectric facilities, electrolysis processes that make hydrogen for transportation or industrial use, or any other load-shaping mechanism that includes energy storage.

  • Defines a “microgrid” as an interconnected system of loads and distributed energy resources, including generators and energy storage devices, with clearly defined boundaries that (Sec. 2121):

    • Acts as a single controllable entity; and 

    • Can connect to, and disconnect from, the electronic grid to operate in both grid-connected mode and island mode.

  • Requires the DOE Secretary to establish a rebate program to provide rebates for covered expenses associated with publicly accessible electric vehicle supply equipment (Sec. 6502).

  • Defines “ electric vehicle supply equipment” as any conductors, including ungrounded, grounded, and equipment grounding conductors, electric vehicles connectors, attachment plugs, and all other fittings, devices, power outlets, or apparatuses installed specifically for the purpose of delivering energy to an electric vehicle (Sec. 6501).

  • Authorizes the following amounts in appropriations for the Weatherization Assistance Program under the Energy Conservation and Production Act (Sec. 1601):

    • $410 million for the 2021 fiscal year; 

    • $430 million for the 2022 fiscal year; 

    • $450 million for the 2023 fiscal year; 

    • $450 million for the 2024 fiscal year; and 

    • $450 million for the 2025 fiscal year.

  • Authorizes the DOE Secretary to appropriate $3.5 billion per year for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program (Sec. 1803).

  • Authorizes $5 million per year for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 to carry out the High Cost Region Geothermal Energy Grant program (Sec. 2553).

  • Authorizes $100 million per year for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 for grants for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements at public school facilities (Sec. 1122).

  • Authorizes $100 million per year for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 for awards under the Clean School Bus Program to replace school buses with zero-emission buses (Sec. 6201).

  • Requires the DOE Secretary to conduct an assessment of the state of, challenges to, and opportunities for the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in underserved or disadvantaged communities located in major urban areas and rural areas (Sec. 6503).

  • Authorizes $100 million per year for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 to carry out energy workforce development programs under the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act (Sec. 12103).

  • Authorizes the following amounts in appropriations for the Clean Cities Coalition Program (Sec. 6301):

    • $50 million for the 2021 fiscal year;

    • $60 million for the 2022 fiscal year;

    • $75 million for the 2023 fiscal year;

    • $90 million for the 2024 fiscal year; and

    • $100 million for the 2025 fiscal year.

  • Authorizes $500 million per year for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 to carry out the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (Sec. 6101).

  • Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce black carbon emissions from ships based on appropriate emissions data from oceangoing vessels, and must provide for such reduction through (Sec. 3601):

    • A clean freight partnership; 

    • Limits on black carbon emissions; and

    • Efforts that include protection of access to critical fuel shipments and emergency needs to coastal communities.

  • Requires the EPA Administrator, in coordination with the Secretary of State and other federal agencies, to (Sec. 3601):

    • Lead an effort to reduce black carbon through an Arctic-wide aspirational black carbon goal; and

    • Encourage observers of the Arctic Council to adopt mitigation plans consistent with the findings and recommendations of the Arctic Council’s Framework for Action on Black Carbon and Methane.

  • Amends the America COMPETES Act to prohibit any covered individual from (Sec. 12502 ):

    • Engaging in dishonestly, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, coercive manipulation, or other scientific or research misconduct; 

    • Suppressing, altering, interfering with, delaying without scientific merit, or otherwise impeding the release and communication of scientific or technical findings; 

    • Intimidating or coercing an individual to alter or censor, attempting to intimidate or coerce an individual to alter or censor, or retaliating against an individual for failure to alter or censor scientific findings; or

    • Implementing an institutional barrier to cooperate with scientists outside of the covered agency and the timely communication of scientific findings.

  • Authorizes the EPA Administrator to award grants to eligible entities to enable them to participate in decisions impacting the health and safety of their communities in connection with an actual or potential release of a covered hazardous air pollutant (Sec. 11002).

  • Requires the DOE Secretary and the Secretary of Labor to carry out a comprehensive, nationwide program to improve education and training for jobs in energy-related industries, including manufacturing, engineering, construction, and retrofitting jobs in such energy-related industries in order to increase the number of skilled workers trained to work in such energy-related industries (Sec. 12111).

  • Requires the DOE Secretary to conduct a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of carbon capture technologies, which must include the facilitation of the development and use of (Sec. 3103):

    • Carbon capture technologies for coal and natural gas;

    • Innovations to significantly decrease emissions at existing power plants;

    • Innovations to significantly decrease emissions in manufacturing and industrial applications, including at biofuel facilities; and

    • Advanced separation technologies.

  • Requires the DOE Secretary to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to undertake a study on barriers to and solutions for ensuring equitable distribution of benefits associated with clean energy in frontline communities across all sectors of the economy and in particular the role of the DOE in assessing and mitigating such barriers (Sec. 12622).

  • Defines “frontline community” as a community with significant representation of communities of color, low-income communities, or tribal and indigenous communities that experience higher or more adverse human health or environmental effects (Sec. 12622).

Title: Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019

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