McKinley, Schrader Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Spur Innovation, Reduce Power Sector Emissions

Legislation will Give Power Producers Tools to Reduce CO2, While Maintaining Affordable Electricity and a Resilient Grid

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Washington, December 28, 2020 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Reps. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) today introduced the Clean Energy Future through Innovation Act of 2020, a bipartisan proposal to accelerate the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies and establish clear and durable standards for their use in the electric power sector.

The legislation would make significant investments in energy innovation and infrastructure, including carbon capture, advanced nuclear, renewables, efficiency, and storage. After a decade of innovation, it establishes a technology-neutral clean energy standard that would reduce CO2 emissions 80% by 2050.

“America needs energy policy that can endure, rather than one that changes after each election and judicial decision,” said Rep. McKinley. “No policy can succeed without certainty, and certainty requires bipartisan consensus. Our approach will reduce carbon emissions while ensuring affordable and resilient power generated from all sources. Furthermore, by positioning America as a leader in innovation it will allow us to export technology to the rest of the world and provide a global solution to this problem.”

“Climate change puts us all at risk, including the rural, coastal, and agricultural communities in my district,” said Rep. Schrader. “Americans are tired of the partisan fighting; they want and deserve a government that solves problems. We need a climate bill that can pass the Senate, be signed into law, and make a real difference—and the legislation that Rep. McKinley and I have introduced is it. We can keep fighting each other, but I’d rather tackle some problems. This bill will cut carbon emissions quickly, it will invest in a better energy system, and it will empower entrepreneurs and industry to create new technologies and new jobs.”

The bill introduction comes after Reps. McKinley and Schrader released a discussion draft in September and solicited input from a broad array of stakeholders. They are continuing to receive feedback and will be refining the bill further, before reintroducing next year.

Background:

Earlier this year, Reps. McKinley and Schrader outlined their approach in an opinion piece in the USA Today’s Hidden Common Ground Section urging a new, more pragmatic legislative approach. 

The plan calls for a decade of public and private investments in clean energy innovation and infrastructure development, followed by new regulatory standards to ensure environmental and energy goals are met. Innovation alone isn’t enough. We must clarify what federal law will (and will not) require, to provide a stable and predictable policy framework for investors and electric utilities in the decades ahead. Executive orders and administrative actions that prolong the political and legal battles won’t solve this problem — but bipartisan legislation can.

Click to see the bill text here.

Click to see a section by section here.

What They’re Saying about the McKinley-Schrader Bill:

“Representatives McKinley and Schrader should be applauded for recognizing that durable climate policy must come from Congress, and the approach must be bipartisan from the start. The business community is investing heavily in technologies that will reduce emissions and improve the environment, and we welcome good faith proposals like this to further these goals.”

—U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

“I am very appreciative of Congressmen McKinley and Schrader for developing this legislation, because it fills a critical need at a critical time for our nation and the world. The rapid development and deployment of CCS technology on a worldwide scale is a must if we are going to do something that actually addresses global climate emissions, while preserving as many traditional energy jobs as possible. This bill will give our scientists and researchers the means to step on the accelerator in their efforts to get this technology to a point where it can be widely available. The UMWA is in full support, and we urge others in Congress who are developing legislation associated with addressing climate change to consider this bill a beacon for what can and must be done.”

—Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America

“The McKinley-Schrader bill marks an important milestone along the road to enacting climate legislation. It is a bipartisan effort that wisely addresses roles for both forward-looking energy innovation policy and for regulatory authority as needed. EnergyForward is committed to clean-energy transition and the technological breakthroughs needed to make it a reality. We look forward to working with Mr. McKinley and Mr. Schrader as they advance the bill.”

 —Scott Segal, director, EnergyForward and partner at Bracewell LLP.  EnergyForward is a coalition of utilities that includes Ameren, Duke, DTE Energy, Southern, Salt River Project and Vistra.

“Representatives McKinley and Shrader are to be congratulated for following through on their concept unveiled this past summer and now introducing legislation. As this Congress comes to an end we are seeing bipartisan success on a much needed Energy bill, and now the introduction of the McKinley/Schrader bipartisan approach to tackling our climate challenge. Their legislation focuses on investments for innovative technologies for clean energy, but for the first time that is coupled with the certainty of a clean energy standard stand to move the power sector toward net zero emissions. Significant investments would help rebuild and grow the U.S. economy as we emerge from the pandemic, while its clean energy standard would help put us on pathway to carbon neutrality. Representatives McKinley and Shrader are demonstrating leadership building a bipartisan bridge that is essential for durable climate policies.”

 —Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

“American Electric Power (AEP) commends Representatives David McKinley and Kurt Schrader for proposing legislation that focuses on clean energy technology development, including an all-encompassing program for the demonstration and deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), combined with a new federal regulatory framework that requires low- and zero-emitting generation. AEP is committed to a low- to no-carbon energy future and is focused on diversifying our resource portfolio, deploying technologies to reduce emissions, and modernizing the grid to help us get there. Preserving and enhancing our transmission and distribution system, in addition to technological advances, including energy storage and CCUS, will determine how quickly AEP can achieve zero emissions while continuing to provide reliable, affordable power for customers.”

 — American Electric Power

“The scientific evidence is overwhelming that we must rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero. Effectively combatting the climate crisis will require significant deployment of both clean energy technologies and natural climate solutions, as well as a solid regulatory structure to provide a predictable framework for power producers to achieve emission reductions. We appreciate the leadership of Reps. McKinley and Schrader to develop this bipartisan, innovative approach to cutting energy sector climate pollution, and we look forward to working with them and other climate and energy leaders to create durable, equitable policy solutions that meet the urgency of the climate crisis.”

 —Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation

“As one of our nation’s largest energy providers, Duke Energy is committed to taking a leadership role in addressing the serious issue of climate change. Building on our significant progress of reducing CO2 emissions by 39% below 2005, we continue to work toward our ambitious goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Doing so while maintaining affordability and reliability for our customers is critical, particularly as we work with our customers and communities through this challenging time. Bipartisan efforts like this are critical in helping our industry deliver a clean energy future for all Americans. While Duke Energy understands and respects that there are different perspectives on how to achieve this future, we applaud Rep. McKinley and Rep. Schrader for their leadership on such a critical issue, and we remain committed to engaging in efforts that help develop a path forward.”

 —Tom Craig, Vice President of Federal Government Affairs, Duke Energy

“ACEEE is supportive of the McKinley-Schrader effort as it seeks to advance innovation while providing a backstop that ensures that substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions take place. We appreciate how this bill includes a number of energy efficiency provisions and look forward to working with the sponsors to build upon these provisions going forward.”

 —Steve Nadel, Executive Director, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

“The surest path to an affordable, reliable, decarbonized electricity system must include nuclear energy alongside wind, solar, and energy storage. The Clean Energy Future Through Innovation Act demonstrates bipartisan support for technology-neutral policies and investments in the next generation of low-carbon technologies. We are thankful for Representatives McKinley and Schrader’s legislative support that would both support the nuclear reactors we operate today and accelerate the deployment of potentially game-changing new nuclear technologies to power a cleaner energy future. We expect to see continued growth of strong, bipartisan support for nuclear energy as a key element of an increasingly decarbonized energy system.”

—Maria Korsnick, president and CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute

“Reps. McKinley and Schrader’s legislation is an encouraging step forward for federal energy and climate policy. Notably, the proposal combines immediate clean energy innovation programs with long-term national decarbonization targets for the power sector. We look forward to working with Congress to advance this important bipartisan effort.”

 —Sasha Mackler, Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Project

“For more than a century, Southern Company has been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. We continue our industry-leading research and development, focusing on technologies that benefit customers and lower greenhouse gas emissions.  Representatives McKinley and Schrader have come together with a pragmatic approach for investment in clean energy innovation and infrastructure development.  We appreciate the opportunity to engage in stakeholder outreach and agree technology innovation is the solution to continued decarbonization for the economy.”

 —Southern Company

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