House Rules Committee Releases Updated Surface Bill Containing $70b in Clean Energy Incentives

June 22, 2020 — On Monday morning the House Democrats in the Rules Committee released an update to H.R. 2, The Moving Forward Act (a.k.a. The Surface Bill) which now contains $70b in clean energy incentives. The original $1.5 trillion transportation infrastructure bill has now been restructured to incentivize commercial adoption of renewables.

“With this package, we have a tremendous opportunity to put Americans back to work in the short-term while modernizing our infrastructure to achieve a cleaner, more resilient, more competitive and more just economy overall,” said Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), chair of the Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee.

Links: [ Full Bill Text | Fact Sheet | Section by Section Summary ]

What’s in it?

  • Extension of the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for solar projects until 2025
  • Expansion to include energy storage.
  • The Production Tax Credit for a host of energies, including wind power, would also be extended to 2025.
  • Expands the electric vehicle tax credit eligibility. 
  • Authorizes $5 billion in tax incentives for educational institutions to develop environmental justice programs.
  • Authorizes billions of dollars over 5 years toward the development of energy storage technologies through investments in research; technical assistance and grant programs; and demonstration projects.
  • Authorizes $1 billion for solar installations in low-income communities
  • In addition, the legislation would create and authorize a $500 million program annually through fiscal 2030 to make the nations’ ports cleaner.

Our Take

We expected an extension of the tax credit and the inclusion of energy storage. The additional incentives will accelerate renewable adoption and could grow jobs in the sector by 600,000 over the next few years. It’s a sensible approach in encouraging commercial interests to convert to renewables at an accelerated rate.

What’s Next?

The Rules Committee is expected to pass this text with few substantive changes to the clean Eneregy portion as early as next week (before July 4th). We also expect that section to pass out of the House largely unchanged before it heads to the Senate where anything can happen.

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