Senate Committee Passes Energy Infrastructure Bill

Lawmakers remove one more hurdle toward floor consideration next week.

July 16, 2021

Highways

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Wednesday favorably reported out by a vote of 13-7 the Bipartisan Energy Infrastructure Act. The committee adopted 48 bipartisan amendments to the bill.

The legislation authorizes $100 billion for various energy infrastructure programs, including resiliency and reliability of the electric grid, expanding electric transmission capabilities, demonstration projects for new energy technologies, expanding domestic supply chains for clean energy technologies, water infrastructure, drought reduction programs, wildfire mitigation, clean up of abandoned mines and orphan wells and methane reduction programs.

One section of the bill (Section 4201) includes language to improve coordination and encourage states to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector by amending the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978 and urging states to establish rates for EV charging that promote affordable and equitable EV charging options for residential, commercial and public EV charging infrastructure, improve customer experience such as the length of time it takes to charge an EV, accelerate third-party investment in EV charging and allow for recovery of marginal costs of delivering electricity to EVs and EV chargers.

NACS successfully advocated that the acceleration of third-party investment in EV charging only apply to the private sector and not utilities.

With bipartisan passage of this part of the infrastructure package, the Senate is one step closer to floor action on the package. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) yesterday said he wants an initial procedural floor vote on the bill next Wednesday.

The House passed its version of infrastructure legislation earlier this summer, and President Joe Biden has stated that infrastructure is a top priority for his administration.

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