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Senators Shaheen, Hassan, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Promote Energy Efficiency

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined their colleagues in introducing legislation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy efficiency by consolidating current energy tax incentives in a way that would help incentivize investments in clean energy and transportation, as well as promote energy conservation.  

“Climate change is an existential threat that demands a robust action plan to address every sector of our economy and society. The Clean Energy for America Act would play an important role in that strategy by incentivizing investments in clean energy technology and energy efficiency measures that reduce emissions,” Senator Shaheen said. “I’m very pleased to join in introducing this legislation, which would incorporate more than three dozen energy tax incentives into three emissions-based, technology incentives for clean electricity, clean transportation and energy conservation. As the United States reasserts its role on the world stage as a global leader acting on climate change, this commonsense legislation would help bolster our efforts at home and abroad.”

“Climate change is already impacting New Hampshire’s environment, businesses, and economy,” Senator Hassan said. “To combat climate change, we must invest in clean energy technology that will create new jobs and reduce our carbon footprint. This legislation would make important changes to our tax code to incentivize companies and households to lower their carbon emissions, and I will continue working with my colleagues to build support for this commonsense bill.” 

To incentivize clean electricity, the Clean Energy for America Act would provide an emissions-based, technology-neutral tax credit for facilities with zero or net negative carbon emissions. Any new zero-emission facility may elect either a production tax credit of up to 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour, or an investment tax credit of up to 30 percent. In addition, investments in critical grid improvements, like stand-alone energy storage and high-capacity transmission lines, would qualify for the full-value investment tax credit.

To encourage clean transportation fuel, the bill would also provide long-term incentives for battery and fuel cell electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging. It would also provide a technology-neutral tax credit for domestic production of clean transportation fuel that are at least 25 percent cleaner than average, with clean fuels required to reach net zero by 2030 in order to qualify. Additionally, to incentivize energy conservation, the bill would provide performance-based tax incentives for energy efficient homes and for energy efficient commercial buildings. The value of the tax incentives would increase as more energy is conserved.

 Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate for safeguarding our environment, combating the effects of climate change and investing in energy efficiency policies. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen traveled to Paris to participate in high-level discussions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference that led to the international Paris Climate Accord. Shaheen also introduced the widely praised Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), which contains key energy efficiency policy reforms that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution. Policy experts at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that over the lifetime of the legislation through 2050, the bipartisan bill will save consumers more than $41 billion on their energy bills, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.18 billion metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking 3.1 million cars off the road each year for 30 years, and add more than 100,000 jobs to the economy. Shaheen is a founding member of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, which brings together an equal number of Republicans and Democrats to craft and advance bipartisan solutions to address climate change.

Senator Hassan is working to address climate change and promote energy efficiency in New Hampshire and across the country. The Senator recently led a number of her colleagues in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to support and expand programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a collaborative effort across 11 states including New Hampshire that uses market-based tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Last Congress, Senator Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to help lower energy costs for families and reduce carbon emissions by reinstating and strengthening a tax credit for energy efficient home upgrades.