Legislative Activity

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The National Academies of Sciences (NAS) has released its report titled “Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Congress had charged NAS with conducting a comprehensive review of the Internal Revenue Code to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects. The study examines the effects of taxes on GHGs in each of the following areas: Production Tax Credits for Renewable Electricity, Oil and Gas Depletion Allowances, Home Energy-Efficient Improvement Credits, Nuclear Decommissioning Tax Preference, Highway Motor Fuels Taxes, Aviation Fuel Taxes, Biofuels Provisions, Accelerated Depreciation, Owner-occupied Housing Provisions and related topics. The report includes a summary of findings and recommendations regarding the use of tax policy to address climate change. Results of the NAS findings can be accessed here.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, June 25: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing concerning the challenges and opportunities for improving forest management on federal lands.
  • Tuesday, June 25: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy, will hold a hearing to consider two energy efficiency bills: S.1084, which would name the Office of Energy and Renewable Energy as the lead office to disseminate information on federal programs that may be used to initiate, develop and finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy retrofitting projects for schools; and S. 717, which would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish a pilot program to award grants to nonprofit organizations for the purpose of retrofitting nonprofit buildings with energy-efficiency improvements.
  • Wednesday, June 26: The House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, will hold an oversight hearing titled “Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Government Perspectives.”
  • Thursday, June 27: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, will hold an oversight hearing concerning outdoor recreation opportunities on state, local and federal land.
  • Thursday, June 27: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Energy joint hearing concerning green buildings and energy savings performance contracts.

Regulatory Activity

Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments and not-for-profit organizations to participate in a panel that will focus on the agency’s review of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for municipal solid waste landfills. Municipal solid waste landfills are disposal facilities in or on land for household waste. These landfills may receive certain other types of waste, such as non-hazardous sludge and commercial solid waste. Emissions from municipal solid waste landfills occur from decomposition of wastes. EPA is under a court-ordered deadline to complete its review and propose how to address the results of that review by February 4, 2014 and to take final action by December 17, 2014. Details regarding self-nominations can be found here. Nominations must be received by July 5.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

The EPA has announced revised Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) allotments that will be provided to the States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages if the President’s budget request for FY 2014 is enacted. These allotments reflect the results from EPA’s most recent Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment which was released on June 3. The revised State allotment percentages will be the basis for distributing the DWSRF program appropriations to the States for the four years from FY 2014 through FY 2017. For a breakdown of state allocations click here.