Bills focus on grid modernization, oil origins

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2017

A bipartisan pair of congressmen yesterday introduced legislation requiring the secretary of Energy to develop a blueprint for modernizing the electric grid.

H.R. 3290, sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), would direct the secretary to come up with “voluntary model pathways” to updating the grid, using input from both regulators and the electric industry.

“In light of the recent string of cyberattacks around the globe, which have targeted companies’ and countries’ energy systems, it’s time to have a serious discussion about how we can improve resiliency and stability and bring our grid system into the 21st century,” said McNerney in a statement.

Latta, who co-chairs the Grid Innovation Caucus with McNerney, said developing the voluntary blueprint would be better than using “government mandates and taxpayer money” to solve the problems the grid is facing.

“Let’s have industry and regulators work together in a collaborative way to find solutions that can be applied across the country,” Latta said.

DOE is underway with a high-profile, repeatedly delayed study of grid reliability and power plant closures (Greenwire, July 17).

Also yesterday, California Democrat Rep. Jared Huffman introduced H.R. 3286, called the “Know Your Oil Act.” The bill would require oil companies to disclose a wide range of data including greenhouse gas emissions, technology use and oil assays.

“I believe that Americans should be given the power of the full picture of the damage caused by using dirty energy sources,” Huffman said in a statement.

Huffman this week also introduced bills to calculate the carbon footprint of bills and to dramatically expand renewable energy (see related story).