Bills look to boost infrastructure

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017

House and Senate lawmakers introduced a handful of bills this week aimed at promoting energy infrastructure, including dams and pipelines.

One, from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), is the latest in his efforts to establish an Appalachian natural gas storage facility. S. 1337 would make the proposed regional storage hub eligible for the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program.

It follows pieces of legislation from Manchin and his West Virginia colleague Sen. Shelley Capito Moore (R) aimed at studying and developing the energy hub (E&E Daily, June 13).

Three other bills introduced this week deal with hydropower:

  • H.R. 2880, from Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), aims to promote closed-loop pumped storage hydropower.
  • H.R. 2872, from Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), would promote hydropower development at existing non-powered dams.
  • S. 1336, from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), would reauthorize production incentives and efficiency improvement incentives for hydropower projects.

Griffith also introduced a bill that would expand the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s duty to hold meetings and collect public comment during its approval process for natural gas pipelines. H.R. 2893 is a House companion to legislation from Griffith’s Virginia counterparts in the Senate, Democrats Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (E&E Daily, June 9).

“Knowing the long-term impacts of these projects, we must ensure that the right processes are in place so the public can more thoroughly evaluate the effects of a proposed pipeline, and opportunities for engagement should be a priority,” Griffith said in a statement.