Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) announced that several key provisions to support energy innovation in Houston were included in H.R. 133, the year-end appropriations bill. As Chair of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee, Fletcher worked in committee to pass bipartisan bills to modernize pipeline infrastructure, promote energy technology innovation, and support carbon capture utilization and storage technology.
H.R. 133, which passed the House earlier today, includes several of Fletcher’s priorities, including an extension of the Alternative Fuels Tax Credit, modernized regulations and a new pilot safety program at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and investments for fossil energy research and development and clean energy technology innovation.
“The United States leads in energy production and innovation. To ensure that we continue to lead the global energy economy, it is vital that Congress supports the type of innovation and ingenuity in these programs,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “I was glad to work with my colleagues to pass several bipartisan provisions in this year’s appropriations package, including legislation to modernize pipeline safety regulations, incentivize the use of natural gas, and invest in carbon capture technology—which is critical to carbon reduction efforts.”
Fletcher added: “To meet our climate and energy objectives, we must invest in research and development of innovative technologies. As the center of the energy expertise and innovation in the country, the Houston region is well-positioned to utilize the support provided through this bill and chart the course for our energy future.”
Specifically, H.R. 133 incorporates the following:
Alternative Fuel Tax Credit Extension: A one-year extension of the Alternative Fuels Tax Credit, which incentivizes the innovation of alternative fuels used as motor fuel, including compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified natural gas (LNG), and renewable natural gas (RNG). Last year, Fletcher introduced the bipartisan AFTC Extension Act of 2019to renew this lapsed tax credit.
New Pipeline Safety Enhancement Pilot Program: Establishes a pipeline safety technology pilot program to evaluate innovative technologies and operational practices for pipelines at the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Fletcher first introduced this program as an amendment in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last year, and she led this bipartisan legislation in the House with Congressman Marc Veasey.
Updated regulations at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA): Updates PHMSA regulations to bring into line with modern advanced LNG export terminals. Fletcher put forth an amendment in committee reflecting this language.
Fossil Energy Research and Development Act:Expands the Department of Energy’s research, development, and large-scale demonstration of carbon removal technology, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology. Fletcher led this legislation with Representatives Mark Veasey (D-TX), David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Conor Lamb (D-PA).
ARPA-E Reauthorization Act: Reauthorizes funding for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which helps to advance high-potential, high-impact energy technologies in the early stages of development, and expands its authority to work on projects relating to nuclear waste clean-up and management issues and projects to improve energy infrastructure. Fletcher was a co-sponsor of this legislation.