Reported by the joint conference committee on July 27, 2005; agreed to by the House on July 28, 2005 (275-156, Roll call vote 445, via Clerk.House.gov) and by the Senate on July 29, 2005 (74-26, Roll call vote 213, via Senate.gov)
George W. Bush signing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was designed to promote US nuclear reactor construction, through incentives and subsidies, including cost-overrun support up to a total of $2 billion for six new nuclear plants.
the Act increases the amount of biofuel (usually ethanol) that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States to 4 billion US gallons (15,000,000 m3) by 2006, 6.1 billion US gallons (23,000,000 m3) by 2009 and 7.5 billion US gallons (28,000,000 m3) by 2012; two years later, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 extended the target to 36 billion US gallons (140,000,000 m3) by 2022.
it seeks to increase coal as an energy source while also reducing air pollution, through authorizing $200 million annually for clean coal initiatives, repealing the current 160-acre (0.65 km2) cap on coal leases, allowing the advanced payment of royalties from coal mines and requiring an assessment of coal resources on federal lands that are not national parks;
study and report on existing natural energy resources including wind, solar, waves and tides;
study and report on national benefits of demand response and make a recommendation on achieving specific levels of benefits and encourages time-based pricing and other forms of demand response as a policy decision;
it authorizes cost-overrun support of up to $2 billion total for up to six new nuclear power plants;
it authorizes production tax credit of up to $125 million total a year, estimated at 1.8 US¢/kWh during the first eight years of operation for the first 6.000 MW of capacity, consistent with renewables;
it authorizes loan guarantees of up to 80% of project cost to be repaid within 30 years or 90% of the project's life ;
it authorizes 'standby support' for new reactor delays that offset the financial impact of delays beyond the industry's control for the first six reactors, including 100% coverage of the first two plants with up to $500 million each and 50% of the cost of delays for plants three through six with up to $350 million each for ;
it allows nuclear plant employees and certain contractors to carry firearms;
it prohibits the sale, export or transfer of nuclear materials and "sensitive nuclear technology" to any state sponsor of terrorist activities;
it updates tax treatment of decommissioning funds;
it directs the Secretary of the Interior to complete a programmatic environmental impact statement for a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands with an emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands within each of the states of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
In Congressional bills, an "authorization" of a discretionary program is a permission to spend money IF money has been appropriated; while an "appropriation" is the provision of funds so it can be spent. The authorizations above will not get carried out if money is never appropriated for them.
The bill amends the Uniform Time Act of 1966 by changing the start and end dates of daylight saving time, beginning in 2007. Clocks were set ahead one hour on the second Sunday of March (March 11, 2007) instead of on the first Sunday of April (April 1, 2007). Clocks were set back one hour on the first Sunday in November (November 4, 2007), rather than on the last Sunday of October (October 28, 2007). This had the net effect of slightly lengthening the duration of daylight saving time.
The Act created the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction, a special financial incentive designed to reduce the initial cost of investing in energy-efficient building systems via an accelerated tax deduction under section §179D of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Many building owners are unaware that the [Policy Act of 2005] includes a tax deduction (§179D) for investments in "energy efficient commercial building property" designed to significantly reduce the heating, cooling, water heating and interior lighting cost of new or existing commercial buildings placed into service between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2013.
§179D includes full and partial tax deductions for investments in energy efficient commercial building that are designed to increase the efficiency of energy-consuming functions. Up to $.60 for lighting, $.60 for HVAC and $.60 for building envelope, creating a potential deduction of $1.80 per sq/ft. Interior lighting may also be improved using the Interim Lighting Rule, which provides a simplified process to earn the Deduction, capped at $0.30-$0.60/square foot. Improvements are compared to a baseline of ASHRAE 2001 standards.
To obtain these benefits the facilities/energy division of a business, its tax department, and a firm specializing in EPAct 179D deductions needed to cooperate. IRS mandated software had to be used and an independent 3rd party had to certify the qualification. For municipal buildings, benefits were passed through to the primary designers/architects in an attempt to encourage innovative municipal design.
The commercial building tax deductions could be used to improve the payback period of a prospective energy improvement investment. The deductions could be combined by participating in demand response programs where building owners agree to curtail usage at peak times for a premium. The most common qualifying projects were in the area of lighting.
Summary of Energy Savings Percentages Provided by IRS Guidance
Percentages permitted under Notice 2006-52
(Effective for property placed in service January 1, 2006 - December 31, 2008)
Interior Lighting Systems 16 2/3 %,
Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, and Hot Water Systems 16 2/3 %,
Building Envelope 16 2/3 %.
Percentages permitted under Notice 2008-40
(Effective for property placed in service January 1, 2006 - December 31, 2013)
Interior Lighting Systems 20%,
Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, and Hot Water Systems 20%,
Building Envelope 10%.
Percentages permitted under Notice 2012-22
Interior Lighting Systems 25%,
Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, and Hot Water Systems 15%,
Building Envelope 10%.
Effective date of Notice 2012-22 - December 31, 2013; if §179D is extended beyond December 31, 2013, is also effective (except as otherwise provided in an amendment of §179D or the guidance thereunder) during the period of the extension.
The Congressional Budget Office review of the conference version of the bill estimated the Act will increase direct spending by $2.2 billion over the 2006-2010 period, and by $1.6 billion over the 2006-2015 period. The CBO did not attempt to estimate additional effects on discretionary spending.
The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the legislation would reduce revenues by $7.9 billion over the 2005-2010 period and by $12.3 billion over the 2005-2015 period.
The collective reduction in national consumption of energy (gas and electricity) is significant for home heating. The Act provided gible financial incentives (tax credits) for average homeowners to make environmentally positive changes to their homes. It made improvements to home energy use more affordable for walls, doors, windows, roofs, water heaters, etc. Consumer spending, and hence the national economy, was abetted. Industry grew for manufacture of these environmentally positive improvements. These positive improvements have been near and long-term in effect.
The collective reduction in national consumption of oil is significant for automotive vehicles. The Act provided tangible financial incentives (tax credits) for operators of hybrid vehicles. It helped fuel competition among auto makers to meet rising demands for fuel-efficient vehicles. Consumer spending, and hence the national economy, was abetted. Dependence on imported oil was reduced. The national trade deficit was improved. Industry grew for manufacture of these environmentally positive improvements. These positive improvements have been near and long-term in effect.
The Washington Post contended that the spending bill was a broad collection of subsidies for United States energy companies; in particular, the nuclear and oil industries.
Speaking for the National Republicans for Environmental Protection Association, President Martha Marks said that the organization was disappointed in the bill because it did not support conservation enough, and continued to subsidize the well-established oil and gas industries that didn't require subsidizing.
The bill did not include provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR); some Republicans claimed "access to the abundant oil reserves in ANWR would strengthen America's energy independence without harming the environment."
Requiring increased reliance on non-greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources similar to the Kyoto Protocol.
To remove from 18 CFR Part 366.1 the definitions of "electric utility company" and exempt wholesale generator (EWG), that an EWG is not an electric utility company.
Preliminary Senate vote
June 28, 2005, 10:00 a.m. Yeas - 85, Nays - 12
The bill's conference committee included 14 Senators and 51 House members. The senators on the committee were: Republicans Domenici, Craig, Thomas, Alexander, Murkowski, Burr, Grassley and Democrats Bingaman, Akaka, Dorgan, Wyden, Johnson, and Baucus.
^Will Thurman (November 17, 2008). "Biofuels' Bright Future". Forbes(PDF)|format= requires |url= (help). emerging-markets.com. In December 2007, with the imminent arrival of $100-per-barrel oil, the U.S. Congress swiftly acted to upgrade the 2005 biofuels initiative and RFS from its original target of 7 billion US gallons (26,000,000 m3) by 2012 to a revised RFS target (passed in December 2007) of 36 billion US gallons (140,000,000 m3) of biofuels production by 2022.Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
^David Freedlander, "It could happen again: On fifth anniversary of blackout, nation still vulnerable", A.M. N.Y., August 12, 2008. See response at Letter to the Editor[permanent dead link]. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
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