Inhofe Praises Amendments Added to The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today praised the following bipartisan amendments adopted on a voice vote Tuesday evening to S.2012, The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015.

“In working with my colleagues across the Senate, I’m pleased that a number of my  amendments have been successfully included in the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015,” said Inhofe. "These bipartisan amendments capitalize on maximizing our domestic energy resources, reauthorize EPA’s Brownfields program through 2018, and reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program extending into 2021.  The passage of these amendments signals a great step forward for common sense policies that support economic opportunity while also preserving our nation's environment."


Alternative Energy:

Amendment #2983 – Geomatic Survey Data: Sponsored by Inhofe and cosponsored by Sen. King (I-Maine), this bipartisan amendment would allow federal agencies to accept geomatically gathered data for the purposes of considering preliminary approvals of permits. This language will accelerate permit consideration across the government.

Amendment #2981- Geothermal Heat Pumps: Sponsored by Inhofe and cosponsored by Sen. Carper (D-Del.), this bipartisan amendment would amend the definition of “renewable energy” under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to allow federal government agencies to use thermal energy when meeting their federal renewable energy procurement requirements.

Diesel Emissions Reduction Program Reauthorization:

Amendment 3143  - DERA Reauthorization:  Sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and cosponsored by Inhofe, this amendment reauthorizes the diesel emissions reduction program and extends the program to 2021.

Brownfields Reauthorization:

Amendment 2991 - Brownfields Reauthorization:  Sponsored by Inhofe with Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), this bipartisan amendment would reauthorize the EPA Brownfields program through 2018.  This amendment would also make several enhancements, including (1) prioritizing technical assistance grants for Brownfields projects in small communities, rural areas, and disadvantaged areas, (2) establishing a program to provide grants to locate clean energy projects at Brownfields sites, and (3) expanding funding eligibility for governmental entities that did not cause or contribute to the contamination.  

This amendment is based on S. 1479, the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act), which is sponsored by Inhofe, Markey, Booker, and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), along with Sens. Chris Murphy (D- Conn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).  A similar version of the BUILD Act was introduced by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), along with Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Inhofe, and Crapo in the  113th Congress and was reported by the EPW committee by voice vote on April 3, 2014.  This amendment would keep the authorization for appropriations at $250 million total.

Inhofe, Markey and Booker issued a press statement on Tuesday praising the amendment’s passage, which can be read by clicking here

In the release, Inhofe said, “With the passage of this amendment, we are one step closer toward fulfilling my goal of reauthorizing the Brownfields program…The Brownfields program has helped create jobs and promoted economic development across the country, and this reauthorization will make an already successful program even better.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to see this reauthorization enacted into law."