Inhofe Statement on Passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today praised Senate passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act (EPMA), which passed by a vote of 85 to 12. The EPMA contains valuable provisions from S.659, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2016, as well as several amendments sponsored by Inhofe.
“Energy development and production is a vital component of Oklahoma’s economy, and with the passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act we are one step closer to updating our nation’s energy policies to address today’s market,” said Inhofe. “This bill will improve the production, generation, and transmission of our energy and natural resources, to include streamlining the permitting process for pipelines, which will generate jobs and provide affordable, reliable energy for our nation. This bill will also expedite applications of liquefied natural gas exports, creating jobs in Oklahoma while giving our allies another alternative for purchasing affordable energy where Russia has long dominated the market. I’d like to thank my many colleagues who worked with me to include several of my bipartisan amendments as well as key components of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act that will support recreational sport shooting and encourage conservation work.”
Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act:
Amendment #3234: Sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) this bipartisan amendment contains provisions from S.659, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2016 that was reported out of the Senate EPW Committee on Jan. 20.
- Sec. 3: Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act: This section expands the use of Federal Pittman-Robertson conservation grants for public shooting ranges, including allowing a state to pay up to 90 percent of the costs of acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing public target ranges (the current maximum is 75 percent). It encourages federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local governments to maintain shooting ranges, including on waste removal activities. This language was introduced separately as S.992 by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
- Sec. 7, as modified: North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA): This section extends the authorization of appropriations for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for $50 million per year for fiscal years 2016 through 2021. NAWCA is a program that provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife.
- Sec. 17: National Fish Habitat Conservation: This section establishes a National Fish Habitat Board tasked with creating national goals and priorities for fish habitat conservation, approving fish habitat partnerships, and reviewing and making recommendations regarding fish habitat conservation projects.
Advancing Innovative Energy:
Amendment #2981- Geothermal Heat Pumps: Sponsored by Inhofe and cosponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), this bipartisan amendment amends the definition of “renewable energy” under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to allow federal government agencies to use geothermal heat pump technology when meeting their federal renewable energy procurement requirements.
Amendment #2983 – Geomatic Survey Data: Sponsored by Inhofe and cosponsored by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), this bipartisan amendment allows 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 and will benefit pipeline, electric transmission, highway, and other infrastructure projects.
Amendment #3251 – Natural Gas Vehicles: Sponsored by Inhofe and cosponsored by Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), this bipartisan amendment modifies the calculation of fuel economy for dual fueled vehicles to provide manufacturers with a greater regulatory incentive to produce natural gas vehicles.
Diesel Emissions Reduction Program Reauthorization:
Amendment #3143 - DERA Reauthorization: Sponsored by Carper and cosponsored by Inhofe, this amendment reauthorizes the diesel emissions reduction program and extends the program to 2021.
Amendment #2991 - Brownfields Reauthorization: Sponsored by Inhofe with Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), this bipartisan amendment reauthorizes 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.