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House Advances Four Bipartisan Energy Bills

Upton Begins 115th Congress with Immediate Bipartisan Success

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Washington, January 23, 2017 | Tom Wilbur/Lynn Turner (202-225-3761/269-385-0039) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, released the following statement after speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of four bipartisan energy bills that unanimously passed the House and now move to the Senate for consideration.

“These are four common-sense, bipartisan bills that will encourage job creation, increase accountability, and improve safety and affordability for consumers. As the new Congress gets underway, we will continue to advance solutions that ensure affordable energy for all American families. I applaud my colleagues for their hard work on these bills and look forward to the Senate taking them up in the coming weeks.”

H.R. 511, the Power and Security (PASS) Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, would extend existing exemptions for security and life safety alarms from 2017 to 2023. It is virtually impossible for devices such as security alarms or smoke detectors that have to continuously be on to meet current Department of Energy (DOE) regulations because the regulations did not originally make accommodations for these “always on” products. This legislation would help protect both the jobs of those who make these products as well as the life and property of those who rely upon them. A nearly identical version of this bill passed in 2015.

H.R. 587, the Fair RATES Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, sets forth processes to set rates for electricity, including the opportunity for the public to protest a rate change filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The legislation was advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee during the 114th Congress by a voice vote and unanimously passed the House.

H.R. 590, the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2017, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, will help American innovators and entrepreneurs develop and license advanced nuclear technologies by updating the regulatory framework to be more adaptive, technology-inclusive, and predictable. This bill ensures that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has the necessary expertise and resources to review and license new technologies and was advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee during the 114th Congress by a voice vote unanimously passed the House.

H.R. 518, EPS Improvement Act of 2017, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, provides a carefully tailored solution to the problem manufacturers have faced trying to comply with DOE efficiency standards for external power supplies (EPS). The legislation carves out an exception for these devices, often found in certain types of ceiling fans and light-emitting diodes (LED) devices. The House advanced this bill in 2015.

Upton was selected as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy for the 115th Congress. This important panel has jurisdiction over national energy policy. 

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