1. Even though just a few weeks ago House and Senate Republican leaders swore they would complete the full appropriations process this year for the first time since 1994, it is clear that the chances for success are slipping away.
NECA’s Look Ahead: There are several competing interests in getting an FY 2017 spending plan completed before September 30, 2016. House Conservatives will oppose any perceived spending increases for entitlement reform. House Appropriators are ready to move ahead with their spending bills whether or not Congress can pass a spending blueprint. Lastly, the Senate is expected to grind to a halt as the fight over Justice Scalia’s successor takes shape.
2. NECA and 23 other companies and organizations joined the Heat is Power Association in written comments to the IRS urging the agency to clarify that the definition of combined heat and power (CHP) system property in Section 48 of the U.S. tax code includes both topping cycle and bottoming cycle cogeneration, the latter also known as waste heat to power (WHP).
NECA’s Look Ahead: As presently written, the CHP definition limits the 10 percent ITC to topping cycle cogeneration projects only. Congress, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all formally recognize bottoming cycle cogeneration in law, regulation and published reports, and commonly refer to it as WHP. NECA opposes the current exclusion of bottoming cycle cogeneration from the definition of eligible technologies in Section 48 as it prohibits the use of an important financial tool to support deployment of this clean energy technology, making it challenging for these fuel-free, emission-free systems to compete in the marketplace.
3. The House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, chaired by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), will hold a hearing on February 24 to review activities carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) related to future water resources development, including the Corps’ annual report to Congress and completed Chief’s Reports.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The Secretary of the Army is required to submit an annual “Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development” of activities related to the USACE missions for navigation, flood control, shoreline protection, hydropower, dam safety, water supply, recreation, and environmental restoration and protection improvements. The Subcommittee will review the annual reports and Chief’s Reports issued since the last water resources bill in 2014, as it continues to prepare for the next Water Resource Development Act (WRDA). NECA continues to advocate for regular biennial passage of WRDA to ensure timely and regular investment in our nation’s waterways transportation system.