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Legislative Update: NECA Supports ESIC and Passing Reverse Auction Reform

Jan 10, 2020

1. Congress Returns to Washington, D.C. 

On January 7, 2020, the House reconvened for the Second Session of the 116th United States Congress.

NECA Look Ahead: Upon Congress return to Washington D.C., the NECA government affairs team sent a letter to all Representatives and Senators, outlining our priorities for 2020.

2. Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act (ESIC) Introduced

On Wednesday, January 8, Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) introduced the bipartisan Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Darrin LaHood (R-Ill.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.).

NECA Look Ahead:  In support of the bill, NECA’s CEO, David Long, released the following statement. “NECA supports a comprehensive energy policy, and I applaud Reps. Reed, Panetta and the rest of their bipartisan colleagues for initiating this important bill. Modernizing our nation’s energy policy consists of incentivizing clean and renewable energy sources and promoting the development of energy storage technologies. The Energy Sector Innovation Credit does just that. By facilitating tax reform that is technology-neutral, cutting-edge technologies will be able to break into the market, creating innovative solutions and resources for Americans. I firmly believe innovation is essential in providing a better experience for both NECA members and the lives and communities they empower every single day.”

The Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act:

  • Helps cutting-edge technologies break into the market.
  • Naturally phases down the tax credit as each technology becomes commercially viable.
  • Brings new technologies to the market to quickly and cheaply reduce global emissions.
  • Ensures the United States remains a leader in clean energy technology development and deployment.
  • Leverages new private investment in budding clean technologies through a tech-neutral approach.

3. Senate Passes Bill to Outlaw Reverse Auctions 

At the end of 2019, the Senate unanimously passed S. 1434, the Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act of 2019. This legislation seeks to outlaw the use of reverse auctions on any construction services procured by the Federal Government. The reverse auction has had a notoriously negative effect on the bidding process when utilized. In contrast to a normal seller-buyer relationship, this process flips the roles with contractors forced to take a dangerous race to the bottom, cutting corners to beat out competition, ultimately degrading the final product.

NECA’s Look Ahead: The legislation now moves to the House where NECA will strongly advocate for the passage of this common-sense reform. Although limited, the use of reverse auctions has negatively impacted the final product provided to the federal government and the relationships within the contracting community ecosystem.