Tuesday, September 30, 2008

House Passes Green Energy Bill With Davis-Bacon and PLA Language Included

I picked up this news from the Building Trades Department Website.

The House passed HR. 6899 (Abercrombie-D) in mid September. The bill, which has pro-labor elements, is a comprehensive energy bill that allocates 40% of all revenue from new offshore drilling to the rapid development of alternative fuels, renewable energy technologies, energy conservation and environmental clean-up, and sharing 30% of the revenue with the participating States. The president threatened to veto the bill with the strong labor provisions. Rep. Abercrombie blogged about the bill and its strong environmental elements after the bill passed the House.

According to the Building Trades Website:
The House Sept. 16 passed an energy policy bill with both Davis-Bacon Act and project labor agreement components that the White House promptly threatened to veto over provisions that officials said either failed to pass in other legislation, or which were previously threatened by veto.
The legislation, the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 6899/S. 3478), passed by a largely partisan vote of 236-189. It contains many renewable tax incentives that are incorporated into the House-passed energy and tax extenders bill (H.R. 6049) and were incorporated into a new bipartisan energy and tax extenders bill fully unveiled Sept. 17 and expected to be on the Senate floor later this week.

However, the Bush administration in a policy statement released the same day as the House vote, threatened to veto the House bill. Administration officials argued that while the legislation purported to open access to American energy sources, in reality it would stifle development of new oil and gas resources.

Moreover, the officials added that the bill included several "poison pill" provisions. Specific to construction, the administration took issue with provisions it said would expand "Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements contrary to the Administration's long-standing policy of opposing statutory attempts to expand or contract the Davis-Bacon Act."

According to a side-by-side comparison of the House and Senate versions of the bill, the legislation includes several tax incentives for renewable energy. "The measure provides for the allocation of $2.625 billion in energy conservation bonds, $1.75 billion in clean renewable energy bonds, and $1.75 billion in energy security bonds to finance the installation of natural gas pumps at gas stations; all would be tax-credit bonds, which provide a tax credit in lieu of interest, and projects financed through the bonds would have to comply with Davis-Bacon requirements," the report said.
Ill be watching this bill. It could bring major benefits to our renewable nation's energy portfolio and workforce. The bill can be found here.

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