The communities we serve are at the heart of public power’s mission to provide reliable and affordable electric power. During challenging times, we always step up to help our employees, customers, and community and advocate for their fair share. Our employees are essential to powering our way of life. No matter what hits us, whether it’s a pandemic, extreme weather or natural disaster, the men and women of public power are on the front lines, delivering affordable, reliable electricity to 30 million Americans.
1 | PROMOTE A TECHNOLOGY NEUTRAL POLICY
Federal policy should set a goal for decarbonization and not favor specific technologies. Performance-based policies leave the choices and trade-offs among available clean generation resources and implementation strategies to electricity providers. They are in the best position to balance affordability and system reliability in choosing an emissions reduction strategy. A technology neutral approach will also allow the best-performing new technologies to be selected and deployed faster than under a one-size-fits-all approach.
2 | RESPECT REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
Different regions of the country have access to different types of clean generation resources. This means that there is not one pathway for the power sector to reduce its CO2 emissions. Rather, the transformation to clean energy should respect regional diversity of available clean generating resources that allows for each electricity provider to establish a balanced energy portfolio based on its selection of the most appropriate clean energy resources. Furthermore, federal policies should recognize that electricity providers start from very different places in terms of available clean energy generation options and face different challenges in implementing those options. These differences will affect the pace, timeframes, and manner for achieving decarbonization.
3 | ENCOURAGE INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
The electric sector does not yet have the full range of technologies needed to provide affordable, reliable electricity with net‑zero emissions. Technology breakthroughs and innovations are necessary in clean electricity sources, energy storage, end-use energy efficiency, and advanced grid capabilities to achieve the clean energy future. Public and private investment is needed in research, development, and deployment to advance the technology breakthroughs that will enable decarbonization of the electric sector. Significant federal financial assistance and strong collaboration between industry and key federal agencies and laboratories is essential to the development and commercialization of future energy technologies.
4 | ENABLE FLEXIBLE COMPLIANCE
Policy mechanisms that increase flexibility in compliance reduce the costs of achieving decarbonization goals. Depending on the policy design, these include trading, banking, multi-year compliance periods, and alternative compliance payments. Given the range in CO2 emissions intensity for electricity providers, a workable implementation schedule for any federal program is important. Federal policy should avoid or minimize redundancy of federal and state regulations in those cases where state regulatory programs are achieving CO2 emission reductions that are equivalent to or greater than the federal requirements.
5 | ENSURE COMPARABLE CLEAN ENERGY TAX INCENTIVES ARE AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC POWER
For many years, there has been strong support for increased energy production from renewable and clean energy resources. Congress has consistently provided taxable utilities with tax incentives for such investments (i.e., the Section 45 production tax credit, the 45Q credit for sequestration of carbon oxides, and Section 48 investment tax credit). LPPC is seeking comparable incentives for its non-taxable members. LPPC supports a mechanism that allows public power entities to directly monetize tax benefits for renewable and clean energy production.1 Further, LPPC supports House and Senate tax-writing committees efforts to replace the multitude of energy tax provisions with a simplified system of technology-neutral tax credit incentives, and if Congress adopts such a system, public power entities should be provided comparable tax benefits to those provided to taxable utilities. LPPC commits to work with policymakers to develop appropriate comparable energy tax incentives for public power.
1 H.R. 848, Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act of 2021, introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) in the 117th Congress. LPPC also supports other methods of providing monetization, such as direct pay bonds as included in Sen. Wyden’s (D-OR) Clean Energy for America Act or transferability of credits as included in Rep. Reed’s (R-NY) Energy Sector Innovation Credit.
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