Whitehouse & Quigley Introduce Bills to Power Clean Energy Future
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) have introduced two bills aimed at improving the nation’s power infrastructure and streamlining the regulatory process to help put the country on the path to a sustainable future. The Streamlining Interstate Transmission of Electricity (SITE) Act and the Advanced Energy Technologies and Grid Efficiency Act would create jobs, stimulate the economy, and advance the transition to clean energy.
“The first step to scaling up renewable energy is upgrading the nation’s electric grid,” said Whitehouse. “Our proposals would make it easier to get clean energy from the remote locations where it is often generated to the homes and businesses where it is needed.”
“The future of our planet demands that we transition to clean energy. If we want to make that future a reality, we must begin with the critical work of preparing our electric grid now,” said Quigley. “Too many barriers currently stand between the power sector and more widespread adoption of renewables. I was proud to work with Senator Whitehouse on two legislative initiatives that will not only reduce those barriers, but also ensure that the process is not abused to the detriment of American landowners.”
The SITE Act would establish a new federal siting authority at FERC to smooth the process of constructing long range, inter-regional high voltage transmission lines. New transmission lines are needed to get more renewable energy to homes and businesses. Presently, these projects face significant hurdles due to the complex and intensive coordination required between states, federal agencies, regulators, industry, and local landowners. The new siting authority created by the SITE Act would eliminate some of those barriers for transmission lines that cross multiple states. Additionally, the SITE Act would create new eminent domain authority under the Federal Power Act to prevent abuses related to transmission siting. In the Senate, the SITE Act is cosponsored by Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).
The Advanced Energy Technologies and Grid Efficiency Act would bring together a cross-section of federal and regional agencies to pinpoint gaps in the electric grid that may hamper the introduction of clean energy sources in the future. The legislation authorizes funding to upgrade electricity delivery infrastructure and would help determine whether federal regulators have the appropriate authorities to oversee the siting of the transmission lines for expanding clean energy.
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