Table of Contents
The American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009
The American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009 (ACELA) was established by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Act was established to do the following:
- accelerate the introduction of new clean energy technologies in the United States, creating new jobs and helping businesses grow through clean energy project financing, a renewable electricity standard, and a robust and secure national electricity transmission highway
- increase energy efficiency in buildings, major equipment, and appliances, saving consumers and businesses billions of dollars on their energy bill
- enhance America’s energy independence by increasing clean energy supplies and energy security, including new access to over 20 trillion cubic feet of clean natural gas resource
- strengthen America as the world leader in energy innovation, by doubling our national investment in energy research and technology
- build a new energy workforce for the future
- protect consumers by making energy markets more transparent and fair, and by providing new tools to fight market manipulation
- tackle future energy and climate challenges with smarter, more integrated planning1
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111-5), an economic stimulus bill, was enacted by the 111th U.S. Congress in February 2009. The measures within the bill are nominally worth $787 billion, with $21.5 billion for energy infrastructure and $27.2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and investment.2 A total of $92.2 million in DOE funding was selected for 161 projects in Alaska.3
Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) distributed $5,180,490 of ARRA funds to eligible Alaska cities and boroughs in the first half of 2010 to support energy efficiency and conservation improvements to public buildings and public facilities. City allocations ranged from $10,600 to $227,800, depending on population.4 A list of cities or boroughs in Alaska receiving grants from The Recovery Act funds through AEA and grant amounts are available here.
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) distributed a large portion of the funds, including $28.2 million in State Energy Program funds to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy within Alaska and $18.1 million in Weatherization Assistance Program funds to increase existing weatherization efforts across the state.5
Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008
Pub.L. 110-234, 122. Stat. 923, was enacted in May 2008 as a $288 billion five-year agricultural policy bill. The bill contains provisions for grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency upgrades for farms and rural businesses.
The full text of the bill can be read here.
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
Pub.L. 110-140 passed both houses on Dec. 18, 2007, and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on Dec. 19, 2007. The Act was "designed to increase energy efficiency and the availability of renewable energy."6 Highlights of the Act are as follows:
- Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE). The law sets a target of 35 miles per gallon for the combined fleet of cars and light trucks by model year 2020.
- Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The law sets a modified standard that starts at 9.0 billion gallons in 2008 and rises to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
- Energy Efficiency Equipment Standards. The adopted bill includes a variety of new standards for lighting and for residential and commercial appliance equipment. The equipment includes residential refrigerators, freezers, refrigerator-freezers, metal halide lamps, and commercial walk-in coolers and freezers.
- Repeal of Oil and Gas Tax Incentives. The enacted law includes repeal of two tax subsidies in order to offset the estimated cost to implement the CAFE provision.
Energy Policy Act
The Energy Policy Act (EPA) was established in 2005
The EPA addresses energy production in the United States, including: (1) energy efficiency (2) renewable energy (3) oil and gas (4) coal (5) Tribal energy (6) nuclear matters and security (7) vehicles and motor fuels, including ethanol (8) hydrogen (9) electricity (10) energy tax incentives (11) hydropower and geothermal energy and (12) climate change technology. For example, the Act provides loan guarantees for entities that develop or use innovative technologies that avoid the by-production of greenhouse gases.7
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) was created to establish public land policy, guidelines for its administration, and to provide for the management, protection, development, and enhancement of public lands.
Specific energy implications:
The Secretary, with respect to the public lands is authorized to grant, issue, or renew rights-or-way over, upon, under, or through such lands for systems for generation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy, except that the applicant shall also comply with all applicable requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under the Federal Power Act.
“The Secretary is authorized to conduct a study relating to the use of lands in the area for purposes of wind energy research. If the Secretary determines after such study that the conduct of wind energy research activity will not substantially impair the values of the lands in the area for purposes of this section, the Secretary is further authorized to issue permits for the use of such lands as a site for installation and field testing of an experimental wind turbine generating system. Any permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall contain such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines necessary to protect the values of such lands for purposes of this section.8”
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)9
NEPA was established in 1969 as one of the first laws ever written establishing a broad national framework for protecting our environment. NEPA’s policy is to assure that all governmental entities before taking federal action that could affect the environment give the right amount of consideration to the environment.
Its purpose: "To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality."
NEPA requires that the federal government uses sensible means to generate and preserve conditions allowing for man and the environment to continue living in productive harmony. NEPA requires along with other things that Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements be performed before any actions may take place. Along with the assessments agencies are required to share the information with any interested parties and to the general public.