WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, has cosponsored the American Energy Innovation Act of 2015, a bill to unleash innovation in energy, spur new technologies and opportunities, enhance national security, and create jobs while reducing pollution. A summary of the legislation is available here.
"We have a moral obligation to meet the challenges of climate change head on. These are smart policies that offer a roadmap to transition to cleaner energy sources and strengthen our national security, while creating jobs," said Sen. Heinrich. "New Mexico, with our abundant wind and solar resources, can and should be at the center of America's clean energy economy. I'm committed to making that brighter future a reality."
Key provisions championed by Senator Heinrich to boost community solar, protect our nation's grid from cyber security threats, and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) were included in the bill:
Scaling up community solar projects - key provisions in Heinrich's, Promoting Renewable Energy with Shared Solar (PRESS) Act, were included in the bill. The measure adds a new federal standard for states to consider that requires utilities to allow community solar projects up to 2 megawatts in size to be connected to their power distribution system. Additionally, the utility would be required to allow the electricity produced by the community solar facility to be credited directly to each of the consumers that owns a share of the system, offsetting cost of the electricity that would normally be billed by the utility to the consumer.
Permanent funding of LWCF - Heinrich supported a provision in the bill to permanently fund LWCF. Heinrich has consistently fought to protect this successful conservation program. He is an original cosponsor of, S. 890, a bill to permanently authorize and fully fund the LWCF. The program has helped protect many of New Mexico's treasured landscapes and wildlife refuges, including the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Petroglyph National Monument, Aztec Ruins National Monument Santa Fe National Forest, and Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge.
Protecting bulk-power system from cyber security threats - Heinrich's bill to amend the Federal Power Act to protect the bulk-power system from cyber security threats was included in the bill. The legislation allows the U.S. Secretary of Energy to take immediate action in dealing with cyber attacks in order to protect the U.S. electric grid.