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Knight Introduces Energy Legislation

Bill Would Improve Access To New Energy For Federal Agencies

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Washington, May 26, 2016 | Daniel Outlaw (202-660-2671) | comments

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced a bill Thursday that would expand opportunities for companies to contract with the federal government for energy production and improve the process for evaluating new energy projects.    

H.R. 5349, the Energy Contracting Opportunities Act, would change an outdated rule for federal agencies that limits their ability to enter into long-term contracts with energy companies, bringing them in line with contracting options currently only available to the Department of Defense. This change would give smaller and newer energy companies, including those that work with renewable sources like solar and wind, more opportunities to compete for government contracts to reduce the government’s taxpayer-funded energy bill. This flexible approach has already been a huge success for the Defense Department.

H.R. 5349 would also provide clarity on an issue that has caused major delays in developing new energy projects by requiring a study on impacts that different energy sectors have on bird populations around the country. Not having this information has been a major roadblock for approving new projects. The side-by-side comparison would allow those deciding whether or not to approve or zone for projects to have accurate, up-to-date information on the effects of various energy projects, taking into account the significant industry-driven improvements recently made to energy technology.

“As an organization focused on building a sustainable future for the greater Antelope Valley, we believe that the Energy Contracting Opportunities Act represents an opportunity to leverage the advancements in renewable power generation to meet the future energy infrastructure needs of our region and the nation,” said Vicki Medina, Executive Director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade. 

Knight, who serves as Vice-Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy, sees the legislation as a way to enhance the security and longevity of America’s energy system while also spurring economic development. His previous work on energy policy includes a bill he authored this year that would create federal standards for underground natural gas storage facilities with the goal of preventing another gas leak like the one in Porter Ranch last October. 

“By expanding opportunities for more energy providers to compete for federal contracts and studying a longstanding problem that has stunted energy innovation, this bill is a step in the right direction toward improving our nation’s energy infrastructure,” said Rep. Knight. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to advance this common-sense measure.”

H.R. 5349 was introduced on Thursday and now awaits assignment to committee.

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