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U.S. Senate debating American Energy Innovation Act, which will boost hydro

The text of the new American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA), released last week, contains language that will benefit hydropower and marine energy in Alaska, says sponsor U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

The AEIA reauthorizes the marine and hydrokinetic energy program at the U.S. Department of Energy to focus on the latest technologies. The bill also extends incentives to install electric generation capacity at non-producing dams.

Murkowski said yesterday that she intends to file the full text of AEIA as a substitute amendment to S. 2657, which is being debated on the Senate floor this week. In her floor remarks on March 2, Murkowski said: “It has now been more than 12 years since Congress enacted comprehensive legislation to update our nation’s energy laws. During that time the shale revolution has turned America into an energy superpower. The costs of renewable resources have come down dramatically. New technologies are emerging, but our policies have not kept pace. We are missing out on opportunities to further our energy leadership, and we are failing to adequately address some very significant challenges.”

Murkowski and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) together developed the bipartisan bill. Murkowski is the Chairman and Manchin is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The bill contains measures sponsored by more than 60 Senators. Its key provisions focus on energy efficiency; renewable energy; energy storage; carbon capture, utilization and storage; advanced nuclear; industrial and vehicle technologies; DOE; mineral security; cyber and grid security and modernization; and workforce development.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held legislative hearings and business meetings throughout 2019 and, following regular order, reported more than 50 energy-related bills to the full Senate on an individual basis. Most of those measures have now been compiled in the AEIA.

Click here to view the full text of the act.