Efficiency Measure Falls Off House Energy-Bill Express

10 minor bills passed, mostly by voice vote

A bill encouraging the development of energy efficient federal office buildings was left off the House calendar on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House passed Monday a passel of energy infrastructure and efficiency bills that were marked up last week, although the chamber left out the only one with a small hint of controversy, a measure to encourage the development of energy-efficient federal office buildings.

In total, 10 bills were on the House docket under suspension of the rules, with most passing by voice vote. Two of the bills required roll call votes and were passed 400-1 and 402-1, respectively.

The measures are relatively minor. Most extended timelines for construction authorization permits for dams.

But lawmakers were not able to come to an agreement on the 11th bill that advanced out of the Energy and Commerce committee last week after issues arose over a provision in the legislation related to hydropower, according to a congressional staffer.

The bill “would facilitate the use of energy savings contracts to encourage private sector investment to upgrade the energy and water efficiency of federal facilities,” according to a Energy and Commerce notice. The measure, co-sponsored by Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., moved out of committee on a voice vote.

Committee staff is hoping to work through the impasse this week, and get the bill to the floor relatively soon, an aide said.

The set of energy bills expected to pass the chamber included a measure, originally authored by Rep. Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill., meant to promote energy workforce training. The bill would direct the Department of Energy to prioritize training and education programs with a special emphasis on women, veteran and minority workers.

Among the other legislation considered Monday, the House also passed a measure meant to make it easier for schools to take advantage of federal programs to help them cut energy use, a bill that would establish a minimum monetary threshold of $10 million for mergers and acquisitions of facilities subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission review. Seven bills focused on extending the license and construction authorization permits for various hydroelectric projects.

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