Senate Approves Carper, Inhofe Amendments to Energy Modernization Act

Measures would encourage renewable energy use and reduce diesel emissions harmful to public health and the environment

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of EPW, released the following statements highlighting two amendments to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 that were approved by voice vote in the Senate on Tuesday night.

The Carper-Inhofe #3145 amendment, sponsored by Sen. Carper and co-sponsored by Sen. Inhofe, would amend the definition of “renewable energy” under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to allow federal government agencies to use thermal energy and waste heat to power when meeting their federal renewable energy procurement requirements.

“This bipartisan amendment is a common-sense fix that will help our agencies adopt effective and proven strategies to meet their energy needs in a clean, cost-efficient, and responsible way,” said Sen. Carper. “This measure would not only help agencies save money, but also allow the federal government to lead by example in becoming more environmentally sustainable and less reliant on foreign sources of energy. That’s what I like to call a ‘win-win.’ I’m proud to join Senator Inhofe in championing this amendment.”

“For several years Senator Carper and I have worked to modify the definition of renewable energy to provide agencies with more options of compliance under requirements of the Energy Policy Act,” said Sen. Inhofe. “I am proud that our efforts have been able to advance a bipartisan solution that both saves the federal government money and promotes domestic energy sources.”

The Carper-Inhofe #3143 amendment, sponsored by Sen. Carper and cosponsored by Sen. Inhofe, would reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act retrofit grant program at the Environmental Protection Agency through 2021, at $100 million annually.

“Although retrofitting diesel engines provides enormous environmental benefits, there are few direct economic incentives for vehicle and equipment owners to partake in the retrofits. The Diesel Emission Reduction Act uses federal dollars to leverage state and private resources to generate national investments in diesel retrofit technology,” said Sen. Carper. “By cleaning up old diesel engines – like those on the school buses that take our children to school every day – DERA works to improve our quality of life while creating a higher demand for clean diesel technology, which in turn creates American jobs. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for supporting this common-sense investment in our nation’s air quality, public health and economy.”

“The Diesel Emission Reduction Act encourages the federal and local government along with the private sector to work together in advancing the use of clean diesel,” said Sen. Inhofe. “Maintaining this grant program is common sense policy for leveraging our cost-efficient domestic energy resources, improving air quality, and creating jobs. I appreciate Sen. Carper for his partnership in moving this amendment forward, and applaud the Senate for the unanimous support showing the importance of continuing the DERA program.”