Clean energy investments spurred by the Biden administration face a challenge posed by a new bill that passed the House. It was put forward by Republican Representatives and was approved on April 26th. The bill is called H.R. 2811 – Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 and significantly scales back the federal support for renewable energy and energy storage enabled by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
In particular, the bill increases the federal debt limit and decreases spending. It suspends the debt limit through March 31, 2024, or until the debt increases by $1.5 trillion, whichever occurs first.
It repeals or modifies several energy tax credits like tax credits for renewable and clean energy, energy efficient property, alternative fuels, and electric vehicles. It modifies the permitting process and other requirements for energy projects, expands work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other programs, and nullifies regulations for the cancellation of federal student loan debt.
It establishes discretionary spending limits for FY2024-FY2033 that include decreases in discretionary spending and requires major federal rules to be approved by Congress before they take effect.
The bill supports the development of energy resources like oil, natural gas, and minerals. It requires additional federal oil and gas leasing, reduces or eliminates certain royalties and fees, and expedites the permitting process for various energy projects – all of which are beneficial for the oil and gas sector.
Clean energy trade bodies and organizations immediately opposed the move, pointing out that the energy transition does not result in job loss or a halt in economic growth but instead, it has spurred billions in investment and has created thousands of high-paying jobs since it was announced.
“With passage of the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, House Leadership is attempting to halt the nation’s accelerating momentum toward a clean energy future. The IRA tax incentives that would be repealed by this legislation have spurred American companies to announce dozens of new clean energy generation and manufacturing projects that are driving economic development, lowering energy costs, and creating good-paying jobs in red and blue states across the country,” commented on the H.R. 2811 bill the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
“The Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are estimated to spur significant emissions reductions, but they are not enough. The United States can be a global leader on clean energy development – growing the economy, creating jobs, improving public health, advancing domestic energy security and reliability, and achieving our climate goals without sacrificing one for the other,” also commented Evan Chapman, U.S. Federal Policy Director at Clean Air Task Force.