U.S. House Democrats Expected To Vote On Expanded Infrastructure Bill

Last week, House Democrats released a 2,309 page infrastructure bill known as “The Moving Forward Act” (H.R.2) totaling $1.5 trillion.

The bill includes the bill passed by the U.S. House Transportation Committee last week, and it adds sections on water and energy infrastructure, broadband, housing and schools, healthcare and aviation.

Click Here for a complete list of issues passed by House Transportation Committee last week that are of importance to fuel marketers.

H.R. 2 pours tens of billions of dollars into modernizing the electric grid, investing in water projects, and extending a host of energy tax credits. Provisions important to fuel marketers include:

— Expands the controversial $7,500 federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. The current $7,500 EV tax credit allows taxpayers to deduct part of the cost of buying an EV and phases out once an automaker hits 200,000 cumulative EV sales which both Tesla and GM have hit. H.R. 2 would expand the 200,000 cumulative EV sales to 600,000 and reduce the credit by $500 to $7,000. The bill would also create a new “used EV tax credit” through 2025 for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of $30,000, or $60,000 for joint filers of $1,250.

Phases out the biodiesel blender’s tax credit (BBTC). Current law has the BBTC expiring on December 31, 2022. The bill would add an additional two years to the BBTC through December 31, 2025 but reduce the $1 per gallon credit each year. It would also extend credits for alternative fuels and alternative fuel mixtures at a rate of 50 cents per gallon through 2022, and subsequently phase them down through 2025.

Reauthorizes and expands two grant programs promoting electrification of the transportation sector by providing $2 billion per year through 2025 for competitive grants related to EV infrastructure.

Extends and increases the authorization for the EPA’s diesel emission reduction program by providing $500 million per year through 2025. It would expand the EPA grant program to replace or retrofit school buses to be powered with alternative fuels or ULSD to allow for rebates and revolving loans.

Authorizes $1 billion annually through 2025 for a Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program which would provide rebates of as much as $800 for insulation and air sealing and as much as $1,500 if the installation is accompanied with a total or partial replacement of the HVAC system. Rebates would be capped at 30 percent of the actual cost of each installation and replacement. The Energy Department could pay contractors an additional $250 for each eligible project in exchange for information sharing on the performance of the retrofit.

H.R. 2 would make grants under the program for states to administer their own rebates for retrofits that reduce home energy use by at least 20 percent. Additional rebates would be allowed for retrofits achieving a 40 percent reduction.

The bill would also authorize $350 million in fiscal 2021, increasing each year to $1 billion in fiscal 2025 for the Weatherization Assistance Program and would establish a new weatherization grant program to support retrofitting low-income housing.

Extends the credit for nonbusiness energy property placed in service by the end of 2025. It would make several changes for property placed in service starting in 2021, including: increasing the credit to 15 percent, from 10 percent, of energy efficiency improvement expenses, increasing the lifetime cap to $1,200, from $500.

The House Rules Committee will meet this week to debate a rule that will structure floor debate and consider additional amendments for H.R. 2.

Over 330 amendments have been submitted. Following the House Rules Committee meeting, H.R. 2 will head to the House floor where it is expected to pass along party lines and then die in the Senate.

The bill currently lacks a full “pay for” meaning it is unlikely that a potential multiyear surface transportation bill is signed into law this year.

The 24.4 cents-per-gallon diesel tax and 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax have remained unchanged since 1993.

Congress is more than likely to pass a short-term reauthorization of surface transportation programs next year since current law is set to expire on September 30, 2020.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has marked up its own surface transportation bill, S. 2302, but it is unclear when the Senate will move forward with their version.

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