Analysis by Energy Workforce SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley
On Tuesday, the Biden Administration released a series of programs designed to reduce carbon emissions for the manufacturing sector, which accounts for 23% of nationwide emissions. This move comes as “Build Back Better,” the legislation which contains many of the Administration’s climate change initiatives, remains stalled in Congress. Prospects for its passage decrease the more time that passes and as the 2022 election season kicks into full gear.
The package of initiatives includes support for hydrogen power, offers new guidance to limit environmental damage from carbon capture and storage technology, and creates a task force to help “green” the federal government’s supply chain.
Of particular interest to many Member Companies is that the hydrogen proposal includes $8 billion for regional hydrogen hubs and $1 billion for a clean hydrogen electrolysis program. It is not clear how many regional hubs the $8 billion program would create; this will likely be determined after the Energy Department collects additional information from this solicitation.
The Houston area is poised to become one of these hydrogen hubs and has put together one of the most promising bids. This potential hub could open up many opportunities for Member Companies, as existing infrastructure and technological expertise in the region can be leveraged to seize opportunities created by this proposal.
Also of note is the effort to “green” the federal government’s supply chain. Energy Workforce recently submitted comments to a DOE RFI regarding the lower carbon supply chain. As additional details and comment period open on these proposals, Energy Workforce will keep our members informed and organize comments on behalf of our sector.
DHS Begins Implementation of Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, Opens Comment Period
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act passed Congress last year, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is beginning the process of implementing and developing an enforcement mechanism for the legislation. As part of this implementation process, DHS has started an open comment period to accept comments from industry and other parties. The bill is premised on the presumption that all goods manufactured in the Xinjiang region of China are made using forced labor unless U.S. Customs and Border Patrol determines otherwise. We expect the possibility for supply chain interruptions as Customs and Border Patrol works out exactly how enforcement of this bill will handled, and how determinations will be made as to which goods will be subject to limitations.
The implementation of this legislation could have wide-ranging effects on any imports of goods coming out of China (especially the western region). As a result, Energy Workforce is forming a working group to prepare comments to ensure that the perspective of the energy services and equipment sector is included. If your company has supply chain that could be effected, we recommend reviewing this legislation.
If your company wishes to participate in the working group, please email the name and email of the individual who would like to join. The comment period ends on March 10.
If you would like to get involved with the Council’s advocacy efforts or the Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs Tim Tarpley.
Tim Tarpley, SVP Government Affairs & Counsel, analyzes federal policy for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.