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More Clarity on Infrastructure and Senator Manchin’s Energy Bill

SVP Government Affairs Tim Tarpley
Tim Tarpley, SVP Government Affairs & Counsel

Analysis by Energy Workforce SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley

A bipartisan group of senators is negotiating an infrastructure deal totaling $579 billion this week. The 21 senators split between the two parties is working to beat the clock.  With the August recess approaching fast, prospects for a vote on any potential agreement become slimmer.

Any deal cut by this group would is the most likely infrastructure bill to to pass, because it would have a filibuster proof majority of the chamber. 

A four-page summary is circulating on Capitol Hill. The outline includes $360 billion for roads, bridges and major projects; $48.5 billion for public transit; $66 billion for rail; $55 billion for water infrastructure; $65 billion for broadband and $73 billion for power infrastructure.

In addition, the group proposes spending $47.2 billion on climate resiliency, $25 billion for airports, $10 billion on electric buses and $16 billion for ports. to the Council and our members are interested in details of the power infrastructure and climate resiliency portions, but additional information is not yet available.    

Details of Senate Energy Bill Become Clearer

Also this week, Senator Manchin (D-WV) released a discussion draft of his energy package.  Given Senator Manchin’s key role as a swing vote in the Democratic caucus, as well as chair of Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, many of these provisions, if not the entire package, will become part of the overall infrastructure package if it ultimately makes it to the floor.

Manchin’s package would extend the use of many nuclear reactors around the country by creating a $1.2 billion annual fund over the next five years to help support the plants. The plan funds programs authorized by the bipartisan energy package that passed last Congress, which included support for energy storage, carbon capture, industrial emissions, and mineral security. It also creates a program to expand domestic supply chains for critical minerals, a step needed for the energy transition to move forward. Specifically, it provides $84 million for geothermal, $100 million for wind and $80 million for solar.

Package Includes $5 Billion for Federal Orphan Well Program

The Manchin proposal creates a new $5 billion federal program to plug orphaned oil and gas wells across the country. This program would channel funds through existing state programs, and companies in our sector would be able to apply to participate. The Council will continue to advocate for such a package to be included in the final infrastructure bill. 

The first hearing on the bill is today, at 9:30 a.m., where additional details are discussed during the hearing and will be discussed in next week’s update.

For more information on the Council’s advocacy efforts or to get involved, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley

Tim Tarpley, SVP Government Affairs & Counsel, analyzes federal policy for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.


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