July 14, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today voted to pass a number of key priorities out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee as it voted on a major energy provision that will be included in the bipartisan infrastructure package. The legislation, which passed out of committee today by a bipartisan vote of 13 to 7, includes King-backed provisions that would enhance the nation’s investment in research and development for clean energy storage, strengthen our efforts to recycle and reuse critical minerals that are essential to transformational energy technologies, and bolster the energy grid’s cybersecurity protections.
“It is clear that in the 21st century, any investment in our infrastructure must address not only our roads and bridges, but also our changing climate and cyber threats,” said Senator King. “Today’s bipartisan markup has produced a strong legislative product that will make a number of key strides on the technologies of the future – including energy storage, which is the key to unlocking the massive potential of renewable energies. The legislation also makes sure we recycle and reuse critical minerals already on American soil to reduce our reliance on foreign imports, and makes long-overdue improvements to our grid’s cyber defenses. This is a strong product, which will make a significant impact across the country and set us on a path that secures America’s technological leadership in the clean energy economy of the future.”
Today’s package passed by the ENR Committee includes the following provisions supported by Senator King:
· Energy Storage. The ENR infrastructure bill appropriates funding to demonstrate promising long duration energy storage technologies at different scales and to help new, innovative long duration energy storage technologies become cost-effective. Additionally, the bill includes a proposal to modify safety codes and standards to be applicable across energy sectors to cover innovative new uses of technology.
· Cybersecurity. The package includes the Protecting Resources On The Electric grid with Cybersecurity Technology (PROTECT Act), cosponsored by Senator King in April, which is bipartisan legislation that enhances electric grid security by incentivizing electric utilities to make cybersecurity investments. The package also includes the Cyber Sense Act, bipartisan legislation he co-sponsored, which would create a voluntary Cyber Sense program at the Department of Energy (DOE) to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk power system.
· Battery Recycling and Reuse. The legislation includes the Battery and Critical Mineral Recycling Act, bipartisan legislation led by Senator King that would incentivize the recycling of single use and rechargeable batteries, to get more use from existing materials and reduce waste, creating a circular economy for batteries. Additionally, the package includes a King bill that would create a program in the DOE to demonstrate new ways that electric vehicle batteries can be deployed after their useful life in a vehicle to support the electric grid.
A forceful advocate for clean energy solutions wherever they can be found, Senator King is a founding member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, and a lead sponsor on a range of bills that encourage energy efficiency and research on clean energy technologies, such as the Air Source Heat Pump Act, which would allow consumers to receive a refundable federal tax credit for costs associated with installation of an eligible new heat pump; and the Joint Long-Term Storage Act, which seeks to speed up deployment of long-duration energy storage technologies through strategic collaboration between federal agencies.