Week Ahead

Climate Week Ahead

Industry Previews 2022 Policy Outlook, Groups Weigh Energy Tax Laws

January 10, 2022

Major trade associations representing various facets of the energy industry are previewing policy expectations for their sectors in 2022, while attorneys and accountants continue to weigh possible tax policy changes in Democrats’ pending budget bill including for various low-carbon technologies.

Industry Outlooks

Several industry trade groups are holding events this week to preview actions in the coming year, including expected developments in energy and climate policy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual State of American Business event on Jan. 11, during which climate policy is likely to be discussed alongside multiple other topics.

On Jan. 12, the American Petroleum Institute will hold its annual State of American Energy forum to discuss oil and gas sector issues, and the utility sector-funded Electric Power Research Institute is holding a Jan. 13 press briefing to discuss efforts in 2022 to move to cleaner power and boost electrification.

The free-market group ConservAmerica is also holding a Jan. 12 webinar to assess the outlook for energy and environment legislation and regulation. The event will “focus on the posture the Biden administration will take in its second year in office, expected congressional action as we approach the mid-term elections, and recent and pending court actions that will impact the policy framework.”

Background Reading: Climate Extra’s Outlook 2022 is our special report about the coming year for climate change policy on Capitol Hill, at numerous federal agencies and in the courts.

Low-Carbon Tax incentives

The law firm Crowell & Morning is hosting a Jan. 13 webinar to discuss a variety of low-carbon technology tax incentives that were enacted in the bipartisan infrastructure law, as well as a broader package that has been proposed in Democrats’ budget “reconciliation” bill.

“These new incentives will extend and revise existing credits and generate new opportunities for infrastructure and energy companies and investors,” the firm notes.

The accounting firm KPMG is also hosting a Jan. 12 event to discuss the broader tax policy outlook in 2022, including potential changes from the reconciliation package.

Carbon Utilization

A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel is holding a Jan. 11 meeting to kick off a study of the “regional and national market opportunities” for carbon utilization, as well as the infrastructure and research needs to understand how the strategy can “contribute to the nation's decarbonization effort.”

Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the study was sought by Congress in the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020. According to NAS, the panel will “analyze challenges in expanding infrastructure, mitigating environmental impacts, accessing capital, overcoming technical hurdles, and addressing geographic, community and equity issues for carbon utilization.”

Background Reading: GAO Urges Increased Hill Oversight Of DOE’s CCS Demonstration Projects

Procurement Rules

Parties have until Jan. 13 to comment on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) from the inter-agency Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council that would require federal contractors and suppliers to disclose greenhouse gas emissions and would give preference to bids with a lower “social cost” of emissions.

Background Reading: Draft Climate Rules May Signal Approach To Implementing Purchasing EO

Fed Nomination Hearings

The Senate banking committee will hold a Jan. 11 hearing to discuss President Joe Biden’s nomination of Jerome Powell to serve another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the panel also will hold a Jan. 13 hearing to consider the nomination of current board member Lael Brainard to serve as vice chair, as well as the nomination of Sandra Thompson to serve as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Environmental groups and progressive lawmakers have been pressing the Fed and various other financial regulators to take more aggressive steps to limit climate risks to the sector, and Powell has recently suggested the government might take a coordinated, inter-agency approach to climate-related supervisory guidance for banks.

Background Reading: Finance Agencies’ Climate Risk Rules May Shift Capital From Fossil Fuels

Climate Science

The Environmental & Energy Study Institute is hosting a Jan. 12 event to discuss advances in weather forecasting, which the group notes is “an essential capability to help communities prepare for and adapt to extreme weather.”

Scientists and climate advocates have been highlighting increasingly extreme weather events linked to climate change, and various agencies under the Biden administration are sharpening their response efforts under the broad heading of climate adaptation.

Background Reading: Agencies’ Climate Resiliency Reports Outline Government-Wide Efforts

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