Legislative Update: Week of Jan 30th

Legislative Update: Week of Jan 30th
30 January 2017

Utah Clean Energy has been actively engaged in the legislative session to find ways to advance clean energy this year. Below is a quick update for key legislation being considered from the first two weeks of the session.

HB 11-State Boards and Commissions Amendments

Representative Norman Thurston of Provo is sponsoring a bill (House Bill 11) that would remove the political balance requirement for certain state boards and commissions. Currently, Utah statute requires that state boards and commissions that shape state policy, including the Public Service Commissions, have a minimum number of members from a minority political party.. To see our fact sheet on HB 11, click here.

Status: HB 11 was voted on this week by the full House. We are delighted to report that the bill was amended to remove the Public Service Commission.  The current bill, HB 11 Substitute 3, retains the political balance requirement for the Utah Public Service Commission, the Water Quality Board, the Air Quality Board and the DABC. The bill now moves to the state Senate. Thanks to everyone who reached out to your legislators on this issue.

HB 23-Renewable Energy Tax Credit Amendments

Representative Jeremy Peterson of Ogden is sponsoring a bill (House Bill 23) that would phase out the solar section of the renewable energy tax credit. The tax credit has been a significant driver of the growth of residential solar in Utah in the last few years.

Status: Utah Clean Energy and other solar industry partners negotiated a compromise on HB 23 that removes an annual cap on the credit in the original version of the bill and allows for a gradual phase out of the tax credit over the next five years. The compromised was supported by the House Revenue and Taxation Committee and now moves to consideration by the full House. Action is likely next week. See Utah Clean Energy’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit page for more information on the tax credit

HB 29-Energy Efficient Vehicle Tax Credit Amendments

Representative Stephen Handy of Layton is sponsoring a bill (House Bill 29) that would renew and improve the tax credit for electric vehicles. The tax credit, which is a critical tool to improve long term air quality along the Wasatch Front, expired on December 31, 2016.

Status: HB 29 was heard before the House  Revenue and Taxation Committee this week. Kevin Emerson of Utah Clean Energy testified in favor of HB 29 before the House Revenue and Taxation Committee this week, along with representatives of Rocky Mountain Power, General Motors, and Leaders for Clean Air. Members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee recommended that the bill be held temporarily to explore alternative ways to finance the tax credit.

See Utah Clean Energy’s Electric Vehicle Tax Credit page for more information and click here to see our fact sheet on HB 29

Legislative Tracker: Utah Clean Energy is following a number of bills this session. For the full list, see our Legislative Tracker here.