Two bills backed by U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, passed the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Wednesday, Jan. 12, with the legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency and power grid security.
Herrera Beutler’s office announced after the approval that H.R. 2986 and H.R. 5428 were ready for a floor vote of the full House of Representatives.
The first bill, titled the Better Energy Storage Technology Act of 2019, reauthorizes the Department of Energy grid-scale storage research, development and demonstration; creates specific objectives for those activities; and supports research by federal agencies and national labs, the announcement stated.
The other bill, titled the Grid Modernization Research and Development Act of 2019, aims to “refine and expand” programs that seek to improve energy grid reliability and security, according to the announcement. The legislation would extend the Smart Grid Regional Demonstration initiative while focusing research, development and demonstration programs through a variety of ways including grid monitoring systems and enhancement of grid resilience and emergency response.
“I’m encouraged that the House is advancing my bipartisan legislation to improve energy efficiency and reliability for Southwest Washington residents,” Herrera Beutler stated in the announcement. “Ensuring we have dependable power sources if a natural disaster strikes, as well as efficient and effective storage for that power, is imperative for a better energy future. I’ll continue to advocate for solutions that benefit employers and the jobs they provide for Southwest Washington workers, as well as families and critical community services.”
The Best Energy Storage Technology Act’s primary sponsor is Illinois Democrat Rep. Bill Foster, and the Grid Modernization Research and Development Act was introduced by Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb. Both bills will have to pass a full House vote before continuing through Congress.