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Daily Energy Insider: AEE: U.S. policy, Trump’s infrastructure plan must include nation’s power grid

Posted by Kim Riley on Mar 29, 2018

The Daily Energy Insider reports: Congress and the Trump administration should focus on the electric power system as a key element of infrastructure modernization to accelerate economic growth, according to just-released Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) policy recommendations.

In mid-February, the president released his infrastructure plan, “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America,” which is designed to spur at least $1.5 trillion in new investment over a decade through $200 billion of federal funding and give Congress a roadmap for developing and passing “the most comprehensive infrastructure bill in our nation’s history,” according to the 53-page document.

The plan targets improvements to traditional infrastructure such as roads, bridges and airports, as well as “other needs like drinking and wastewater systems, waterways, water resources, energy, rural infrastructure, public lands, veterans’ hospitals, and Brownfield and Superfund sites.”

But what about the inclusion of the nation’s electric grid?

The vast majority of the nation’s electricity needs are met through for-profit investor-owned utilities, according to President Donald Trump’s plan. However, what infrastructure the federal government does own and operate “would be more appropriately owned by state, local, or private entities” because “federal ownership of these assets can result in sub-optimal investment decisions and create risk for taxpayers.”

Therefore, the president’s infrastructure plan recommends giving federal agencies the authority to divest of any federal assets where they can demonstrate an increase in value from the sale would optimize the taxpayer value for federal assets, according to the White House plan.

AEE has another recommendation.

“As Congress and the Administration consider infrastructure proposals, we firmly believe that energy must be a part of any infrastructure legislation,” said Dylan Reed, head of congressional affairs at AEE, a Washington, D.C.-based national association of businesses representing more than 1,000 companies and organizations in the advanced energy industry.

See the entire Daily Energy Insider story summarizing AEE recommendations here, plus AEE’s full statement and policy paper download link.


Topics: AEE In The News