AWE Legislative Watch

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The Alliance for Water Efficiency is pleased to monitor U.S. federal and state-level legislation and inform its members of bills relating to water conservation and efficiency. 

The 116th US Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the US federal government, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It meets in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2019 to January 3, 2021. 

Bills of interest will be posted as the Congress takes action, and they come to our attention. Check back often for updates.

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U.S. House of Representatives

116th Congress

  • H.R. 34 - Energy and Water Research Integration Act of 2019 
  • H.R. 105 - Energy Efficiency Free Market Act of 2019 
  • H.R. 1420 - The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act
  • H.R. 2019 - Smart Energy and Water Efficiency Act of 2019
  • H.R. 2313 - Water Conservation Rebate Tax Parity Act

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H.R. 34 - Energy and Water Research Integration Act of 2019 

Status: Introduced in the House and referred to committee.

Purpose: To require the Department of Energy to consider water use in energy research and development.

Sponsor: Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Summary: This bill would require the Energy Department to consider water conservation and efficiency in the development of new energy technologies. It would also encourage the use of alternative water sources that do not compete with drinking water supplies, including brackish water or oilfield waste water along with the use of demonstration programs to help guarantee efficient, reliable, and sustainable delivery of energy and clean water resources. (Full Text)

History: This bill was introduced on January 3, 2019 and referred to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. It is similar to bills introduced by Rep. Johnson in each of the past three Congresses. Those measures were not acted on in committee.

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H.R. 105 - Energy Efficiency Free Market Act of 2019 

Status: Introduced in the House and referred to committee.

Purpose: To repeal all federal energy and water conservation standards.

Sponsor: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

Summary: This bill would repeal Section 325 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which imposes energy and water conservation standards for consumer products, including toilets, faucets and showerheads. It would also prohibit state or federal agencies from adopting or continuing to enforce “any requirement to comply with a standard for energy conservation or water efficiency with respect to a product.” (Full Text)

History: This bill was introduced on January 3, 2019 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. It is similar to bills introduced by Rep. Burgess in each of the past two Congresses. Those measures were not acted on in committee.

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H.R. 1420 - The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act

Status: Introduced February 28, 2019 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Purpose: To amend the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to promote energy efficiency via information and computing technologies, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)

Summary: This legislation would direct the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new standards for energy and water conservation used in government and privately operated data centers and to monitor energy and water usage in those data centers. (Full Text)

History: Similar legislation was introduced by Rep. Eshoo in the 113th and 115th Congress and was incorporated in related legislation that passed the House in both 2016 and 2017. But those bills were not considered by the Senate.

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H.R. 2019 - Smart Energy and Water Efficiency Act of 2019

Status: Introduced April 2, 2019 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Purpose: To create an innovative water and energy resource management pilot program.

Sponsor: Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)

Summary: This legislation would direct the Secretary of Energy to create a new federal pilot program to demonstrate innovative technology to increase and improve the energy efficiency of water, wastewater, and water reuse systems, to support the implementation of automated systems that provide real-time data on energy and water and to improve energy and water conservation, water quality, and predictive maintenance of energy and water systems through the use of Internet-connected technologies. The legislation would authorize a total of $15 million for such pilot programs. (Full Text)

History: This bill was referred on April 2, 2019 to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and was one of several bills discussed at a hearing April 10 before the Energy Subcommittee. A similar bill was introduced by Rep. McNerney in the 114th and 115th Congresses, but those bills died in committee.

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H.R. 2313 - Water Conservation Rebate Tax Parity Act

Status: Introduced April 12, 2019 in the House.

Purpose: To make rebates for water conservation and storm water runoff measures tax exempt.

Sponsor: Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Paul Gosar (R-AR)

Summary: This bill would amend Section 136 of the Internal Revenue Code, which makes energy conservation rebates provide by utilities exempt from federal income taxes, to include rebates provided by water utilities for water conservation and storm-water management. Currently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) insists that rebates for homeowners who replace water-thirsty lawns, install “gray water” capture systems or purchase new water-efficient appliances are considered income to the recipient and subject to federal taxes. The IRS and Treasury Department have stated that they cannot grant administrative relief from taxing such rebates and that Congress must act to amend the Internal Revenue Code. (Text is not yet available)

History: This bill was introduced on April 12, 2019 and is expected to be referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. It is similar to a bill introduced by Reps. Huffman in the 114th Congress and 115th Congress. Those measures were not acted on in committee.

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U.S. Senate

116th Congress

  • Bills to be posted as made known. Check back often for updates. 
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Parliament of Canada

42nd Parliament, 1st Session

  • Bills to be posted as made known. Check back often for updates. 
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Links:

  • GovTrack.us - An independent tool to help the public research and track the activities in the U.S. Congress. 
  • THOMAS - Library of Congress site offering federal legislative information freely to the public. 
  • Parliament of Canada LEGISinfo - Research tool for finding information on legislation before Parliament.