Kaine applauds Senate passage of Energy Policy Modernization Act

tim kaineU.S. Senator Tim Kaine applauded Senate passage of the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012), which will bolster energy efficiency, renewable energy and land conservation across the nation. It is the first comprehensive energy bill since 2007.

“I was proud to support this bipartisan energy bill, both for its good substance and for the good-faith bipartisan process that led to its passage today,” Kaine said. “I was pleased to have sponsored several provisions of the bill including the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. I also appreciated the support of my colleagues in including other amendments of mine in the final bill text. Democrats and Republicans were able to put aside the areas where they disagree and instead find common ground on commonsense ideas that both sides support. I hope this outbreak of cooperation in the Senate will become a regular occurrence in the future.”

The Energy Policy Modernization Act implements cost-saving and pollution-reducing energy efficiency incentives for data centers, residential buildings, schools, federal buildings, consumer appliances, vehicles and advanced manufacturing.

It authorizes Department of Energy grants to cover career skills training programs that help students earn industry certifications for installation of energy-efficient equipment. It gives the Department of Energy emergency authority to protect the bulk power system from cyber threats and to respond quickly in the event of a cyber breach.

It also reauthorizes the America COMPETES high tech science and energy research programs, such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Kaine sponsored several original bills that were included the final legislation passed today and advocated strongly for the following issues addressed by this bill:

  • Permanent reauthorization of LWCF. The bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which temporarily expired last year. Kaine is a cosponsor of legislation to not only reauthorize LWCF but require that it be fully funded each year. The program is routinely funded at only a third of the amount available to it from offshore drilling royalties. Over its history, LWCF has supported some $284 million in land conservation in Virginia.
  • National Park Service maintenance. The bill establishes a National Park Service Critical Maintenance Conservation Fund to address approximately $6 billion in deferred maintenance needs at national parks across the nation. Kaine is striving to visit each of Virginia’s National Park Service units in 2016 to commemorate the NPS Centennial and to draw attention to its maintenance backlog. Last Congress, he introduced a bill to eliminate NPS entrance fees for the number of days that National Parks were shuttered due to the government shutdown.
  • Sportsmen’s provisions. The bill contains numerous provisions supporting public lands access for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting from the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, which Kaine sponsored. Among other things, the bill includes grant programs that facilitate proven successful partnerships between sportsmen and conservation groups to revitalize fish habitats and wetlands critical to migratory birds.
  • LNG exports. A provision giving the Department of Energy a 45-day deadline to make final decisions on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export applications, ensuring that decisions are made in a timely manner. Kaine sponsored this original bill, the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act, alongside Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

In addition to sponsoring several original bills whose texts were included in the final bill, the Senate also adopted four Virginia-specific Kaine amendments as part of the final bill package:

  • An amendment adding provisions of a bipartisan bill sponsored by Kaine and Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to create an energy and maritime workforce grant program at the Department of Energy. Institutions in coastal communities such as Tidewater Community College will be eligible for grants through this program to cultivate local workforces for job opportunities in the maritime industry as well as new energy sectors like offshore wind.
  • An amendment authorizing construction of a restroom facility on the site of the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, as part of a regional effort to improve public accessibility of sites on or around the National Mall.
  • An amendment resolving a land-use issue that had held up building repairs in Rockingham County at the Plains Area Day Care in the Town of Broadway. Kaine introduced legislation to address this issue as a companion to House legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
  • An amendment extending licenses for hydroelectric projects at Flannagan Dam in Dickenson County and Gathright Dam in Alleghany County. The House of Representatives also passed this provision, sponsored by U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA).

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.


Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.


augusta free press
augusta free press

augusta free press
augusta free press news