CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3029, on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 3029 was introduced on June 24, 2009, by Rep. Paul Tonka (D-NY) and referred to the Committee on the Science and Technology, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by voice vote on July 29, 2009.
H.R. 3029 would authorize $65 million annually through FY 2014 to create a new federal research and development program to improve the efficiency of gas turbines. Under the program, the Secretary of Energy would be required to carry out a program to support first-of-a-kind gas turbine engineering and designs.
H.R. 3029 states that the goal of the program is to develop the design and technology for high efficiency gas turbines that can achieve at least 62 percent combined cycle efficiency in phase one and 65 percent in phase two. The Secretary would be required to solicit proposals for high efficiency gas turbine technology and designs within 180 days of enactment.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), gas combustion turbines are essential components in new electric power plants that use natural gas to supply "clean, increasingly fuel-efficient, and relatively low-cost energy." In general, natural gas combustion engines convert between 25 and 35 percent of the natural gas heating value into usable electrical energy. Since 1992, the DOE's Fossil Energy Program has been working to develop more efficient gas turbine technologies. Some Members may be concerned that H.R. 3029 would authorize $260 million over five years for a demonstration program which has the same goal as existing DOE programs.
According to CBO, H.R. 3029 would cost $221 million over the FY 2011 through FY 2014 period and an additional $39 million after FY 2014.