Curtis Advocates on House Floor for Bipartisan 5G Bill to Update Tech Security and Strengthen Partnerships

Curtis Advocates on House Floor for Bipartisan 5G Bill to Update Tech Security and Strengthen Partnerships

January 11, 2020

Washington, DC— Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), spoke on the House Floor to advocate for H.R. 2881, or the Secure 5G and Beyond Act. The bipartisan legislation would develop a strategy to ensure the security of next-generation mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure in the United States, and assist allies and strategic partners to do likewise. The legislation passed through the House unanimously this evening.

The rapid development of 5G cellular technologies is another example of the resolve and innovative spirit unique to the United States economy. 5G will pave the way for first-of-their-kind products and services, and will more reliably give consumers quick and easy access to information necessary to live and work in the digital age. But the potential threats these advancements pose to our national security, to that of our allies, and to consumer privacy cannot be overstated, which is why I am urging my colleagues to support this legislation.”

Full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery, is below:

“Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2881, which is critical to protecting the security of our nation and for the advancement of 5G.

H.R.2881, or the Secure 5G and Beyond Act, tasks the federal government with developing strategies to protect against some of the vulnerabilities associated with cutting edge five-generation – or 5G – wireless communications systems.

The rapid development of 5G cellular technologies is another example of the resolve and innovative spirit unique to the United States economy.

5G will pave the way for first-of-their-kind products and services, and will more reliably give consumers quick and easy access to information necessary to live and work in the digital age.

But the potential threats these advancements pose to our national security, to that of our allies, and to consumer privacy cannot be overstated, which is why I am urging my colleagues to support this legislation.

I’m proud to vote for this important legislation.

Thank you, and I yield back.”

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Curtis Introduces Clean Energy Incentivizing “Invest Act”

Curtis Introduces Clean Energy Incentivizing “Invest Act”

December 30, 2019

Washington, DC— Representative John Curtis (R-UT), introduced H.R 5409, the Incentivizing New and Valuable Energy Storage Technology (INVEST) Act, which promotes storage technology in the energy industry. Passage of this bill will accelerate broad deployment new energy storage technologies across all segments of the energy ecosystem – utilities, customers, and independent power producers – in a manner that is equitable and lowers the cost of the technology for all.

“My time as mayor of Provo helped me understand how much a city and its inhabitants absolutely need reliable energy sources,” said Curtis. “I am proud to introduce the INVEST Act, a bill that will not only effectively encourage the production of clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, but invest in the American economy. Being good stewards of the environment through cleaner energy and putting money back into the pockets of Utahns need not be mutually exclusive.”

Statements of Support

Pat Reiten, Senior Vice President, Berkshire Hathaway Energy: “As utilities seek to meet customer interest in cost-effective renewable generation, energy storage is an essential component to reaching that goal. We applaud Rep. Curtis for introducing the ‘Incentivizing New and Valuable Energy Storage Technology (INVEST) Act.’ This important bill provides an energy storage investment tax credit broadly usable by utilities and energy project developers.  The ultimate aim is to scale up storage resource manufacturing and to bring the long-term cost of project deployment down for utility customers as we move to develop reliable, low cost, renewable energy.”

Gary Hoogeveen, CEO, Rocky Mountain Power: “The INVEST Act provides a time-limited opportunity to encourage energy storage projects that will benefit our customers and promote innovative energy breakthroughs. As the former leader of a municipal electric utility, Congressman Curtis likely understands better than anyone else in Congress just how critical reliable energy supply is to electricity customers. With increasing levels of low-cost renewable energy available in Utah and throughout the West, energy storage will be a critical part of our shared energy future.”

IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson: “It’s vital that Congress provides a level playing field to public utilities when it comes to investing in new energy storage facilities. Allowing them to opt out of IRS tax-normalization rules involving ownership of new storage projects would help preserve good energy jobs and give renewable energy and storage technology a needed boost.”

Bob Frenzel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Xcel Energy: “We applaud Rep. John Curtis for introducing this bill that, if passed, will both encourage the development of clean energy technologies and also ensure they are developed at the lowest possible cost to customers. It’s a win-win and we encourage members of Congress to support H.R. 5409.”

Dr. Zachary Kuznar, Managing Director of Micro Grid and Energy Storage Development, Duke Energy: “We applaud Congressman John Curtis, a thoughtful leader in Congress on energy, for introducing a storage investment tax credit that will spur further energy storage growth, and puts the customer first by allowing them to realize the benefit of the credit. The acceleration of clean, critical infrastructure at grid-scale is important in the production of carbon-free generation.”

Dave Robertson, Vice President for Public Policy, Portland General Electric: “Our customers want us to lead the fight against climate change, and they want us to keep their monthly energy bills affordable while we do it. We’re asking Congress to ensure tax policies don’t sideline utilities like ours at this critical time in the clean energy transition by unintentionally tilting the field in favor of developers who don’t share our accountability to meet climate goals or our commitment to keep customer prices low. We’re grateful to Representative Curtis for introducing a bill to ensure utilities can be leaders in advancing energy storage as an important tool in our clean energy future.”

Background

H.R. 5409 provides an energy storage investment tax credit (ITC) that allows regulated utilities the ability to utilize a tax credit up front without having to spread out savings over the life of a major capital project. This is a necessary component of the storage ITC so that regulated electric utilities can pass the benefits of the tax credit to its customers quickly. By making this change, Congress will remove a barrier to energy storage investment facing regulated electric utilities and accelerate the deployment of clean, critical infrastructure.

  • H.R 5409 establishes a new 30% investment tax credit (ITC) for owners of stand-alone energy storage property and – to ensure the greatest benefit to electricity consumers — contains critically important language to ensure that regulated utilities may use the ITC in the same manner as non-regulated entities.
  • H.R 5409 will allow regulated electric utilities the ability to make meaningful investments in energy storage fleets and allow regulated electric utilities to pass the benefits of the tax credit to its customers quickly.
  • H.R. 5409 will allow the broadest possible use of the ITC which will provide competition in the market place and drive down costs for consumers. 
  • By passing H.R. 5409, Congress will not only help reduce the per unit cost of energy storage for retail customers, but also stimulate investment in new energy storage technologies in the future.

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Curtis “Miracle Mountain” Bill Sails Through Committee

Curtis “Miracle Mountain” Bill Sails Through Committee

December 13, 2019

Washington, DC— Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), Deputy Republican Leader of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee, released the following after his bill, H.R. 722, designating a mountain in the State of Utah as “Miracle Mountain” passed the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously last week.

“Although last year’s fire season was one of our worst, it brought out the best of Utah and our communities. I am pleased to have Elk Ridge City Mayor, Ty Ellis, with us here this morning. Recognizing that he had witnessed a miracle, shortly after the fire was contained, Mayor Ellis reached out to me to see if we could have the peak named ‘Miracle Mountain.’ I am grateful to Mayor Ellis, as well as all of the courageous federal, state, and local firefighters that worked tirelessly to battle the blaze. Naming the peak ‘Miracle Mountain’ is a fitting gesture of gratitude.” 

Statement of Support

Elk Ridge City Mayor Ty Ellis joined the hearing as a witness. His prepared remarks are available: [HERE].

“As Mayor of Elk Ridge, I testify that the Bald Mountain fire had the potential to devastate our little city and to disrupt the lives of our residents far beyond the inconvenience of being evacuated. Many residents have adopted the name “Miracle Mountain” simply due to the unexplainable events that occurred during this time of uncertainty. I appreciate our Honorable Congressman John Curtis for his dedication to and sponsorship of this bill.”

Chief Victoria Christiansen of the United States Department of Agriculture—Forest Service also was a witness. Her full testimony is available: [HERE].

Background

In early September 2018, the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain Fires burned roughly 20,000 acres in Utah. Elk Ridge City and Woodland Hills, located in Utah County, were nearly victims of this fire. Miraculously, due to a change in wind direction, on September 13 the fire suddenly halted, stayed behind a mountain peak, and spared the community. Since the fire, the unnamed peak has been referred to as ‘Miracle Mountain’ by many constituents.

In November 2018, Mayor Ellis wrote an op-ed in the Daily Herald about the experience and detailed his request for Rep. Curtis to propose the legislation.

“We are extremely grateful that Congressman Curtis, who was with us during the dark hours of the fire and during the aftermath, was so willing to quickly take up this cause. We express our sincere gratitude to the rest of Utah’s House congressional delegation, Representatives Bishop, Stewart, and Love, for all joining Curtis in introducing the bill to name “Miracle Mountain.” We also appreciate Gov. Herbert’s support of the formal designation as well.

It is our hope that with this official naming of “Miracle Mountain,” it will become a permanent memorial, not only for the residents of Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills who were spared from disaster but also for all Utahns as a tribute to our wildland firefighters and as a powerful reminder that miracles do happen. It is our hope that Congress will pass Congressman Curtis’ bill and send it to the president for enactment.”

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Curtis Introduces Bill to Increase Export of US Clean Energy

Curtis Introduces Bill to Increase Export of US Clean Energy

November 26, 2019

Washington, DC— Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) released the following statement after introducing his new bill, The Exporting Clean Energy Act. The legislation will increase the amount of clean energy being sent abroad to contribute to a more environmentally friendly world while also better enabling US companies to build up and empower developing countries.

“American clean energy technology is known for being the most efficient and environmentally friendly around the world. As emissions from outside the US quickly approach 90% of world emissions, exporting US clean energy technology will is an important tool to uplift developing countries out of poverty while reducing global emissions,” said Curtis. “The Exporting Clean Energy Act will benefit US national security by strategically deploying US energy technology throughout the world, as opposed to having that void filled by China and Russia, while also improving environmental stewardship.”

Statements of Support

Rich Powell, ClearPath Action Executive Director:

“Low-cost, high-performing technologies are the backbone of efforts targeting rising carbon emissions in the developing world, and the United States is poised to capitalize on tremendous opportunities to export American clean energy technology. Rep. Curtis’s bill provides solutions to help affordably meet growing global demand for reliable and lower-carbon power.”

Heather Reams, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Executive Director

“CRES applauds Congressman Curtis’ vision for increasing support for the export of US clean energy technology and infrastructure. The US must maintain its global leadership, and the Export-Import Bank should leverage its resources to help US exporters, especially in competition against strategic competitors.”

Background

As the official export credit agency of the United States, the Export Import Bank’s purpose is to promote the export of US goods and services to help create and sustain jobs in the United States. Over the last 10 years, EXIM financed more than $255 billion in US exports.

This legislation will:

  • Create a congressional mandate for the Export-Import Bank to focus on energy financing when a US strategic competitor is bidding for a contract or when the US is capable of providing lower emissions than a competitor
  • Create a process to form a temporary quorum of Board of Directors to approve loans when a strategic competitor is bidding on an energy contract

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Curtis Advocates for ALS Patients on House Floor

Curtis Advocates for ALS Patients on House Floor

November 24, 2019

Washington, DC— Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) addressed his colleagues on the House Floor as he fought for better treatment options for ALS patients. He highlighted that the Right to Try Act should not be the end of the conversation and urged the FDA to swiftly approve the groundbreaking and life-saving treatments already approved internationally.

“I applaud the enactment of the Right to Try Act – allowing some people another option to receive the treatments they need. However, this should not be the end to the conversation, and it’s important to acknowledge that the passage of this act has not opened all of the doors we expected and many are still denied access to treatments… Delaying approval of this treatment, commonly known as NurOwn, is putting lives at risk. I urge the FDA to prioritize its approval and give access to thousands of ALS patients.”

Full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery, can be found below:  

“Madam Speaker, I rise to share my concerns with patient access to groundbreaking and life-saving ALS treatments. This is a very personal issue to me as some of my close friends and neighbors have been affected by this difficult disease.

I applaud the enactment of the Right to Try Act – allowing some people another option to receive the treatments they need. However, this should not be the end to the conversation, and it’s important to acknowledge that the passage of this act has not opened all of the doors we expected and many are still denied access to treatments. 

The FDA’s lengthy approval process continues to limit patient access – at times forcing my constituents to spend large sums of money traveling overseas for treatment or more commonly, forfeit treatment all together.

The use of stem cells to treat ALS, widely used and deemed safe in other countries, has been studied in the U.S. for over 12 years but has yet to be approved, despite its fast-tracked status.

Delaying approval of this treatment, commonly known as NurOwn, is putting lives at risk. I urge the FDA to prioritize its approval and give access to thousands of ALS patients.

I yield back the balance of my time.”

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Curtis Introduces State Sponsored Immigration Program

Curtis Introduces State Sponsored Immigration Program

November 21, 2019

Washington, DCRepresentative John Curtis (R-UT), released the following statement after introducing the “State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2019.” The bill would create a new state-sponsored temporary worker visa pilot program.

“Each state has unique industries and employment opportunities, and our current immigration system doesn’t fully recognize these differences. I am excited to take another step towards fixing our broken immigration system by empowering States with the ability to customize a visa program to fit their unique needs. My State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act will provide an additional tool to connect workers with industries that are most in need, and allow visa holders the flexibility to move throughout their sponsoring state, or states, as employment demands and opportunities shift,” said Curtis. “While every state is unique, neighboring states share commonalities that don’t end at lines on a map. We see this in the West, particularly in the agriculture and tourism sectors, where some seasonal operations stretch across multiple states. My bill will allow states to enter into agreements with each other to share workers and give employers the stability to retain the same workers, regardless of where their operation takes them.“

Statements of Support

Utah Governor Gary Herbert:

“The bill allows state leaders to design visa programs customized to the economic needs of their individual states. The benefits of the bill are obvious. Each state is different. Each state has a different mix of industries, different educational emphases, different employment needs, and different regulatory regimes. And of course, those factors change over time…As a governor, I would jump at the opportunity to design a work visa program that would allow Utah to sponsor the migrant workers, investors, and entrepreneurs that we need.” (full letter here)

Ron Gibson, President of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation:

“The Utah Farm Bureau Federation supports your State-Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act. As a grassroots organization, we fundamentally believe in the value of locally driven solutions. This bill allows states to customize programs to address the needs of employers and workers in the agricultural sector. Utah agriculture has not been able to adequately access and retain labor under the current federal visa program.” (full letter here)

Derek B. Miller, President & CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber:

“We appreciate that this bill, in the spirit of the Utah Compact, will allow us and other states to create a program that goes beyond one-size-fits-all to allow what I believe are laboratories of democracy the ability to create workable solutions to fit unique workforce and economic requirements. In this way, we can all learn and benefit while focusing on respective needs closet to home.” (full letter here)

Background

The legislation will:

  • Create a pilot program at the Department of Homeland Security for states to opt in and sponsor three-year visas.
  • Allow states the flexibility to customize their visa allocations based on each state’s unique economy and needs.
  • Incentivize states to comply with program rules in order to earn additional visas the next year.
  • Encourage states to enter into compacts, giving additional flexibility to visa holders and employers to move seasonal workers between them as needed.

The full text of the bill is available here.

  

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