With the House and the Senate in recess this week, most Members and staff are taking some time off following the extended session during the holidays. They will return on January 14th. Big news this week will the nominations of Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to serve as Secretary of Defense and John Brennan to serve as CIA Director. Additionally, new scrutiny and criticism is emerging on the fiscal cliff package and some of the tax extenders that were added.
Murkowski and Wyden’s staff are in the process of putting legislation together that would allow for expanded offshore energy development and revenue sharing. With Alexander, Scott, and Flake joining the Committee there are a now a few more members interested in seeing the legislation move (Scott), and Alexander has a long history of working bipartisan deals on energy and environmental issues. Flake has stated his desire to see the permitting process on federal lands expedited.
API will be hosting it Annual State of Energy event where Jack Gerard is expected to give and update and warning to the administration and Congress not to mess this opportunity up. Changes in the tax code have been discussed that could impact oil and gas producers as Congress considers an overhaul to corporate rates. Increasing taxes on the sector will likely discourage additional domestic investment in oil and gas production. He is also expected to warn lawmakers about the potential harm of federal intervention into hydraulic fracturing and the need to approve the Keystone pipeline. Finally, he is expected to address the renewable fuels standard and their desire to see the policy repealed.
Hope you have a great week.