Capitol Hill/Washington Review and Items of Interest

Just a quick note on the API State of American Energy event yesterday: the event was great for who was in attendance but seemed more like someone reading stats from an annual report. However, the stats were really good and could be useful to us as talking points or for other publications we put out. The website is http://www.energytomorrow.org.

Five Quick Take-Aways:
1. API wants to highlight the domestic investments made by oil and gas and the jobs it is creating;
2. Labor leaders were in attendance and were highlighted as key partners in promoting and protecting the industry;
3. There were repeated references to the ties to manufacturing throughout the event seeking to connect the resurgence to energy production;
4. There was an interesting focus on the the need to highlight the industry’s impact and importance to minority communities throughout the country; and
5. Sen. Heitkamp was in attendance and featured as an important partner, this even though Congress is in recess–shows effort to build Democratic bridges.

Other Items:
Focus still remains on Gov. Gregoire as the likely nominee for EPA, both other name are out there. Other candidates for the EPA include Bob Perciasepe, the agency’s No. 2 official; Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator of EPA for air pollution; and Kathleen McGinty, the former top environmental regulator for Pennsylvania, according to published reports.

Buzz continues as to whether Sen. Dorgan will be tapped for either Interior or DOE, but no real movement yet.

Following a number of incidents involving Shell’s arctic exploration activities, the DOI has ordered a 60 day review of the safety challenges being faced. Tommy Beaudreau, director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, will lead the review. The agency will examine Shell’s safety management systems, its oversight of contracted services, and its ability to meet the strict standards in place for Arctic development.

The Government Accountability Office launched a “Key Issues” website Jan. 7 to provide members of the public and elected officials with easier access to agency reports and findings. The site will provide easier access to environmental areas of interest in the Energy and Interior departments, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. The site is available at http://www.gao.gov/key_issues.

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