The House and the Senate remain in recess, but concerns over the impending sequestration are keeping press offices busy at the White House and on Capitol Hill. The effort to assign blame is reaching a fever pitch as Members attempt to safeguard programs of importance to their states and districts. At the same time, preparations are being made for compiling legislation to keep the government funded though the end of the year. The sequestration cuts could complicate this process as Members may see the long-term CR as a way of protecting themselves political consequences of the across the board cuts required by the sequester.
Other Items of Interest:
At 3PM today, Consumer Energy Alliance will be hosting Administrator Adam Sieminski, head of the Energy Information Administration at the U. S. Department of Energy to present EIA’s 2013 Annual Energy Outlook. You can view the webinar here at 3PM: https://consumerenergyalliance.webex.com/consumerenergyalliance/onstage/g.php?d=662999906&t=a
In preparation for tax reform discussions, the Joint Tax Committee produced a document tracking and explaining “tax expenditures” from 2012-2017. The report lays out estimates of many of the energy tax provisions expected to be debated later this year, many of which have already been targeted by legislative proposals. The report highlights the near quadrupling of tax expenditures from pipeline investments over the next few years. A copy of the report can be viewed here: https://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func=download&id=4503&chk=4503&no_html=1
Last week, DOE launched http://www.Energy.gov/Data, a site that will serve as a central resource for energy data and resources. To explain how Open Data is being used by the energy industry, DOE will be hosting a live discussion at 3PM which will be streamed on energy.gov/live
The USFWS released an environmental assessment of agency’s 2008 special rule for protection of polar bears. The service reviewed four options for its assessment and concluded that the preferred option was the one relying on the existing regulatory requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and, to a lesser extent, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to conserve the polar bear species. GHG regulations to protect polar bears from climate change were not warranted, according to the service. The Fish and Wildlife Service’s environmental analysis on the 2008 special rule for polar bears is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-20/pdf/2013-03136.pdf.
BSEE, in partnership with other federal and state agencies including the BOEM, NOAA, EPA, the Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the state of Louisiana, are holding meetings today at the University of New Orleans to discuss offshore decommissioning activities. Stakeholders from the fishing, oil and gas, conservation and other related interests have all been invited to attend. The last stakeholder meeting was held on November 16, 2012 at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. Additional information about the effort can be reviewed here: http://www.bsee.gov/BSEE-Newsroom/BSEE-News-Briefs/2013/University-of-New-Orleans.aspx
The WhiteHouse announced a plan to spend $50 billion to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the country including bridges and highways as part of its #fixitfirst initiative. Additional details can be viewed here: http://1.usa.gov/VMwdw1
Committee Assignments: Armed Services and Science
Chief of Staff: Joe Kaufman
Experience: Congressman Jim Bridenstine is a Navy pilot and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated from Rice University with degrees in economics, business and psychology. After college, he joined the Navy and became a pilot, flying combat missions off the USS Abraham Lincoln in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Shock and Awe in Iraq. Later, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet fighter at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN, where he flew “Red Air” and was also an instructor. After leaving active duty, Bridenstine earned an MBA from Cornell University and returned to Tulsa to be the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. He was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he flies the E-2C Hawkeye, a surveillance and operations command aircraft, in Central and South America in support of America’s war on drugs.
Importance: Rep. Jim Bridenstine won election to Congress unseating three-term Republican John Sullivan in the Republican primary. A bare-knuckle campaigner he pulled few punches in the hotly contested primary. He won the general election by over 30 points against Democrat John Olson, a retired Army sergeant. He opposes federal incentives for renewable energy — a growing industry in his oil-producing home state — calling them “not an appropriate role of government.” As a Member from a safe seat and national security credentials unique to the House, he could play a key role in DOD alternative energy funding and federal R&D decisions evaluated by the House Science Committee.
Previous updates and new member profiles can be reviewed at http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com
If you have any questions, contact me anytime. Hope you have a great Thursday!
Michael D. Zehr
HBW Resources, LLC
1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006