Thursday in Washington:
Both the House and the Senate will be in session today. The House will be considering H.Res. 113, a resolution providing for the consideration of H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act. Consideration of the CR/ minibus appropriations bill appears to be back on track with Senators considering amendments to the bill. One of the first amendments adopted dealt with funding for waste water treatment facilities in Guam. With furloughs being announced for the Secret Service, air traffic controllers, and other members of the security apparatus in the US and internationally, Members are being forced to provide specific guidance and flexibility to Government agencies who have been less than forthcoming with budget data information leading up to the debates.
Other Items of Interest:
DOI Approves Three Renewable Energy Projects in CA and NV
DOI announced the approval of three major renewable energy projects that are expected to deliver 1,100 megawatts to the grid. The 750-megawatt McCoy Solar Energy Project and 150-megawatt Desert Harvest Solar Farm are both located in California’s Riverside East Solar Energy Zone, an area established through the Western Solar Energy Plan as most suitable for solar development. The 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project will be constructed on public lands in Clark County, Nevada. Additional information about the projects can be reviewed here: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/secretary-salazar-approves-three-renewable-energy-projects-in-california-and-nevada.cfm.
Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Hydropower Bill
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Wyden (D-OR), Risch (R-ID), Cantwell (D-WA), Crapo (R-ID), Murray (D-WA), and Begich (D-AK). The bill seeks to substantially increase the United States’ hydropower capacity. According to the Department of Energy, the U.S. has the potential for 300 gigawatts of additional hydropower. addition information on the legislation can be viewed here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republican-news?ID=166d2a3b-2875-46eb-9214-9debe4b7124b.
EIA Projects Increased US Production At Historic Levels
U.S. oil production last week rose to the highest level since July 1992, buoyed by increased drilling in oilfields including North Dakota’s Bakken shale and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Output climbed 66,000 barrels a day, or 0.9 percent, to 7.159 million in the seven days ended March 8, extending a gain of more than 1.13 million barrels a day last year, according to data from the EIA. Production could increase to as much as 7.7 million barrels a day by the end of the year. Domestic crude output will average 7.31 million barrels a day in 2013 and 7.88 million in 2014. The U.S. met 84 percent of its own energy needs in the first 11 months of last year, on pace to be the highest level since 1991. A review of current and projected US crude output can be reviewed here: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/.
OMB Sends Refineries Rule Back to EPA
OMB has withdrawn a proposed rule to revise air pollution standards for petroleum refineries and asked the EPA for further review. The proposed rule, which would affect about 150 refineries, would address residual risk and technological developments related to air toxics emissions and amend new source performance standards to control emissions of a number of pollutants. The withdrawn rule was expected to include a Clean Air Act-mandated review of residual risk from the existing national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants for refineries and of the potential for new technology to make further emissions reductions. It was also expected to amend new source performance standards for the sector. Background on the proposed rule can be viewed here: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opei/rulegate.nsf/byRIN/2060-AQ75#1.
House Committee Reviews Federal Support for Energy Technologies
The House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee held a hearing entitled “Federal Financial Support for Energy Technologies: Assessing Costs and Benefits.” The hearing featured concerns about both US policies supporting more costly forms of energy production and policies mandating specific mixes in the US fuel supply. Additional information on the hearing and the witnesses can be viewed here: http://science.house.gov.
House Committee to Review Onshore Oil and Gas Development
At 10:00 AM today, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing entitled “America’s Onshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and Lowering Prices.” Additional information on the hearing and the witnesses can be viewed here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=320973.
House Committee to Review Western Hemisphere Energy Security
At 10:00 AM today, the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing entitled “U.S. Energy Security: Enhancing Partnerships with Mexico and Canada.” Additional information and witness testimony can be reviewed here: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-us-energy-security-enhancing-partnerships-mexico-and-canada.
New Report Highlights How Increased Energy Production Could Check Iran
Secure America’s Energy Future, a group composed of national security and energy sector experts released a report indicating that increasing domestic supplies of energy and decreasing consumption may make now an opportune time to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The report can be viewed here: http://secureenergy.org/policy/decision-point-well-supplied-global-oil-market-will-make-2013-year-deal-iran.
Shale Gas in China Discussion
9:00 AM on March 15th, the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a discussion entitled “Shale Gas Revolution in China: Game Changer for Coal?” The director of IHS CERA (China) and a staff scientist from the Natural Resources Defense Council will guide this discussion. You can find more information or RSVP for the event here: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/rsvp?eid=26296&pid=99.
Committee Assignments: Armed Services and Science
Chief of Staff: Jane Hamilton
Legislative Director: Chris Kelley
Rep. Veasey grew up in Fort Worth, living at his grandmother’s house with his mother after his parents divorced. He graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth with a degree in mass communications. He represents a newly drawn district stretching from Fort Worth to Dallas. He told voters that in Congress he wants to focus on education because “that is the key to everything.” If Texas students graduated at the national average, 1 million new jobs would be created in the state by 2030, he said. He worked for an advertising agency and was a substitute teacher. After volunteering in the office of Democratic Representative Martin Frost for a summer, he got a job with Frost as a field representative in the lawmaker’s Dallas-Fort Worth region. He was elected to the TX House in 2004 and re-elected three times. Serving in the TX legislature. He also took the lead on certain technology-related issues in the TX House and served on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ committee on technology.
Rep. Veasey is a hard working, progressive individual with an eye towards seeking compromise middle ground positions to move legislation forward. He serves on both the Armed Services Committee and the Science Committee, which puts him in a position to pursue policies aimed at guiding both defense and research policies in the Congress to benefit both service members and academic institutions. Although not yet 40 years old, Representative Veasey has over a decade of governmental experience as a staffer for a former senior member of the United States Congress. This gives Representative Veasey a unique understanding of how Texas can partner with the Federal government to serve the needs of his constituents.
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be reviewed at: http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. Hope you all have a great Thursday!
Vice President US Federal Affairs
1666 K Street, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006