Monday in Washington:
Both the House and the Senate will be in session this week. Ahead of a two week recess, Members of the House and the Senate will be scrambling to complete work on legislation to avert a government shutdown and passage of budget resolutions in both chambers to avoid having Congressional Member pay withheld. The House has already passed its version of an appropriations bill to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, and the Senate appears poised to take up a number of amendments to its version early this week. How the two proposals are reconciled remains uncertain. However, if the top line number of the Senate bill remains at or below the top line number from the House bill, the House may have sufficient votes to take up and pass the Senate’s version. On the budget resolutions, there will likely be a ton of votes near the end of the week in what are called “vote-a-ramas” which round out consideration of budget resolutions. Since budget resolutions do not have the force of law, it is hard to see how this exercise will impact the overall fiscal debate unless reconciliation instructions are included.
Other Items of Interest:
Early Reports From EPA Indicate Significant Fuel Economy Improvements for 2012
EPA released its annual report that tracks the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States, underscoring the major increases made in the efficiency of the vehicles Americans drive, reducing oil consumption and cutting carbon emissions. According to the report, EPA estimates that between 2007 and 2012 fuel economy values increased by 16 percent while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have decreased by 13 percent, and in 2012 alone the report indicates a significant one year increase of 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and trucks. Additional information can be reviewed here: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/06bad6dab77cea8c85257b2f004d54d2!OpenDocument.
President Issues Executive Order Modifying and Clarifying Aspects of OPA Liability Fund
On March 15th, the President issued an executive order reassigning and clarifying responsibilities for inflation adjustments in Oil Pollution Act liability limits. A copy of the executive order can be viewed here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/15/executive-order-amendments-executive-order-12777.
EPA Pushes Back Deadlines for Review of Air Quality Standards for Several Air Pollutants
According to Bloomberg reports, EPA said it needs nearly another year to review air standards for sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide as well as the combined welfare-based standards for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. The agency also delayed its schedule for finalizing its review of nitrogen dioxide standards by six months. EPA’s schedule for reviewing the national ambient air quality standards can be reviewed as part of the recent EPA presentation here: http://www.epa.gov/air/caaac/pdfs/naaqs-implementation-permits-update.pdf.
Southern Company Hosts Discussion on America’s Energy Challlenges
At 12:00 today at the National Press Club, Southern Company hosts a discussion on “America’s Energy Challenges.” The event will featureThomas Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company; and Thomas Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute
Sen. Carper Hosts Symposium on Climate Change Actions Under the Clean Air Act
At 3:30 PM today in room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building, the Office of Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) will hold a symposium on “Climate Change Actions under the Clean Air Act: Reducing Power Plant Emissions without Harming the Economy.” The event will feature: Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE); Dirk Forrister, president and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA); David Doniger, policy director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Kyle Danish, partner at Van Ness Feldman; Conrad Schneider, advocacy director at the Clean Air Task Force (CATF); and Laura Haynes, senior policy advisor for energy and environment to Sen. Carper
House Hearing on Grid Operations and Coordination Challenges with Natural Gas
At 10:00 AM on March 19th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing on “American Energy Security and Innovation: The Role of Regulators and Grid Operators in Meeting Natural Gas and Electric Coordination Challenges.” The hearing will be held in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
SAFE Hosts Forum on President’s Energy Security Trust Fund
At 10:00 AM on March 19th at the National Press Club, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) holds a summit on “Energy Security Trust Fund: A Bipartisan Opportunity to Strengthen U.S. Energy Security.” The event will feature: Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal; former Assistant Energy Secretary for Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner; Michael Levi, energy fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; McKie Campbell, former staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair, member of the Energy Security Leadership Council.
House Appropriators Review DOE Environmental Management Budget
At 10:00 AM on March 19th, the House Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Energy Department’s environmental management budget. The hearing will feature Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, Dave Huizenga. The hearing will take place in room 2362-B of the Rayburn House Office Building.
House Committee to Review DOE’s LNG Export Policies
At 3:00 PM on March 19th, the House Oversight Committee Energy and Policy and Regulations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The Department of Energy’s Strategy for Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas.” The hearing will take place in room 2247 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Energy Coalition Hosts Discussion on Nuclear Power in Era of Low Cost Natural Gas
At 8:30 AM on March 20th, CASEnergy Coalition holds a discussion on the importance of energy diversification and to provide commentary on a white paper, “Balancing Long-Term Energy Planning with Near-Term Energy Opportunity: An Exploration of Nuclear Infrastructure Investment in a Low-Price Natural Gas Market.” The event will feature: Rep. John Barrow (D-GA); former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R-NJ), co-chairman of CASE Energy Coalition and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator; Joshua Freed, vice president for the Clean Energy Program at Third Way; Jim Hunter, director of the utility department at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); Bill Murray, director of corporate public policy at Dominion Power; and Keith Belton, director of government affairs, environment and energy at Dow Chemical Company. The event will take place at 441 Cannon House Office Building
EEI Hosts Conference on Improving the Electric Utility Industry
At 8:00 AM on March 21st, the Edison Electronic Institute will hold a conference on “Powering the People: Innovations for a Better World,” on how electric utilities together with their technology partners are enabling electricity to transform transportation, everyday life, the world, and the electric utility industry itself. The event will feature: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR); Thomas Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion Power; Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy; Bob Rowe, president and CEO of NorthWestern Energy; Andrew Vesey, executive vice president and COO of Global Utilities at AES Corporation; Joe Rigby, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings Inc.; Tony Earley, chairman, president and CEO of PG&E Corporation; and Alan Perriton, president and COO of VIA Motors. The event will be hosted at the Newseum at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
House Committee to Review National Mineral Resources Policies
At 10:00 AM on March 21st, the House Natural Resources Committee Energy and Minerals Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “America’s Mineral Resources: Creating Mining and Manufacturing Jobs and Securing America,” and H.R.1063, the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2013”; H.R.687, the “Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013”; H.R.697, the “Three Kids Mine Remediation and Reclamation Act”; H.R.761, the “Critical and Strategic Minerals Production Act”; H.R.767, to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to modify the Pilot Project offices of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project; H.R.957, the “American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act”; and H.R.981, the “Resource Assessment of Rare Earths Act of 2013.” The hearing will take place in room 1334 of the Longworth House Office Building.
New Member of the Day: US Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Chief of Staff: Doug Coutts
Legislative Director: Jonathan Hiler
Rep. Cotton grew up on his family’s cattle farm in Dardanelle. He graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. After completing law school, Tom clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals and then entered private practice, where he concentrated in labor, employment, and constitutional law. He left his law practice to join the Army. He declined offers for a direct commission as an Army JAG officer, instead opting to serve as an infantryman. He spent five years on active duty and was deployed to Baghdad in 2006 as a platoon leader with the 101st Airborne. In Baghdad, Tom was responsible for a 41-man air-assault infantry platoon and planned and led daily combat patrols. After his tour in Iraq, he was assigned as a platoon leader at The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was responsible for conducting military honors funerals for veterans. In 2008, he volunteered to return to combat and was deployed to eastern Afghanistan as the operations officer of a provincial reconstruction team, where he planned and resourced daily counterinsurgency and reconstruction operations for an 83-member joint and interagency team. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal. Following his active-duty service, Tom worked as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company.
Few Members of Congress have the military experience or educational background that Rep. Cotton brings with him as a Member of the 113th Congress. The seat that he holds had been held Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), a leader of the Congressional Blue Dog Caucus. His military experience along with the work he did for McKinsey Company advising a wide assortment of companies from health care to oil and gas gives Rep. Cotton a very broad perspective with regard to federal policies and how they interact with the private sector. As a member of both the Foreign Relations Committee and the Financial Services Committee, he is in a good position to draw upon his experiences as he represents his constituents. In addition to large agricultural operations and a number of federal labs, Rep. Cotton’s district is home to a number of large independent oil and gas producers. He is pragmatic, organized, and ambitious, and he has been mentioned as a potential contender for higher office down the road, either in Arkansas or on the national stage.
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Hope you all have a great week!
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006