Wednesday in Washington:
Both the House and the Senate are in session. The House will continue its consideration of H.Con.Res.25, the House’s Budget Resolution, which appears to be on track to pass by the end of the week. The Senate continues to struggle to complete its work on the CR/mini-bus legislation. Majority Leader Reid is still hoping to complete work on both the CR/mini-bus and the Senate budget resolution before the Senate goes into a planned two-week recess.
Other Items of Interest:
Senators Introduce Revenue Sharing Legislation
Senators Murkowski and Landrieu (D-LA) will introduce the Fixing America’s Inequality with Revenues(FAIR) Act. The bill is written to ensure all energy-producing states receive a fair share of the revenues they help produce while also encouraging investments in clean energy and conservation. The bill provides up to 37.5 percent of all revenues from offshore development to coastal states. This includes revenues from oil and gas, as well as revenues from the development of alternative and renewable energy sources. States would automatically receive 27.5 percent of these revenues, 25 percent of which would go to the coastal communities most impacted by offshore development. States are eligible for an additional 10 percent if they establish funds to support projects relating to clean energy or conservation. The bill would also expand revenue sharing onshore to include renewable energy production on federal lands at the same 50 percent share currently given for oil and gas production. Even before introduction, the proposal has drawn criticism from anti-development groups opposed to oil and gas extraction. Additionally, without adding new areas for development, the proposal will likely be viewed by non-energy state fiscal conservatives as a raid on the federal treasury. Additional information about the bill and the introduction today can be reviewed here: http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=1e205d31-9efa-476c-ae77-9d5db0347e7a.
House Oversight Committee Holds Hearing on LNG Exports
On March 19th, the House Oversight Committee Energy and Policy and Regulations Subcommittee will held a hearing on “The Department of Energy’s Strategy for Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas.” In late February, FERC had three applications for s The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), will heard testimony from: Chris Smith, DOE acting assistant secretary for fossil energy, who is in charge of the agency’s review effort; Charles Ebinger, director of foreign policy in the Brookings Institution energy security initiative: and Tom Choi, natural gas analyst for Deloitte MarketPoint LLC. iting and construction permits that had moved into the formal review stage: Cameron LNG, Freeport LNG, and Corpus Christi LNG. The most interesting exchanges from the hearing occurred between Rep. Lankford and Chris Smith of DOE, where the Congressman repeatedly attempted to nail down how and when the DOE would evaluate the export license applications, to which the DOE claimed more time was needed to evaluate public comments and determinations would be made case-by-case. A summary of the hearing and the highlights can be viewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gtwke6m7gdwn9b8/LNG%20Export%20Hearing.docx.
Energy Coalition Hosts Discussion on Nuclear Power in Era of Low Cost Natural Gas
At 8:30 AM today, CASEnergy Coalition is holding a discussion on the importance of energy diversification and will 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 features: 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 is taking place in room 441 of Cannon House Office Building.
Senator Rockefeller Urges Increased Investment in Nation’s Infrastructure
On March 19th, Chairman Rockefeller reiterated the need to invest in the nation’s infrastructure after the ASCE released a report that estimates the U.S. faces a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion for transportation infrastructure projects. Rockefeller’s legislation, S. 387, the American Infrastructure Investment Fund Act, would attempt to fill the investment gap identified by ASCE. Additional information about the legislation and the announcement can be viewed here: http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=ea21aaca-84b4-425c-9b14-206c08c822ac&ContentType_id=77eb43da-aa94-497d-a73f-5c951ff72372&Group_id=505cc3fa-a767-40f4-8ac2-4b8326b44e94.
Sen. Vitter and Rep. Issa Pursue EPA Use of Outside E-mail Accounts
Following numerous reports of EPA officials using personal E-mail accounts to coordinate with interest groups, Sen. Vitter and Rep. Issa sent a letter Jared Blumenfeld, the Region 9 Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting that he certify that he has not at any juncture used a non-official email account to conduct official work. A copy of the letter can be viewed here: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=162e293c-f079-442d-a0ca-a6884051a8d7.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to Consider Jewell Nomination
On March 21st, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a Business Meeting to consider the nomination of Sally Jewell to be the Secretary of the Interior. The business meeting will be webcast live on the Committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the meeting is complete. Additional information on the meeting can be viewed here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/3/to-consider-the-nomination-of-sally-jewell-to-be-the-secretary-of-the-interior.
House Committee To Review State of US Steel Industry
On March 21st, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing entitled “Our Nation of Builders: The Strength of Steel.” The Committee will hear testimony from: Rep. Tim Murphy, Vice Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus; Rep. Pete Visclosky, Vice-Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus; Joe Carrabba, President and CEO, Cliffs Natural Resources; John Ferriola, President and CEO, Nucor Corporation; Richard Harshman, Chairman, President and CEO, Allegheny Technologies, Inc.; Ed Kurasz, Executive Vice President, Allied Tube and Conduit; Mike Rehwinkel, President and CEO, EVRAZ North America; Mike Rippey, President and CEO, Arcelor Mittal USA; John Surma, CEO, United States Steel Corporation; and Yvette Pena Lopes, Deputy Director, BlueGreen Alliance. Additional information about the hearing can be reviewed here:
T&I Leaders Host Roundtable on Ports, Jobs, Economic Development and Trade
On March 21st, Leaders of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will host a bipartisan roundtable on Thursday to discuss ports, jobs, economic development, and trade. The roundtable is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM on Thursday, March 21, 2013 in 2253 Rayburn House Office Building. Invited participants include American Association of Port Authorities President Kurt J. Nagle; Maersk, Inc. Vice President of Government Relations Clint Eisenhauer; Port of Tampa President and CEO Paul Anderson; and Port of Skagit Executive Director Patsy Martin. Additional information about the roundtable can be viewed here: http://transportation.house.gov/press-release/committee-host-roundtable-ports-jobs-economic-development-and-trade.
New Member of the Day: US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
Committee Assignments: Agriculture, Budget, and Government Oversight and Reform
Chief of Staff: Leticia Mederos
Policy Advisor: Issac Padilla
Rep. Grisham is a twelfth generation New Mexican who has dedicated her life to serving her community. Born in Los Alamos and raised in Santa Fe, she graduated from St. Michael’s High School, then attended the University of New Mexico for both undergraduate and law school. Her grandfather Eugene Lujan was the first Hispanic Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. As an attorney she worked for the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program of the State Bar of New Mexico and was appointed to head the New Mexico State Agency on Aging. She also served as the state’s first Secretary of Aging and Long Term Services when the department was elevated to a cabinet position. In 2004, she was asked to head the New Mexico Department of Health, where she managed over 3,800 employees and a $440 million budget. In 2010, she was elected to the Bernalillo County Commissioner.
The NBC Latino website included her in its list of 10 Latino politicians to watch in 2013. Her legislative priorities include health-care and women’s issues. New Mexico is well situated to become the nationwide leader in clean-energy development as home to Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. In the 113th Congress she will be the whip of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the fourth rung on the caucus’s leadership ladder. She ran for the House in 2008, seeking a seat vacated when Republican Heather Wilson ran for the Senate. She finished third in the Democratic primary with 24 percent, losing to Martin Heinrich, who went on to win the seat. In mid-2011, when Heinrich announced that he would seek to succeed retiring Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman, Lujan Grisham decided to run for the House again. In the Democratic primary, she finished first with 40 percent of the vote in a three-candidate race, then won the general election with 59 percent of the vote. With seats on the Agriculture, Budget, and Oversight Committees she is well positioned to evaluate and shape energy policies affecting energy consumers in NM and around the country.
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 Wednesday!
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