Thursday in Washington:
Recess Is Almost Over:
With Congress still in recess, speculation continues to build over the impact the President’s budget plan will have on the appropriations process and ongoing efforts to address elements of the sequestration and other pressing fiscal matters facing the Congress.
A number of new hearings have been announced focused on energy policy issues. The House will be holding a hearing next week on legislation intended to expedite approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline while the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee announced a series of forums exploring the opportunities and challenges associated with natural gas production from shale. The House Natural Resources Committee may also be planning to hold a field hearing in SC in May on potential expansion of offshore energy production.
When the House returns to session next week, it could take up H.R. 678, which would allow hydropower development on every federal Bureau of Reclamation canal, pipeline and similar conduit in the country. The bureau identified 373 sites where hydropower could be developed and potentially generate more than 365 million kilowatt hours of energy. The House is also expected to take up H.R. 1120, which would prevent NLRB from conducting business requiring a quorum until a dispute over three recess appointments is resolved.
Other Items of Interest:
Energy Producing States Coalition Accuses DOI of “Theft” of Mineral Royalty Payments
The Energy Producing States Coalition (http://energystates.org) released a statement condemning the Department of Interior’s plan to withhold $109 million in mineral royalty payments to the states. The group, which is composed of legislators from Alaska, Colorado, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, is urging Congressional action to restore the funding. They also contacted the Members of the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to express their concerns. The statement and a copy of the letter sent to the Committee can be viewed here: http://energystates.org/.
House Committee to Hold Legislative Hearing on Keystone XL
On April 10th, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act. Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) authored H.R. 3 to clear away all remaining roadblocks preventing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. This bill would eliminate the need for a Presidential Permit, address all other necessary federal permits, and limit litigation that could hinder the project. Additional information about the hearing can be reviewed here: http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/subcommittee-hold-hearing-keystone-legislation
Senate Energy and Natural Resources to Hold Forum on Forest Service Budget
On April 16th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider the president’s proposed budget for the U.S. Forest Service for fiscal year 2014. The hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing is complete. Additional information on the hearing can be found here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=d8022dc1-5425-4423-8287-dd8ebb2e1649.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources to Hold Forum on Natural Gas Infrastructure and Uses
On May 16th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources will hold a forum entitled: “Infrastructure, Transportation, Research and Innovation.” The forum will explore what the next applications are for natural gas and how this new demand will be met. Pipeline infrastructure and increased use of natural gas in the transportation sector will be specific points of interest. Additional information on the forum can be found here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/5/full-committee-forum-infrastructure-transportation-research-and-innovation.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources to Hold a Forum on Natural Gas Supply and Exports
On May 21st, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources will hold a forum entitled: “Domestic Supply and Exports.” The forum will examine estimates of domestic supply and the potential benefits or unintended consequences caused by expansion of natural gas exports. Additional information on the forum can be found here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/5/domestic-supply-and-exports
Senate Energy and Natural Resources to Hold a Forum on Shale Development Best Practices
On May 23rd, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources will hold a forum entitled: “Shale Development: Best Practices and Environmental Concerns.” The forum will focus on the extraction of gas from shale. Particular topics of interest will be current best practices within the industry and environmental concerns to be addressed. Additional information on the forum can be found here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=a641990d-cc27-4690-92ac-c282df9cda60
Consumer Energy Alliance to Host South Carolina Energy and Opportunity Forum
On May 1st, the Southeast Energy Alliance, a regional chapter of Consumer Energy Alliance will host the South Carolina Energy and Opportunity Forum in Myrtle Beach, SC. The event will feature Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Tom Rice. Additional information and registration can be found here: https://scenergyopportunity.eventbrite.com/
PHMSA Imposes Conditions on Restart of Pegasus Line Following Arkansas Spill
The PHMSA order requires ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. to submit a restart plan that would include patrolling of the line and measures to confirm the integrity of any parts of the line that were damaged or suspected of being damaged. The company will have to obtain written approval from the PHMSA director before resuming operations. When operations do resume, they will be limited to 80 percent of the operating pressure that was in effect immediately prior to the spill. The pressure restriction will remain in effect until the PHMSA director gives written approval for an increase. A copy of the Corrective Action Order can be viewed here: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/4%202013%205006H_Corrective%20Action%20Order_4%2002%2013.pdf
USGS Finds No Influence of Oil Platforms on Contaminant Levels in California Fish
The USGS in partnership with BOEM released two studies showing that fish residing near oil platforms have similar levels of contaminants as those living in other habitats. Since the underwater portion of many offshore oil and gas platforms often provides habitat to a large number of fish and invertebrates, some stakeholders have called for ocean managers to consider a “rigs-to-reefs” option during the decommissioning phase of a platform. This option would maintain some of the submerged structure to function as an artificial reef after oil and gas production has ended. The findings of these studies address questions regarding how the industrial legacy of this kind of artificial reef may affect local fish populations. Additional information and copies of the studies can be viewed here:
New Member of the Day: US Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO)
Chief of Staff: Christian Morgan
Deputy Chief of Staff: Desiree Mowry
Legislative Director: Brian O’Shea
Ann started working in the family business, a retail carpet store called Carpetime in Manchester. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia and received her BSBA from the Business School with an emphasis in Logistics. After college, She went to work in the private sector and held management positions at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and Ralston Purina in St. Louis. She served for nine years as a local committeewoman in Lafayette Township and went on to Chair the Missouri Party. She also served as Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the first term of President George W. Bush. In 2005, following nomination by President Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate, she was sworn in as the 19th U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She served as U.S. Ambassador for four years before returning to her home in Ballwin, Missouri. In 2010, Ann was asked to serve as the Chairman of Roy Blunt’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri.
Rep. Wagner is an experienced political operative with a long history in both Missouri and national politics. She is a proponent of grassroots advocacy and house by house coalition building. She is smart and ambitious, and she is from a safe and affluent district providing her with the freedom and resources necessary to build political capital with her colleagues. A week before the election in 2012, Rep. Wagner was picked to give the Republican response to President Obama’s weekly radio address. She won her election with over 60% of the vote. Her fellow freshmen elected her to be their liaison with the leadership. She is one of only three women in the Republican freshman class.
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at: http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. Hope you all have a great day!
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006