Wednesday in Washington:
Retirements Mount, Intrigue Ensues:
The Senate and the House are in session today. The biggest news coming out of yesterday was the unexpected announcement that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the current Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, would not seek re-election in 2014. Many speculate that the decision may be due to conflicts with Senate Democratic Leadership. However, Sen. Baucus has denied those speculations and says it is advancing age, not any party conflict that is driving his decision. A copy of Senator Baucus’ statement announcing his retirement can be viewed here.
The impacts of the announcement on tax reform prospects are likely to dominate discussion on the Hill for the next few days. Senator Wyden is next in line to Chair the Finance Committee, but Reid is clearly more comfortable with Schumer taking the reins. Additionally, a move by Wyden to Finance could potentially place Landrieu at the head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, prospects of which would help with her re-election, but create another independent-minded committee chair for Reid.
Today, the Senate will continue its consideration of the Marketplace Fairness Act. The House will be considering three bills: 1.) HR. 360 awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, in recognition of the 50th commemoration of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church; 2.) H.R. 1071 specifying the size of the precious metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins; and 3.) H.R. 1549 , the Helping Sick Americans Now Act shifting funds within the Affordable Health Care Act to provide more support for the sickest people in the system through a “high risk pool.”
Senator Boxer announced yesterday that the Senate might consider the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as the next the administrator of the EPA by May 8th. In other nomination news, Senator Graham has placed a hold on Dr. Ernest Moniz to lead the DOE, and Senator Reid announced he wants to vote on the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to serve as the next head of the OMB by the end of the week.
Other Items of Interest:
Senators Vitter and Barrasso Lead Effort to Stop Additional Water Regulations: U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and David Vitter (R-LA), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led a group of 30 senators urging the Administration to withdraw draft guidance to define “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The guidance could lead the EPA to redefine when isolated wetlands, intermittent streams, and other non-navigable waters should be subject to regulation. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
Harvard Law School Releases Study Critical of FracFocus Voluntary Disclosure Records: The study precludes highlights problems with the timing of disclosures, the content of disclosures and the problem with non-disclosures since participation is volutary. A copy of the report can be viewedhere.
Senator Coons and Senator Murkowski Set to Introduce MLP Legislation for Renewables:The bill will extend MLP status to a variety of renewable power and biofuel energy resources. The bill also expands MLP status to waste-heat-to-power, carbon capture and storage, biochemicals, and energy-efficient buildings. The bill has strong bipartisan backing in both the House and the Senate, and the last remaining issue is the cost of the provision. The sponsors are requesting a review by the Joint Tax Committee. Additional information about the bill can be found here.
Events and Hearings Today:
Politico Pro Discussion on Energy Tax Policy: Today at 8 AM at the Newseum, Politico Pro held a discussion on “The Energy Sector and The Implications of Tax Policy.” Additional information and registration can be found here.
Senate EPA Budget Hearing: Today at 9:30 AM in 124 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the proposed budget for FY2014 for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Link
CSIS Discussion on US-Canadian Energy Policies: Today at 9:30 AM, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will hold a discussion on “The U.S.-Canada Energy Relationship.” Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver; and David Pumphrey, co-director and senior fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will be leading the discussion. Additional information can be found here: http://www.csis.org.
U.S-Poland Energy Roundtable: Today at 8:30 AM at the Ronald Regan Building, the U.S. Energy Association (USEA) held a U.S.-Poland Energy Roundtable. Additional information can be found here:http://www.usea.org/event/us-poland-energy-roundtable.
Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation Markup #2: Today at 10 AM in 1324 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee markup of H.R.3, the “Northern Route Approval Act,” to approve the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.Link
House Reviews DOE’s Fisker Investment: Today at 2 PM, the House Oversight Committee Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Green Energy Oversight: Examining the Department of Energy’s Bad Bet on Fisker Automotive.” Link
Member of the Day: U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Committee Assignments: Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Veterans Affairs
Chief of Staff: Adam Magary
Prior to coming to Congress, Rep. Lamborn served in the Colorado state legislature in the House and Senate from 1995 through 2006. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a law degree from the University of Kansas. After graduation, he worked as an attorney in Colorado Springs for 20 years, emphasizing business and real estate. Representative Doug Lamborn was first elected to represent Colorado’s 5th district in 2006. Throughout his career in public service, Representative Lamborn has promoted family values, limited government, lower taxes, and preserving gun owners’ rights. Colorado’s 5th District lies south of Denver, encompassing Colorado Springs, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. He holds seats on the Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs and Natural Resources committees.
Rep. Lamborn serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House Committee on Natural Resources with jurisdiction over extractive activities and energy production on public lands. He is a strong and consistent supporter of additional access for energy development, and is opposed to regulatory efforts to slow or stop energy development. He is a Member of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the caucus of House conservatives dedicated to a limited and Constitutional role for the federal government, a strong national defense, the protection of individual and property rights, and the preservation of traditional family values. Colorado has always been an energy producing state, but a growing anti-development/environmental movement there could threaten continued production and development. Rep. Lamborn’s position on Natural Resources could provide him with the opportunity to help inform the debate in Colorado and help stem some of the anti-development activities underway.
If you have any questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous updates and Member profiles can be reviewed at: http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. Hope you have a great Wednesday!
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