Thursday in Washington:
Both the House and the Senate will be in session today. The Senate continues its consideration of the Marketplace Fairness Act. Senator Reid filed cloture on the bill yesterday in an attempt to bring consideration of the measure to a conclusion by the end of the week. The House will be consideringH.R. 527, determining the future of the Federal Helium Reserve.
Most of the action continues in the Committees, where the second House Committee passed legislation expediting the approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation prioritizing government payments in the event that the Congress fails to increase the debt ceiling. Oversight hearings are also continuing on the FY2014 budget proposal and appropriators are working through the first round of hearings to set spending priorities for the FY2014 appropriations bills.
Other Items of Interest:
Administration Proposes 21 Million Acre Lease Sale Offshore TX: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau announced that DOI will offer more than 21 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area. Proposed Lease Sale 233 is scheduled to take place in New Orleans in August. Additional information about the announcement can be found here.
DOE Announces New Batteries to Enable Wind and Solar Power Generation: Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long-life “flow” battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid. Additional information can be reviewed here.
USDA and Dairy Producers Renew Agreement to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: USDA renewed a historic agreement with U.S. dairy producers to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects and energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms. The pact extends a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009. One objective of the MOU is to increase the construction of anaerobic digesters and explore innovative ways to use products previously considered waste streams from dairy production, processing and handling. Additional information about the introduction can be viewed here.
House Natural Resources Committee Passes H.R. 3, Legislation Expediting the Keystone XL Pipeline: By a vote of 24-17, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 3. The Committee voted down a series of amendments dealing with taxes, tribal rights, export restriction, and campaign finance before ultimately passing the bill. The main line of criticism centered on lack of new jobs, lack of new revenues, and increased environmental risk from the project. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 3 out of Committee last week setting the stage for floor consideration next month. Additional information about the markup can be reviewed here.
HBW Resources Greenfield Offshore Energy Report: HBW Resources staff led by Brent Greenfield has compiled a comprehensive list of events and regulatory actions from the last week that could impact offshore energy development. A copy of the report can be viewed here.
Consumer Energy Alliance Generates 300,000 Public Comments Supporting Keystone XL:During the latest round of public comments on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Study released by the State Department on the Keystone Pipeline, Consumer Energy Alliance worked with its affiliates and partners to generate over 300,000 public comments in favor of approval, including hundreds of state legislators around the country. An infographic showing the total comments in each state can be viewed here.
Events and Hearings:
PoliticoPro Hosts Forum on Future of Tax Reform: Today at 8 AM at the Newseum, Politico Pro held a morning of one-on-one conversations “with emerging leaders who will influence the future of U.S. tax policy.” Additional information can be found here.
Nuclear Cleanup Caucus Holds Meeting: Today at 8:30 AM in 122 Cannon, the House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus held a briefing on “environmental management,” the first in a series of briefings on the Energy Department’s nuclear cleaning program for 2013. The meeting will be led by House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA); and Dave Huizenga, senior adviser for environmental management at the DOE.
House Reviews U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement: Today at 10AM in 1324 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement and Steps Needed for Implementation”; and H.R.1613, the “Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act.” Link
House Reviews Foreign Relations Issues Associated with Natural Gas Exports: Today at 2 PM in 2173 Rayburn, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Natural Gas Exports: Economic and Geopolitical Opportunities.”
Rob Bryngelson, CEO of Excelerate Energy; W. David Montgomery, senior vice president of National Economic Research Associates; Michael Levi, director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Program on Energy Security and Climate Change; and David Mallino Jr., legislative director of the Laborers International Union of North America will testify at the hearing. Link
Committee to Review Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Research Activities: Tomorrow, the House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee and Environment Subcommittee will hold joint hearing entitled “A Review of Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Research Activities.” Kevin Teichmann, senior science adviser in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development; Acting Deputy Assistant Energy Secretary for Oil and Gas Guido DeHoratiis, of the Office of Fossil Energy; David Russ, regional executive for the Northeast Area of the U.S. Geological Survey; and Robin Ikeda, acting director of the Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will testify at the hearing. Link
New Member of the Day: US Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Committee Assignments: Armed Services, Judiciary, Veterans Affairs
Chief of Staff: Betsy Lin
Deputy COS: Susan Michels
Legislative Director: Jeffry Phan
Sen. Hirono was born in Fukushima, Japan, November 3, 1947; graduated from Kaimuki High School, Honolulu, Hawaii; B.A., University of Hawaii, Manoa, Hawaii, 1970; J.D., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 1978; lawyer, private practice; member of the Hawaii state house of representatives, 1981-1994; Hawaii lieutenant governor, 1994-2002; elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat to the One Hundred Tenth and to the two succeeding Congresses (January 3, 2007-present); was not a candidate for reelection to the House of Representatives but was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 2012 for the term ending January 3, 2019. She is the first woman to represent Hawaii in the Senate and the chamber’s first Buddhist member.
Because of the importance of air travel to Hawaii, Sen. Hirono has taken an active role on policies affecting the cost and availability of passenger flights, particularly those affecting rural areas. She has also supported streamlining visa restrictions to promote tourism from Asia. The state has the highest energy costs in the US and electricity is supplied primarily by fuel oil. while the state is aggressively pursuing alternative energy programs, the state still remains uniquely impacted by the global crude market. Additionally, the closure of the state’s largest refinery threatens to raise fuel cost for airlines, potentially hindering tourism. Sen. Hirono is a very progressive member and will be a reliable vote for Democrats in the Senate, but her state’s reliance on imported fuels could lead to some more moderate stances on certain fuels issues if they are tied directly to air travel and tourism.
Previous updates and New Member profiles can be viewed at:http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Hope you all have a great Thursday!
Michael D. Zehr
HBW Resources, LLC
1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006