Focusing on the New:
With Congress in recess, attention turned to some of the races shaping up. Rep. Edward J. Markey won the Democratic nomination contest for the Massachusetts US Senate seat over fellow Rep. Stephen F. Lynch. He will face GOP primary winner Gabriel Gomez, a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL. Gomez defeated former U.S. Attorney Mike Sullivan and state Rep. Dan Winslow. The special election is set for June 25th. Rep. Markey is the clear favorite in the contest, but Gomez’ background, his willingness to self finance, and the compressed time-frame could make the race an interesting contest.
The race in SC between former Gov. Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch is shaping up to be one of the nastier and entertaining races in the country with a lot of focus going to the former Governor’s extramarital affair and the candidate’s repeated comparisons of Colbert Busch to Nancy Pelosi. In what is a heavily Republican state, the race is looking much closer than most had predicted. In another crowded and complicated race, it appears that Rep. Jack Kingston is likely to enter the crowded GA Senate primary contest. With so many members of the GA delegation now in the race, it could make work within the delegation very challenging.
Other Items of Interest:
New USGS Assessment Shows Two-Fold Increase in Bakken and Three Forks Resource Estimates: The USGS assessment found that the Bakken Formation has an estimated mean oil resource of 3.65 BBO and the Three Forks Formation has an estimated mean resource of 3.73 BBO, for a total of 7.38 BBO, with a range of 4.42 (95 percent chance) to 11.43 BBO (5 percent chance). This assessment of both formations represents a significant increase over the estimated mean resource of 3.65 billion barrels of undiscovered oil in the Bakken Formation that was estimated in the 2008 assessment. Additional information and a link to the new USGS study can be found here.
DOI Fracking Rules Expected In Next Few Weeks: The Hill newspaper published an article on the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s proposed federal rules on hydraulic fracturing (fracking). In this article, Secretary Jewell states that it will be a matter of weeks not months before new federal rules on fracking will be released. Since November of 2010 when the Obama administration mentioned possible new federal regulation of fracking, House Natural Resources Committee Republicans have conducted oversight of this issue with multiple hearings about the possible effects of a federal rule on fracking. A copy of the article can be viewed here.
DOI Deputy Secretary David Hayes Announces Plans to Step Down: David J. Hayes will conclude his role as Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior this year after serving in the position for the Obama Administration for more than four years. Hayes will serve as a Senior Fellow at the Hewlett Foundation and will teach at Stanford Law School in the fall. Hayes expects to leave Interior at the end of June. The announcement can be viewed here.
BLM Holds Public Forums to Kick Off Updates to Onshore Oil and Gas Orders: The BLM is proposing to update Onshore Oil and Gas Orders 3, 4, and 5 to keep pace with changing industry practices and new technologies, and to respond to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the DOI’s Office of the Inspector General, and the DOI’s Subcommittee on Royalty Management. The Orders, which regulate production accountability and the measurement of oil and gas, were last updated in 1989. The goal of the update is to make sure the government is receiving fair compensation for federal resource sales. Additional information on the announcement and the process moving forward can be viewed here.
Senator Boxer Announces Investigation of West Texas Chemical Plant Tragedy: In preparation for conducting a hearing on the accident, which killed 15 people, injured hundreds, and destroyed homes and property; Senator Boxer sent letters seeking additional information from the US Chemical Safety Board and the US EPA. Copies of the announcement and the letters can be viewed here.
BLM Orders Additional Analysis of Ruby Pipeline: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Ruby Pipeline Project to respond to a court’s direction and provide a revised cumulative-effects analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The BLM will follow the process generally described in 40 CFR 1502.9, which requires preparation of a draft and final Supplemental EIS with the exception of a formal scoping period. A 45-day public comment period will be provided and will be announced in a Notice of Availability for the Draft Supplemental EIS. Additional information can be found here.
EIA Study Shows Extension of Certain Energy Tax Policies Would Reduce Carbon Emissions: The Extended Policies case, released today as part of EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (AEO2013), shows that extending certain federal energy efficiency and renewable energy laws and regulations could reduce annual energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States in 2040 by roughly 6% relative to a Reference case projection that generally assumes current laws and policies. Between 2013 and 2040, this reduction adds up to a cumulative emission savings approaching five billion metric tons. Information about the report can be found here.
US Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: Today at 9:30 AM, the Interior Department (DOI); Office of Policy, Management and Budget will hold a meeting of the United States Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI) Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) Advisory Committee. The meeting will be held in the Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street NW, Room 7000A-7000B, Washington, D.C. The event will be available via conference call at 866-707-0640; passcode, 1500538.
New Member of the Day: US Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN)
Committee Assignments: Education and Workforce, Homeland Security, and Ethics
Chief of Staff: Mel Raines
Legislative Director: Megan Savage
After receiving her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio, Rep. Brooks pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Indiana University Indianapolis School of Law. Before joining the House of Representatives, Susan served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College. While there, she implemented workforce development strategies aiming to enhance job training and placement for thousands of Indiana residents. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Susan as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. She earned recognition as Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis during the Steve Goldsmith administration, where she provided oversight on public safety operations and drove community dialogue on vital civic issues. She also practiced law at the Indianapolis firm of Ice Miller and also served as a criminal defense attorney for Indianapolis based McClure, McClure and Kammen.
Congresswoman Susan Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight counties throughout the central part of Indiana. It was concern about the country’s debt and deficit and its effect on the labor market that prompted her to run for Congress in the first place. During her race, she made headlines by dismissing Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, saying she wouldn’t sign pledges of any kind. Her background in education and her focus on jobs makes her a strong advocate for STEM education and preparing students for actual careers in an increasingly competitive job market. She believes that there is a federal role in education to ensure our students are able to compete globally.
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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