Tuesday in Washington:
Debates and Investigations Continuing in DC:
Both the House and Senate are in session today. The Senate will be considering the Farm Bill (S. 954), while the House considers a number of bills under suspension of the rules. These will include:H.R. 1412, the Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013; H.R. 570, the American Heroes COLA Act; H.R. 1344, the Helping Heroes Fly Act; H.R. 324, to grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the First Special Service Force, in recognition of its superior service during World War II; S. 982, the Freedom to Fish Act; and S.Con.Res. 16 , authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall for the unveiling of a statue of Frederick Douglass.
Of particular interest today will be the Natural Gas Forum hosted by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee exploring issues associated with potential expansion of natural gas exports. Low cost natural gas has created a competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers and gas developers are increasing looking at value-added processing of the gas to ship to markets where gas is less plentiful. However, infrastructure challenges and the impact on domestic consumers are issues that have been points of contention. The forum today will explore the export potential for domestically produced natural gas and what impatts, if any, such exports would have on U.S. consumers.
Other Items of Interest:
DOE Announces New Technical Assistance for Tribal Clean Energy Projects: The Department of Energy announced that five additional Tribes will receive technical assistance through the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program for renewable energy project development and installation. These awards are part of the Department’s broader efforts to help Tribal communities across the United States enhance their energy security and build a sustainable, clean energy future. Tribes in Alaska, Wisconsin, Colorado, California, and Arizona were selected to participate.
NOAA Releases Report on Oil Pollution Threat from Shipwrecks: NOAA presented to the U.S. Coast Guard a new report that finds that 36 sunken vessels scattered across the U.S. seafloor could pose an oil pollution threat to the nation’s coastal marine resources. Of those, 17 were recommended for further assessment and potential removal of both fuel oil and oil cargo.
EPW Republicans Urge Waiver of Stormwater Runoff Rules: Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting a suspension of rulemaking for its forthcoming National Stormwater Rule. The rule could force individuals and small businesses into costly mandates on managing stormwater on their properties without being able to provide input.
BPC Releases New Report on Natural Gas: The Bipartisan Policy Center released a new report: New Dynamics of the U.S. Natural Gas Market. The report finds that LNG exports would have minimal impact on the domestic prices of natural gas and that long-term natural gas prices are expected to stay low and stable due to vast shale resources in the United States and increasingly efficient extraction techniques.
New Tier 3 Rule Released: Following OMB review, the EPA released its proposed new Tier 3 rule. EPA’s Tier 3 standards for gasoline and vehicles would cut the allowable sulfur content of gasoline from 30 ppm to 10 ppm beginning in 2017. The proposal also includes new volatile organic compound, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter emissions standards for new light- and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as new evaporative emissions standards. The vehicle emission standards would be phased in between 2017 and 2025. The Tier 3 standards are intended to harmonize federal regulations with requirements in California, establishing a uniform standard for the nation. EPA estimates the requirements will cost petroleum refiners $3.4 billion in 2030 with estimated health benefits of between $7.4 billion and $23 billion per year. The EPA will accept comments on the rule through June 13th.
Alaska Governor Seeks Additional Evaluation of ANWR Resources: Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) said May 20 that the state submitted a 187-page exploration proposal to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell with the hope that it will be included in the department’s final management plan. Parnell, speaking via satellite at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in Washington, said the state felt compelled to offer the plan because of fears that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) intends to prevent oil and gas exploration in the 1.5-million-acre ANWR coastal plain.
Important Events and Hearings:
Senate Committee Hosts 2nd Natural Gas Forum: Today at 10AM in 216 Hart, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a forum on “estimates of domestic supply and the potential benefits or unintended consequences caused by expansion of natural gas exports.” Energy Information Administration Administrator Adam Sieminski; Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council; Pat Outtrim, vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs at Cheniere Energy Inc.; Charles Ebinger, director of foreign policy at the Energy Security Initiative; Deborah Rogers, founder of the Energy Policy Forum; Peter Huntsman, CEO of the Huntsman Corporation; Harry Vidas, vice president of ICF International; Paul Cicio, president of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America; John Mohlis, executive secretary from the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council; Octavio Simoes, senior vice president of Sempra International and president of Sempra LNG, will participate.
House Committee Considers Federal vs. State Management of Public Lands: Today at 10:30 AM in 1324 Longworth, the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on “Perspectives on the Management of Federal and State Land.” Gov. Gary Herbert, R-Utah, chairman of the Western Governor’s Association will testify.
House Committee Considers Magnuson Reauthorization: Today at 10:30 AM n 1334, the Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on data collection issues in relation to the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
DATE AND TIME
How Property Rights Can Solve the Oil Curse: Today at 11 AM at the Heritage Foundation, the Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion on “How Property Rights Can Solve the ‘Oil Curse.” Todd Moss, vice president for programs and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development; Francisco Ferreira, lead economist for the World Bank’s Development Research Group; Sergio Daga, visiting senior policy analyst for Latin America at the Heritage Foundation and director of POPULI in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; and James Roberts, research fellow for economic freedom and growth at Heritage will participate.
House Committee Considers Consequences of Conflict Minerals Provisions in Frank-Dodd:Today at 2 PM in 2128 Rayburn, the House Financial Services Committee Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The Unintended Consequences of Dodd-Frank’s Conflict Minerals Provision,” focusing on the Securities and Exchange Commission rules for public companies to disclose their use of minerals that originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
House Rules Committee Considers H.R. 3: Today at 3 PM in H-313, the House Rules Committee will meet to formulate a rule on H.R.3, the “Northern Route Approval Act,” to approve the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.
House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus Meets: Today at 4 PM in 1334 Longworth, the House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus will hold a briefing on “environmental management,” the fourth in a series of briefings on the Energy Department’s nuclear cleaning program for 2013, focusing on the Richland Operations Office at Hanover, Wash.
Member of the Day: US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Committee Assignments: Energy and Natural Resources (Chairman), Finance, Intelligence, Budget, Aging, and Joint Committee on Taxation
Chief of Staff: Jeff Michels
Legislative Director: Jocelyn Moore
Staff Director (Energy & Natural Resources): Josh Sheinkman
Senior Advisor (Energy & Natural Resources Oil & Gas): Todd Wooten
Experience: Born in 1949 in Wichita, Kansas, Senator Wyden attended the University of California at Santa Barbara on a basketball scholarship. He later earned a B.A degree with distinction from Stanford University and received a J.D. degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1974. Following law school, he taught gerontology and co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers, an advocacy group for the elderly. He also served as the director of the Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly from 1977 to 1979 and as a member of the Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators during that same time period. He was first elected to Congress in 1980 to represent Oregon’s 3rd District. In 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election following the resignation of US Senator Bob Packwood, becoming the first U.S. Senator to be elected in a vote-by-mail election. He was sworn in on February 5, 1996. He was re-elected in 1998, 2004, and 2010.
Importance: Senator Wyden is the current Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. In that role, he has demonstrated a willingness to reach out to both Republicans and Democrats to find issues where agreement is possible. He has also spent a great deal of time travelling and visiting energy production facilities around the country to develop a greater understanding the energy sector and build trust with fellow Members. Early in his Chairmanship he has devoted considerable time to exploring the opportunities and challenges from the development of shale resources. He has been critical of both energy exports and tax provisions benefiting fossil fuels, but has been thorough in his review. He is an advocate of both hydropower and geothermal power, and the committee under his leadership is set to make progress on both fronts. He is an innovative legislator willing to put new ideas forward regardless of the preferences of party leadership. He also serves on the Senate Finance Committee and is expected to take over as Chairman of the Committee when Senator Baucus retires at the end of this Congress.
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 day!
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