Monday in Washington:
The Final Push Before the Recess:
The House and the Senate are both in session this week as both Chambers rush to finish up legislative items prior to the July 4th recess. The Senate continues to slog through consideration of immigration reform legislation (S. 744) with the hopes of completing action on the bill this week and moving on to address student loan financing issues. The House will take up a number of less controversial bills early in the week before attempting to move on the FY 2014 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2410. Given the failure of the Farm Bill last week, it is not certain whether this Appropriations bill will actually head to the floor.
On the energy front the House will take up two key measures allowing for greater offshore energy development: H.R. 1613 , the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act; and H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act. Both of these bills are expected to pass and offer unique opportunities for negotiation with the Senate. The Senate companion bill dealing with the Transboundary Agreement was sponsored by the Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Ron Wyden (D-OR), and the Ranking Member, Lisa Murkowski. Although more complicated, bipartisan support exists for expanded revenue sharing and access to additional areas on the East Coast as well, setting up a potential conference should the opportunity present itself.
Another event to watch this week is the President’s speech tomorrow at Georgtown University where he is expected to lay out his plans to combat global climate change. The plans will likely involve continued regulatory initiatives aimed at reducing emissions from both new and existing electric utilities as well as refineries along with calls for more R&D on Carbon Capture and Sequestration technologies. With the lowest US GHG emissions in twenty years and a sluggish economy, finding acceptable policies capable of expanding this progress on emissions reduction without harming economic growth will be a challenge.
Other Items of Interest:
BSEE Concludes Investigation of Spill Offshore California: The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) released the findings of an investigation into a more than 35 barrel oil spill that occurred June 22, 2012, on Platform Houchin off the coast of California. The platform, operated by Pacific Operators Offshore, LLC,(POOLLC) is located 4.5 miles offshore Carpinteria, CA in 163 feet of water. No oil reached the nearby shoreline thanks to the shutdown and quick response, but the investigation made recommendations to help avoid similar situations in the future.
WY to Partner with EPA to Resolve Drinking Water Concerns In Pavilion: The State of WY and the EPA announced that they will be conducting further testing to determine the cause of water contamination in a few of the wells in the area. The studies of drinking water contamination in Pavilion have been going on since 2009 and have been the subject of much debate and acrimony over whether or not the contamination was caused by hydraulic fracturing. After years of study and debate, the actual source and cause of the pollution have not been identified. The EPA and the State of Wyoming hope to release their final report by September 30, 2014.
Bipartisan Legislation To Repeal the RFS Introduced in the US Senate: A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation (S. 1195) repealing the renewable fuel standard (RFS). The bill is sponsored by
John Barrasso (R-WY) and is co-sponsored by Senators Boozman (R-AR), Chambliss (R-GA), Cruz (R-TX), Enzi (R-WY), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Toomey (R-PA), and Scott (R-SC). Pressure is growing to deal with the RFS as the ten percent blend wall approaches. However, securing floor time and the necessary support to achieve 60 votes in the Senate represent significant challenges.
House Considers How Energy Boom is Benefiting Domestic Manufacturing: On June 20th, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and Energy and Power held a joint hearing to discuss the role that the recent American energy boom is having on the country’s manufacturing sector. The panels explored how new technologies and innovation are unlocking domestic energy resources and helping to revive American factories. While the hearing began about an hour late and was interrupted numerous times with votes, the Committee heard from the witnesses about the tremendous benefits lowcost natural gas is providing, including the $16-$21 billion dollar investment in LA by Sasol for a joint natural gas cracker and gas to liquids manufacturing facility. The committee was also told about a recent ACC study showing over $70 billion of new investments in the US as a result of low cost natural gas.
Important Hearings and Events:
First Propane Fueled Mowers Debut on the National Mall: On June 24th at 10AM at the Jefferson Memorail, the National Mall and Memorial Parks, Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the National Mall “celebrating the introduction and first use of propane-fueled mowers by the national park” – part of a commitment to “the Green Parks Plan, an initiative promoting sustainable practices at our national parks.” Dennis Smith, National Clean Cities director from the Energy Department; Bob Vogel, superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks; Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO; and Ronald Flowers, GWRCCC executive director, will participate.
EIA Holds Briefing on Super Greenhouse Gas: On June 24th at 10 AM, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) holds a conference call briefing on “a new investigative report that finds emissions of Hydroflourocarbon-23 (HFC-23), a super greenhouse gas 14,800 times more damaging than carbon dioxide to the environment, is about to skyrocket over the next decade.” The briefing will include “recommendations for developing countries such as China and India.” Alexander von Bismarck, executive director of EIA; Mark Roberts, international policy adviser at EIA; Clare Perry, senior campaigner at EIA; and an anonymous investigator at EIA, will participate in the call. Call-in at 773-897-3018 and use access code: 747-353-165. The event will be available via webcast at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/747353165, using the same access code as the call.
Public Citizen Climate Change Event: On June 24th at 12 PM at 1600 20th Street NW, Public Citizen will host a symposium on climate change, the roles for conservation and energy efficiency measures in national energy policy, and tax reform. Jack Gerard, president and CEO of American Petroleum Institute; and Robert Weissman, Public Citizen president, will participate.
Briefing on Energy Efficiency Efforts in Waste Water Treatment: On June 24th at 2 PM in 2318 Rayburn, the Alliance to Save Energy, Danfoss, and the Water Environment Federation will hold a “Water-Energy Efficiency Hill Briefing: The Imperative for a Sustainable Infrastructure,” on improving energy efficiency at water and wastewater treatment facilities. John Masters, vice president of Danfoss; Ed McCormick, manager of wastewater engineering for the East Bay Municipal Utility District; and Mark Wagner, vice president for government relations-North America at Johnson Controls, will participate.
EPA Meets to Discuss Ozone Standards and SIPs: On June 24th at 9 AM at the EPA HQ in DC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a meeting on “Implementation of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements.” For additional information, contact Pam Long at:email@example.com.
Senate Committee to Mark Up Energy and Water Bill: On June 25th at 10 AM in 192 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee, Energy and Water Development Subcommittee will markup of the FY2014 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
AICGS Hosts Discussion on Critical Materials: On June 25th at 12 PM at 1755 Mass Ave. NW Suite 700, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) will hold a discussion entitled: “It’s a Material World: Managing Metals and Critical Materials Against All Odds,” focusing on “transparency in the extractive industries and international trade.” Raimund Bleischwitz, co-director on material flows and resource management at the Wuppertal Institute in Germany, will lead the discussion.
Natural Gas Roundtable Hosts Former Sen. Byron Dorgan: On June 25th at 12 PM, the Natural Gas Roundtable will hold a discussion on a new report, “New Dynamics of the U.S. Natural Gas Market.” Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, will lead the discussion.
National Research Council Releases New Study on Pipeline Safety: On June 25th at 12:15 PM, the National Research Council will hold a conference call briefing on a report on the “likelihood of pipeline releases of shipments of diluted bitumen compared with shipments of other crude oils, taking into account their chemical and physical properties, accident data, and pipeline operations and maintenance.” Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for call-in details. The report will be embargoed and not for public release until noon Tuesday, June 25.
Senate Committee to Review Energy Efficiency Legislation: On June 26th at 2 PM in 366 Dirksen, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Energy Subcommittee will hold ahearing on S.1084, the “Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2013”; S.717, the “Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act”; and at least seven other pending energy efficiency bills.
AAAS Host Discussion on Food, Feed, and Fuel: On June 25th at 4PM at 1200 New York Avenue, NW, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will hold the 2013 Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture on “Food, Feed and Fuel from Crops Under Global Atmospheric Change: Could We Have it All in 2030?” Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the Agriculture Department; Stephen Long, professor of plant biology and crop sciences at the University of Illinois; Per Pinstrup-Andersen, professor of food, nutrition and public policy at Cornell University; Richard Bonanno, president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation; and Pam Johnson, president of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association, will participate in the discussion.
House Rules Committee Meets to Set Rules for Energy Bills and Ag Approps: On June 25th at 5 PM in H-313, the House Rules Committee meets to formulate a rule on H.R.1613, the “Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act”; H.R.2231, the “Offshore Energy and Jobs Act”; and H.R.2410, the “Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014.”
RFF Hosts Discussion on the Carbon Tax: On June 26th at 9 AM at 1616 P Street, NW, Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a seminar on “The Role of a Carbon Tax in Tax Reform and Deficit Reduction.” Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute; Donald Marron, director of economic policy initiatives at the Urban Institute; Gilbert Metcalf, professor of economics at Tufts University; Dallas Burtraw, senior fellow at RFF; Jared Carbone, nonresident fellow at RFF; Richard Morgenstern, senior fellow at RFF; and Rob Williams, senior fellow at RFF, will participate.
Interim Storage Workshop: On June 26th and 27th at the Crystal Gateway Mariott in Arlington, VA, the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) and the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council (USNIC) will hold a workshop titled “2021 – DOE’s Proposed Pilot Interim Storage Project,” June 26-27.
Budget Committee Meeting on America’s Energy Revolution: On June 26th at 10 AM in 210 Cannon, the House Budget Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “America’s Energy Revolution: A New Path to Jobs and Economic Growth.” Martin Durbin, president and CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance; and John Larson, vice president for economics and country risk at IHS, will testify.
House Holds Oversight Hearing on RFS: On June 26th at 1:30 PM in 2123 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold ahearing entitled: “Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Government Perspectives.”
House Committee to Evaluate Consumer Benefits of PMAs: On June 26th at 2 PM in 1324 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee Water and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The Power Marketing Administrations: A Ratepayer Perspective.”
RFF Holds Discussion on Risks of Shale Gas Development: On June 27th at 9 AM at 1616 P Street NW, Resources For the Future’s (RFF) Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP) will hold a discussion on RFF’s initiative “Managing the Risks of Shale Gas Development.”
House Science Committee Reviews Energy Savings from Green Buildings: On June 27th at 10 AM in 2318 Rayburn, the House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee and Oversight Subcommittee will hold a joint hearing on “Green Buildings – An Evaluation of Energy Savings Performance Contracts.” Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant Energy secretary for energy efficiency; Woodrow Whitlow Jr., associate administrator in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mission Support Directorate; and Ron King, president advisor for the National Insulation Association, will testify.
Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Contract Management by DOE: On June 27th at 10:30 AM in Dirksen 342, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affiars Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Contract Management by the Department of Energy.”
IAD Discussion on Mining Issues: On June 28th at 8:30 AM at 1211 Connecticut Avenue NW, the Inter-American Dialogue (IAD) will hold a discussion on “The prospects and challenges in Colombia’s critically important energy and mining sectors.” Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy, Federico Renjifo, will lead the discussion. More information can be found here.
New Member of the Day: US Rep. John Delaney (D-MD)
Committee Assignments: Financial Services and Joint Economic Committee
Chief of Staff: John Monsif
Legislative Director: Ben Turner
Twitter: @JohnDelaney2012 and @RepJohnDelaney
Experience: Rep. Delaney’s father was a union electrician and scholarships from his father’s union (IBEW Local 164), the American Legion, VFW, and the Lion’s Club, allowed him to attend Columbia University and Georgetown University Law Center. He founded two New York Stock Exchange listed companies before the age of 40, and is a past winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is the co-founder of Health Care Financial Partners, which made loans available to health-care providers too small to get financing from bigger lenders. He also co-founded commercial lender CapitalSource.
Importance: He defeated incumbent Republican Roscoe Bartlett, who was first elected to Congress in 1993, by 21 percentage points in the newly redrawn district. According to his website, Rep. Delaney is the only former CEO of a publicly traded company currently serving in the House of Representatives. In his campaign, he spent more than $1.5 million of his own money for television and radio advertisements, and he survived criticism of contributions he had made in 2010 to the congressional campaign of Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris His business background and his pragmatic approach to policy has been noticed by Members of both parties. He recently drafted and sought support for expansive legislation completely revamping the financing for highways and critical infrastructure.
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!
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