National and International Fracking News & Events

HBW Resources Hydraulic Fracturing Report (National &International)

Below is a summary of publicly available activities currently underway at the national and international level that could impact natural resource extraction, particularly related to hydraulic fracturing and shale development.  To better utilize this document, we have broken the information down by region. With numerous state legislatures now in session, HBW Resources is monitoring these activities to ensure that responsible and feasible policies based on sound science are advanced. Be sure to check each week for updates in various regions that pertain to your business operations.

  • Sen. Mary Landrieu (D, LA) took over the Chairmanship of the Senate Energy & Natural Resource Committee, while Rep. Doc Hastings (R, WA 4), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced his intention to not seek re-election
  • U.S. shale-gas production is expected to deliver an $50 billion cash infusion in the form of tax and royalty payments to strapped federal, state and local governments
  • Growth of U.S. shale oil production has and should continue to have a moderating effect on global oil prices
  • The U.S. market for fracking fluids was valued at $18.4 billion in 2012 and $26 billion for 2013. BCC Research projects the market to grow to nearly $37.3 billion by 2018, and register a five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.4% from 2013 to 2018
  • Apache Corporation announced an agreement to sell all of its operations in Argentina to YPF Sociedad Anonima for a cash payment of $800 million plus the assumption of $52 million of bank debt
  • An independent review of hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia will keep busy until May looking at more than 500 pieces of evidence
  • Three social action groups in Canada’s Northwest Territories have launched a petition against fracking operations in the territory
  • China has discovered a major shale gas block with a maximum daily output of 105,000 cubic meters
  • Taiwan will import 800,000 tons of U.S. shale gas every year, starting in 2017
  • Backers of shale gas scored a victory when a European Parliament committee exempted the industry from beefed-up environmental impact assessments
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D, LA) is taking over the top spot on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, giving the oil and gas industry ally a powerful role as she campaigns for re-election. Landrieu is set to wield the committee gavel alongside another senator from the oil patch — Lisa Murkowski (R, AK) — as a result of a leadership shuffle. Landrieu has not formally outlined her priorities for the panel, but she likely would seek to advance her proposal to give states a greater share of royalties for offshore oil and gas production near their coastlines. The former energy committee chairman, Sen. Ron Wyden (D, OR) convened a hearing on the Landrieu-Murkowski revenue-sharing bill last year, but the industry-backed measure is controversial and has a relatively high price tag, two big obstacles in an election year. Landrieu stressed she would move an “inclusive, bipartisan” agenda, with a focus on creating jobs. “Everything we do will be part of helping to build the middle class and expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs in the domestic energy sector,” Landrieu said in a statement. “Increasing domestic energy production and fortifying and expanding the infrastructure that connects producers, refiners and consumers will help us achieve this goal.”
Rep. Doc Hastings (R, WA 4) will not seek reelection in 2014, he announced. Hastings, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, was first elected to the House in 1994. “Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rdbirthday and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving Central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House,” Hastings said in a statement. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX) detailed a plan to expand domestic energy production by beating back a slate of Obama administration regulations that he says are standing in the way of a national oil and gas boom. Decrying U.S. energy policy as stuck in the 1970s, the Texas Republican laid out the major points of sweeping legislation he is preparing to introduce in the coming weeks. “Part of the reason we see this out-of-control regulatory state is that Congress has outsourced its responsibilities — has handed it to unaccountable regulators who don’t actually have to see the American people,” Cruz said during remarks to the Heritage Action for America’s 2014 Conservative Policy Summit. The senator’s plan, which he’s dubbed the “American Energy Renaissance Act,” would prevent the federal government from undermining the American Energy Renaissance and the jobs it creates through the following measures:          
  • Prevent federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing
    • Leave regulation of hydraulic fracturing in state hands
  • Improve domestic refining capacity
    • Streamline permitting process for upgrading and building new refineries
    • Repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard
  • Improve Process to Develop Energy Infrastructure
    • Approve and allow private sector to build the Keystone pipeline
    • Remove barriers to developing and approving additional national pipelines and cross-border energy infrastructure
  • Stop EPA Overreach and the War on Coal
    • Exclude greenhouse gases from regulation by EPA and other federal agencies
    • Stop certain EPA regulations that will adversely impact coal and electric power plants
  • Force Congress and the President to Vote on EPA Regulations that Kill Jobs
    • Require both Congress and the President to approve any EPA regulation that has a negative job impact
    • Support passage of the REINS Act, separate piece of legislation not included in this bill, which would require congressional approval of all major rules and regulations.
  • Broaden Energy Development on Federal Land
    • Increase energy development on federal land
    • Provide states the option of leasing, permitting and regulating energy resources on federal lands within their borders; or
    • If states do not wish to manage energy development on federal lands within their borders, the federal leasing, permitting and regulating will be reformed to increase energy development by:
      • Streamlining permitting for development on federal lands
      • Improving certainty in the leasing and development process
      • Expanding development of energy on federal lands
    • Expand energy development in National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska
    • Expand energy development on Indian lands
    • Open up the Coastal Plain of Alaska (ANWR) for development
  • Open Offshore Exploration
    • Expand the offshore areas of the Outer Continental Shelf available for development
    • Streamline the permitting process for additional offshore exploration
  • Expand U.S. Energy Exports.
    • Expand LNG exports by facilitating permits
    • End the crude oil export ban
    • Prevent excessively broad environmental review of coal export terminals
  • Dedicate Additional Revenues to a Trust Fund for Debt Reduction
    • Direct all additional revenues generated by exploration and drilling on federal lands (excluding the share allocated to the states) exclusively to national debt reduction—“Debt Freedom Fund.”
The growth of U.S. shale oil production has and should continue to have a moderating effect on global oil prices, according to a Fitch Ratings report titled “Global Impact of U.S. Shale Oil.” U.S. oil production has increased by 3 million barrels per day (mmbd) since its low point of approximately 5 mmbd in 2008. Projections have future production continuing to increase through 2019, perhaps to as much as 9.6 mmbd according to EIA estimates. The increase to date is equal to about 3% of total world consumption, which is enough to have a significant impact on world oil prices by preserving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) spare capacity. Fitch notes that rising U.S. production has offset ongoing supply disruptions in the Middle East, and raised expectations of higher future supply. Combined with other factors, this has contributed to a trend of increasing backwardation in the forward price curve for oil. While many of the benefits of the U.S. oil and gas fracking revolution accrue only to the U.S., Fitch believes all oil-consuming countries benefit from the stabilizing effect of increased U.S. output on world oil prices. This includes improvements to current account balances and lower inflation.
According to a new technical market research report, “The U.S. market for Fracking Fluids,” from BCC Research, the U.S. market for fracking fluids was valued at $18.4 billion in 2012 and $26 billion for 2013. BCC Research projects the market to grow to nearly $37.3 billion by 2018, and register a five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.4% from 2013 to 2018. The market for fracking fluid varies considerably based on geographic region. The fastest growth rate over the next five years will occur in the Northeast region. The region predominantly produces natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, located underneath Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia and also from the Antrim Shale, underneath the state of Michigan. The target fuel type for harvest strongly influences the fracking fluid market. Harvesting shale oil through hydrofracking uses approximately 10 times more fracking fluid than harvesting shale gas. Specifically, the shale oil process consumes 10.1 gallons of water per 1 million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) versus 1.2 gal of water per MMBtu for the shale gas process. Thus, though there is a much greater amount of technically recoverable resources (TRR) for gas shales, the market for fracking fluid in the oil shale regions is just as attractive. The greatest external market drivers for fracking fluids include the activities of the well operators and oil services companies, and both not only drive the discovery of new shales, but also influence the type of hydrofracking technology implemented to maximize extraction. Other factors that strongly influence demand include the technological progress of water treatment and recycling of fracking fluids, and the establishment of new water supply channels and substitutes for water during the fracking process. For more information, please contact us.
Freezing temperatures are hampering U.S. natural gas deliveries this winter despite ample production of the heating fuel, exposing weaknesses in a supply network strained by unprecedented demand. The United States is home to some of the world’s largest natural gas deposits and supplies have flooded the market over the last five years, erasing concerns about dwindling output. But the coldest winter in decades has drained stockpiles quicker than ever, forced rationing, and pushed prices to all-time highs, revealing the difficulties of storing and transporting fuel across the continent. Unlike for crude oil, there is no government run strategic reserve that can be tapped in times of emergency. In many ways it is no surprise that supply for natural gas is strained. January saw two blasts of arctic cold, boosting heating demand for homes and businesses in most of the country to record highs. Other heating fuels like propane and fuel oil have suffered supply shortages. The severe cold has also revealed potential structural shortfalls that could push prices higher not just this summer as depleted inventories are restocked, but in coming years if investments are not made to increase storage and pipeline capacity. With nearly two months of winter left, more gas has been pulled from the 400 U.S. storage sites this winter than the whole of last winter, towards a level that many analysts consider dangerously low. Gas stockpiles at the beginning of the withdrawal season in early November topped out at 3.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) but have since fallen to just 1.9 tcf, nearly 20 percent lower than the same time last year, and are expected to finish winter around 1.2 tcf, according to a Reuters poll. Many analysts see 1 tcf as the base level before a loss of pressure makes it harder to draw more gas from storage. Some power providers have asked customers to use alternative fuels like heating oil. Prices have risen higher as utilities scramble to buy gas in the spot market to preserve falling stockpiles, a rare move so early in the season.
Inexpensive natural gas will have a greater impact on U.S. manufacturing over the next several years than is commonly assumed, giving the U.S. a powerful — and unique — cost advantage that will benefit a wide range of industries across the full value chain, from feedstock to finished goods. This cost advantage has already started to boost investment and employment and will persist for at least five years, according to new research released by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). While other studies have assessed the positive economic impact of rising U.S. production of natural gas on the domestic energy sector and on industries such as petrochemicals that use natural gas as a raw material, the new BCG analysis finds that virtually every manufacturer in the U.S. is poised to benefit — directly or indirectly. Low U.S. electricity prices in natural-gas-fired plants, for example, are already encouraging investment in energy-intensive industries such as steel and glass. Not yet visible are the advantages that makers of intermediate products, such as plastic-resin pellets, and makers of finished goods, such as plastic toys and plastic auto parts, will reap from cheaper inputs. Even in less energy-intensive industries, cheap natural gas will shave 1 to 2 percent off of U.S. manufacturing costs as the benefits eventually flow downstream through the value chain. The energy cost advantage is amplified by the fact that overall U.S. manufacturing competitiveness is already improving owing to relatively low labor costs compared with those of other developed economies, rapidly rising wages in China, and high productivity, as explained in previous BCG publications. The research is part of the firm’s ongoing Made in America, Again series produced by its Operations and Global Advantage practices. By 2015, natural gas will account for only 2 percent of average U.S. manufacturing costs and electricity will account for just 1 percent, according to BCG estimates. By contrast, natural gas will account for between 5 and 8 percent of manufacturing costs in Japan and in Europe’s major exporting economies, where it is more expensive, while electricity will account for between 2 to 5 percent in Japan and Europe. Cheap energy will also help further narrow the cost gap between the U.S. and China, where natural gas and electricity combined will account for 6 percent of manufacturing costs. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.
The Energy Information Administration said technological advances will increase the output of U.S. shale formations such as the Eagle Ford, even as it predicted the country’s overall crude oil production will decline. By implementing cutting-edge technology and experimenting with new processes, operators in domestic shale plays likely will surpass earlier production estimates, the information arm of the U.S. Department of Energy said in a monthly report. “Exploration and production companies are drilling many wells and constantly experimenting with new techniques to hydraulically fracture the tight formations,” EIA writes. “Technological innovation may cause a faster rise in drilling productivity than currently forecast.” As a result, EIA says it expects producers will overshoot the agency’s onshore estimate of 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for 2013 and forecast of 7.1 million bpd in 2015.
While the January jobs report was a disappointing for the national economy, it brought good news about growth in oil and gas. About 206,000 employees worked in the oil and gas extraction sector in January, about 1.8 percent more than in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide, total employment was relatively stagnant at a seasonally adjusted 137.5 million. The employment story was positive across sectors of the energy industry. Manufacturing of petroleum and coal products had 112,700 employees on payrolls, a 1.6 percent increase from December. The chemicals sector grew by 1.2 percent to 796,100 people. Growth in coal mining was modest comparatively, with employment increasing just 0.2 percent to about 80,400 in January. The industry has been expanding rapidly in recent years, as the United States has experienced a boom in oil and natural gas production. Since January 2013, jobs in oil and gas extraction have increased by 6.6 percent.
Industrial and domestic waste materials are viable alternative sources of raw materials for engineering proppants — particles used to open rock fractures — for use in shale gas and oil recovery, according to Penn State material scientists John Hellmann and Barry Scheetz. Writing in the current issue of American Ceramic Society Bulletin, the researchers describe innovative approaches for engineering high-performance ceramic proppants from waste streams including mixed glass cullet, mine tailings and even drill-cuttings from shale gas wells themselves. According to Industrial Minerals, a market leading resource for minerals intelligence, each year more than 30 million tons of proppants are used in hydrofracturing, and demand is projected to increase to 45 million tons by 2017. Engineering proppants from waste materials offers not only a savings in costs but the additional environmental benefit of diverting millions of tons of waste from landfills. For more information, please contact us.
Recent advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques are being used to unlock vast stores of natural gas from underground shale-rock formations across the U.S. For government budgets, which were hammered by the drop in tax revenue resulting from the recession, this has created an unexpected and badly-needed windfall: In 2010, U.S. shale-gas production delivered an $18.6 billion cash infusion in the form of tax and royalty payments to strapped federal, state and local governments, according to a report by IHS. By 2013, those annual revenues are expected to hit $50 billion. Cumulatively over the next 25 years, unconventional gas development across the lower 48 states will generate nearly $1.5 trillion in tax and royalty payments—enough to put a significant dent in government deficits at every level. “By fully embracing America’s energy opportunity, we can accelerate growth, create millions of new jobs, free ourselves from some less-than-stable global suppliers, and create huge new revenues for government, which will help reduce budget deficits,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in his 2013 State of American Business address in January. Skeptics have questioned projections of the shale-gas industry’s production levels and economic impacts. Through 2011 and 2012, critics accused the industry of exaggerating production figures and the potential of the Marcellus Shale, in particular, where the natural gas rush began around 2008.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Hugoton Field assets to an undisclosed buyer for pre-tax proceeds of $1.4 billion. This sale was approved by the Board of Directors as part of Occidental’s strategic review to streamline and focus operations where it has depth and scale in order to better execute the Company’s long-term strategy and enhance value for shareholders. The Hugoton Field properties comprise interests in more than 1.4 million net acres in one of the largest natural gas fields in the United States, spanning southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle and eastern Colorado. Occidental’s average net production from the Hugoton Field properties in 2013 was approximately 110 million cubic feet equivalent per day, of which approximately 30 percent was oil. Occidental anticipates the transaction will be completed by April 30, 2014, subject to regulatory approval and transaction adjustments. Proceeds from this transaction will be used to partially fund the announced increase to the Company’s share repurchase program.
Oil and gas pipelines and the government agencies that regulate them are making progress in improving safety and responses by emphasizing greater involvement at all levels, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioner’s Natural Gas Committee learned on Feb. 10. “All sectors of the industry have embraced the goal of zero accidents through continuous improvement,” Jeffrey Wiese, associate administrator for pipeline safety at the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, said at the session during NARUC’s 2014 Winter Committee Meetings. “Regulators don’t operate pipelines,” Wiese said, adding, “Our job is to influence those who do. Some of this involves enforcing regulations, but a lot of it involves working together.” Within the companies, he said PHMSA has found that “management has to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk,” adding, “But there also has to be commitment at lower levels.” For more information, please contact HBW Resources.
The EPA is vastly underestimating the amount of climate-warming methane that leaks into the atmosphere in North America from sources including natural gas operations, according to a study, “Methane Leaks from North American Natural Gas Systems” published in the journal Science. But the leaks are not enough to erase the climate benefits of switching from coal to natural gas for power generation, the researchers say, although they say the benefits in some cases will be “small” or nonexistent. The standard approach to estimating total methane emissions is to multiply the amount of methane thought to be emitted by a particular source, such as leaks at natural gas processing plants, by the number of that source type in a region or country. The products are then totaled to estimate all emissions. The EPA does not include natural methane sources, like wetlands and geologic seeps. The natural gas infrastructure has a combination of intentional leaks, often for safety purposes, and unintentional emissions, like faulty valves and cracks in pipelines. In the United States, the EPA established the emission rates of particular gas industry components, from wells to burner tips, in the 1990s. One possible reason leaks in the gas industry have been underestimated is that emission rates for wells and processing plants were based on operators participating voluntarily. One EPA study asked 30 gas companies to cooperate, but only six allowed the EPA on site. It is impossible to take direct measurements of emissions from sources without site access.
ICF International has released its first-quarter 2014 Detailed Production Report. The report, a new information product offered by ICF, provides a complete outlook for US and Canada natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and oil production through 2035. The report’s production projections are linked to ICF’s Natural Gas-Strategic Outlook, which provides additional insight into the future of the North American natural gas market. The report contains many findings that will be of interest to oil and gas producers, field services companies, and the investment community. Some projected trends from the current report are:
  • In the short run, reduced gas-directed drilling activity will continue to slow gas production growth from “dry” gas plays such as the Haynesville Shale, the Greater Green River Basin, the Barnett Shale, and the Fayetteville Shale. However, these plays are likely to rebound as market growth firm gas prices.
  • Conversely, liquids-rich plays have fared much better in the relatively low gas price environment that persisted throughout much of 2013. Consequently, US NGL production, which has increased by more than 600,000 barrels per day during the past five years, is expected to continue to grow and will likely double by the end of the projection.
  • In today’s relatively high oil price environment, output from the unconventional oil plays, such as the Bakken, the Cline, the Niobrara, and the Eagle Ford, are likely to continue to grow.
  • While high oil prices could promote growth of bitumen production in Western Canada’s oil sands, continued delays in construction of new crude transport capability present risks.
ICF International has released its outlook for U.S. and Canada natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and oil production through 2035 for oil and gas producers, field services companies, and the investment community. In the short run, reduced gas-directed drilling activity will continue to slow gas production growth from “dry” gas plays such as the Haynesville Shale, the Greater Green River Basin, the Barnett Shale, and the Fayetteville Shale; however, these plays are likely to rebound as market growth firms gas prices, according to ICF. Conversely, liquids-rich plays have fared much better in the relatively low gas price environment that persisted throughout much of 2013. Consequently, ICF predicts that U.S. NGL production — which has increased by more than 600,000 barrels per day during the past five years — will continue to grow, likely doubling by the end of 2035.

Backers of shale gas scored a victory when a European Parliament committee exempted the industry from beefed-up environmental impact assessments. The Parliament’s Environment Committee overwhelmingly approved an update of EU law overhauling how and when environmental impact assessments, or EIAs, are performed, calling for more public input on projects ranging from bridges and ports to intensive livestock farming. The updated law includes strengthened rules to prevent conflicts of interest in the EIAs while restricting exemptions and taking new environmental factors such as biodiversity and climate change into account when carrying them out. But a bid by members of European Parliament to include the early stages of shale gas exploration within the new EIA regime was left out at the urging of Britain, Poland, Lithuania and a handful of other EU member nations that are making big bets on shale gas.” Despite Parliament’s requests, mandatory environmental impact assessments for the extraction and exploration of shale gas, regardless of the expected yield, were not included in the agreement,” the committee said in a statement. The law initially included mandatory completion of the full EIA procedure at each stage of shale gas projects, including during the exploration of phase. Polish MEPs, however, objected, contending it would hamper research on potential deposits, and was removed over the objections of Green Party members. The measure now goes to the full House during the March 10-13 plenary session in Strasbourg. For more information, please contact us.

A new report, “Hydraulic Fracturing Markets by Resource and Well Type – Global Trends & Forecasts” has been released by RnRMarketResearch. The report estimates the hydraulic fracturing market in terms of volume and value. The volume of this market is estimated in terms of million hydraulic horse power (million hhp) and value in terms of $million. This has been broken down into component regions and further split into countries. The hydraulic fracturing market is mainly concentrated in North America, where many leading oil field service companies – Schlumberger (U.S.), Halliburton (U.S.), Baker Hughes (U.S.), and other medium and small players – operate. While the North American hydraulic fracturing market is reaching maturity, the Rest of the World’s (ROW) market is still in its infancy. Australia, China, and Poland are expected to lead the ROW hydraulic fracturing market. Apart from the regions mentioned above, other areas are not expected to show a very significant moment in the forecast period of the report i.e. 2012 to 2017. Hydraulic fracturing will prove beneficial for the developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil. As the energy demand in these countries is increasing, fulfilling this demand domestically will enhance their economic growth.
The Arctic region holds significant untapped oil and gas resources, but Arctic development faces major competition from unconventional oil and gas resources and other alternative hydrocarbon sources, according to a panelist speaking at the Arctic Technology Conference in Houston. Oil and gas exploration is not a new phenomenon in the Arctic. Approximately 500 wells were drilled above the Arctic Circle in the 1970s and 1980s. The oil and gas industry and academia have conducted extensive research and development into Arctic exploration and production, including full-scale modeling and testing. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal, the Arctic contains 412 billion barrels of oil equivalent, 25 percent of the world’s oil and gas resources. The decline in oil prices in the mid-1980s prompted the oil and gas industry to abandon Arctic drilling. The Exxon Valdez incident of 1989 didn’t help the industry’s image in terms of Arctic oil and gas activity. Today, global oil and gas companies are refocusing their exploration and production efforts on the Arctic due to high oil prices in real and normal terms; the fact that oil and gas resources are becoming harder to replace due to resource nationalism; and incentives within Russia to encourage development, Edward Richardson, analyst with London-based Infield Systems, told conference attendees. “Oil and gas companies are turning to the Arctic to fill their hopper with discoveries for the next generation of projects,” said Richardson. As a result, capital expenditures for Arctic exploration and production are expected to grow between 2014 and 2018. However, some spending plans earmarked for 2017-2018 could be delayed until the early 2020s. Much of the planned capital expenditures for Arctic oil and gas activity will focus on Norway, northeastern Canada, the Russian sub-Arctic and the Russian Arctic Shelf. From 2014 to 2018, $3.4 billion is expected to be spent in Norway, $3.2 billion in northeast Canada, $3.2 billion in the Russian sub-Arctic, and $2.7 billion on the Russian Arctic shelf.
Apache Corporation and its subsidiaries announced an agreement to sell all of its operations in Argentina to YPF Sociedad Anonima for cash payment of $800 million plus the assumption of $52 million of bank debt as of June 30, 2013. YPF paid a $50 million deposit on the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the next 30 days. The transaction is subject to customary post-closing adjustments. “Over the past year, Apache has taken decisive steps to focus its portfolio on repeatable and profitable long-term growth in areas where the company has industry-leading positions, such as its deep inventory of liquids-rich drilling opportunities onshore North America and international assets generating large free cash flows. This transaction is consistent with that strategy,” said G. Steven Farris, chairman and chief executive officer. According to Miguel Galuccio, YPF CEO, “This is an excellent opportunity to add to YPF assets an active operation with significant reserves of conventional gas and non-conventional resources.” For more information, please contact HBW Resources.
Argentine state-run oil company YPF said that it had signed a memorandum of understanding for Malaysian energy company Petronas to invest in its massive Vaca Muerte shale formation. Under the preliminary agreement, the companies would jointly develop a 187-square-kilometer (72-square-mile) swath of Vaca Muerta in the southern Patagonia region, YPF said in a statement. YPF, which was nationalized in 2012 through a seizure of Repsol’s majority stake in the company, has been seeking international partners to help it develop Vaca Muerta. Vaca Muerta is considered one of the world’s biggest known deposits of unconventional energy, with 661 billion barrels of oil and 1,181 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources, according to YPF.
Western Australia’s Department of Health has outlined its concerns about the emerging unconventional gas industry, saying it could be a risk to water supplies and the atmosphere if handled poorly. Giving evidence to a Parliamentary inquiry today, two of the department’s senior officials said hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, potentially posed several dangers to public health. However, the agency said it was “happy” with how the Department of Mines and Petroleum was managing the development of new regulations that would govern fracking in Western Australia. The Health Department said it was most worried about the risk of contamination to groundwater or surface water supplies in the event the chemicals used in the fracking process escaped into the environment.
Three social action groups in Canada’s Northwest Territories have launched a petition against fracking operations in the territory after oil giant ConocoPhillips began exploration without an environmental review. A horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) exploration near Tulita, Northwest Territories, was allowed by the National Energy Board and the Sahtu Land and Water Bard. The petition was created in an attempt to have the Legislative Assembly use its authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to subject any fracking applications in the territory to an environmental assessment — which includes public hearings. Currently the petition is up on the assembly’s website, in a section called e-petitions, where people, community groups, and organizations can raise issues, bring them to the Assembly and allow it to consider the need for change within the territory. It has garnered 136 signatures since it launched on Friday. Other companies have applied for fracking exploration in the Sahtu region. Legislative Assembly Member Norman Yakeleya, a Sahtu Dene, said that there is still more to learn about the impacts of fracking, but insists the energy board did their due diligence, and that communities will reap the benefits of development. “We have oil and gas exploration, we have a number of companies that want to come into our communities and look for oil. They have committed dollars,” said Yakeleya. The social action groups are hoping the petition will gain traction and get the government to look deeper into the environment effects of fracking. The petition will remain open to signatures until March 7.
Nine people starting an independent review of hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia will keep busy until May looking at more than 500 pieces of evidence. The panelists laid out ground rules at their first meeting Wednesday at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The goal is to “make sure that we take every possible impact of hydraulic fracturing into account from all perspectives,” said Cape Breton University president David Wheeler, directing the review. That is a big task for an industry that operates all over the world and has been the subject of intense debate for years. The panel also wants to be transparent about its conclusions, but it will not make the meetings public. So it has chosen an approach of debating furiously in private and then releasing the results through a series of exhaustive papers. The panel members will write or commission papers on different aspects of fracking: waste water, for example, or health or economic effects. Each paper will draw on dozens of other documents and sources. The panel will read drafts, edit them at their remaining five meetings and then release them publicly as they go along. “That cycle should play out for probably seven or eight papers,” said Wheeler. “And then those papers will become the basis of much of the final report.” The estimated cost of the review is $100,000, with an added $35,000 for the aboriginal consultation. The panel members are paid a small honorarium of around $1,500 each. For more information, please contact us.
Enbridge Inc.’s plan to expand the capacity of its Canada-to-U.S. Alberta Clipper pipeline by 120,000 barrels per day has hit a snag, the company said, as getting a U.S. presidential permit for the project is taking longer than expected. Enbridge, Canada’s largest pipeline company, which also reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, said it no longer expects to get the permit amendment for the Alberta Clipper expansion in time to start pumping more oil at midyear, as it had planned. Enbridge is no longer saying when it expects to get the go-ahead for the project, which involves adding pumping capacity to the existing Alberta Clipper line, which now carries 450,000 barrels per day from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. Once a routine administrative matter, getting presidential permits for pipelines that cross the U.S.-Canada border have become politicized as environmental groups battle TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline project and the expansion of production at Canada’s oil sands.
The International Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH) called for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. IICPH, “strongly believes that the Precautionary Principle should be invoked and applied to the practice of fracking for fossil fuel. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation. In the case of hydraulic fracturing, there is potential for serious or irreversible harm, from toxicity of fracking chemicals and waste effluent that contaminates food supply, air, soil, surface and ground water; from radioactive chemicals released by uranium-bearing rock; and from seismic events triggered by the explosive force used in the fracking process. Therefore, we strongly call on governments where this practice is occurring or contemplated, to pronounce a moratorium on both seismic testing and mining for gas/oil in shale beds, to protect public health and environment from further harm and to ensure that further study is undertaken.”
China has discovered a major shale gas block with a maximum daily output of 105,000 cubic meters in its southwest province of Guizhou, as the country looks to make use of modern technology to meet its rising energy needs. The official Xinhua news agency, citing the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources, said refiner Sinopec discovered the shale gas well located at a depth of 4,417 meters, the deepest so far in the country. The ministry added that the discovery marks a major breakthrough in China’s deep shale gas drilling. The project is named Dingye-2HF and is situated in Xishui county of Guizhou province. It is expected to have an average daily output of 43,000 cubic meters, according to the ministry. Another shale gas block that was located in Fuling District of southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, yielded an output of 150,000 cubic meters per day in 2010. In 2013, China produced more than 2 million cubic meters of shale gas per day. By 2030, unconventional oil and gas production is expected to account for one-third of the country’s total production. According to a shale gas plan for 2011-2015, China aims to produce 6.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas annually by 2015. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.
China is looking at playing a role in Cyprus’ multi-billion-dollar plans to develop the island’s natural gas reserves, including possible investment in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal. Cyprus hopes to attract large investors to take a stake in its gas fields, an option which a Chinese delegation is in Cyprus to discuss. “There is very strong interest from China… in energy, in the whole value chain, upstream, downstream and midstream,” Cypriot Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis told Reuters. He said the Chinese delegation includes China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation. He said delegates were interested in the development of an LNG export terminal, including potentially a floating LNG facility (FLNG). “The Chinese delegation will also discuss taking a stake in Cypriot gas fields,” a source with the delegation told Reuters. China is seeking to access new gas sources around the world as its energy demand rises and the government encourages industry to move to cleaner gas from coal. Italian energy major ENI is also interested in Cyprus’ gas fields, and is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government over the construction of an LNG export terminal. ENI has already signed an exploration and production-sharing contract with the government to search in three offshore areas, with exploration expected to begin in the second half of this year. In hopes gas can buoy the economy, which was rescued by an international bailout in March 2013, Cyprus has been planning the Vasilikos LNG export plant since U.S.-based Noble Energy discovered the Aphrodite field. The estimated $10 billion needed to build the LNG export terminal and infrastructure would be the largest investment in the island’s history. However, the project was thrown into doubt when drilling results revealed smaller reserves than initially hoped. Mean reserve estimates were reduced to 5 trillion cubic feet (140 billion cubic meters) from 7 tcf, which is not enough to justify building the LNG project unless more gas is found. The plans also face opposition from Turkey, which has said it would oppose any attempt to pre-sell Cypriot gas before a settlement over the divided island is found.
The founder of shale gas firm Cuadrilla is planning a venture to frack in the Irish Sea, the BBC has learned. Dr. Chris Cornelius believes there are large volumes of offshore shale gas that could be extracted. Dr. Cornelius’ new firm Nebula Resources was awarded three licenses in the Irish Sea last month by the Department for Energy and Climate Change and hopes to begin exploration soon. “Certainly offshore shale gas is a new concept, and there’s no reason with the UK’s history of offshore development that we can’t develop these resources offshore,” he told the BBC. No longer involved with Cuadrilla, he now hopes to drill the world’s first offshore shale gas wells. The area covered by the Nebula licenses stretches west from Blackpool into Morecambe Bay, and is not far from the site where Cuadrilla has announced plans to drill and fracture two new onshore gas wells. Based on existing geological data, Dr. Cornelius believes that a considerable quantity of gas is in place – up to 250 trillion cubic feet, which would be more than Cuadrilla’s estimates for its onshore resources. There is also the possibility of finding oil. The British Geological Survey has estimated that the UK’s total offshore shale gas resources could be between five and 10 times the size of the resources available onshore.
Jordan Energy and Mining Ltd /Karak International Oil have completed an interim fund raising through a rights issue underwritten by Sentient Group funds. This takes the Sentient interest in JEML to 58 percent. According to Chris Nurse, CEO, “We are very pleased that Sentient has demonstrated its continued confidence in Karak as a leading player in the oil shale sector in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The production of liquid hydrocarbons from indigenous resources will create employment and greatly benefit the balance of payments and economy of Jordan. Sentient is engaged with management and is a strategic partner for the development of the resource.” Karak International holds a concession over 35 km2 of the Lajjun deposit that contains approximately 300 million barrels of oil with a stripping ratio averaging 1:1; production is planned to increase progressively to 38,000 barrels per day. Karak also has a Memorandum of Understanding under which it is exploring a further 32 km2 area of oil shale at Al Nadiyya. For more information, please contact us.
President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite expects that shale gas of the United States will reach Europe in several years. Lithuania could acquire it through the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Klaipeda, which is planned to be completed in 2014.“I really hope that, maybe not at once, but especially when after two or three year shale gas from the U.S. reaches Europe, we will be very happy that Lithuania was the first to build an LNG terminal in the Baltic countries and region. Since in two and three years, the revolution of cheaper gas from shale fields will reach Europe as well,” said Grybauskaite in an interview with radio LRT. The leader of the country regards the LNG terminal as being of the same importance as Butinge Oil Terminal and is convinced that this project will have much influence in negotiation with all potential gas suppliers to Lithuania. “The project itself helps reducing prices for heating; it makes impact on negotiations with Gazprom as well. There is no wonder that as the project is about to be completed, Gazprom began speaking to us in a different way,” said Grybauskaite.
San Leon Energy has signed a Letter of Intent with Baker Hughes Poland to jointly begin to develop the Siekierki Gas Field1, a shale gas field in Poland. The companies plan to start gas production from four existing wells. Under the proposed agreement, it is envisaged that Baker will provide all funding necessary to recomplete and bring the wells into production. The Companies have now entered an exclusivity period during which the final work scope and commercial terms will be negotiated and agreed.
In order to spur foreign investment in Polish shale gas reserves, Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced that thegovernment would scrap plans to create a government owned and operated fund that would hold stakes in all shale gas licenses. Several companies were concerned that the proposed fund would muddy the understanding of the government’s rights in exploration projects. Poland is currently Europe’s most active country in exploring its shale gas potential and its legislature is expected to consider a new law to promote development in the next few weeks. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.
Qatar’s liquefied natural gas industry crossed another key milestone recently when it replaced Yemen as Thailand’s biggest supplier of LNG in 2013 as the Southeast Asian country’s imports of the fuel rose 45%. Currently, Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world with a capacity exceeding 77mn tonnes a year. It is also home to the world’s third biggest natural gas reserves. The importance of the LNG segment in particular and the energy industry in general to Qatar is quite evident from the hydrocarbon sector’s contribution to national economy. A recent report by QNB showed the hydrocarbon sector, which consists of crude oil and raw gas production, perked up and expanded to a better-than-expected 1.8% year-on-year in the third-quarter of  2013 owing to higher production of natural gas due to LNG facilities coming back to full operational capacity after some downtime for maintenance over the last year. But over the next few years, Qatar may see increasing competition in the global LNG market with new production facilities coming online in Australia and North America.
Lin Sheng-chung, president of Taiwan’s state-run oil and gas company CPC Petroleum, said that the country will import 800,000 tons of shale gas every year, starting in 2017. According to Lin, “Prices for natural gas go up and down every now and then. US gas is a lot cheaper than from the Middle East so this could be a good deal.” Initially shale gas will come from Louisiana and later from ports that are close to the Pacific coast as this could save transport time by around two weeks. CPC is also in talks with companies like Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and Petronas regarding developing shale gas in the US. It is possible that $1 billion are invested in a project in which CPC will own about 5 percent stake.
United Kingdom
Plans to explore for shale gas on a site in a national park located southwest of London have been temporarily put on hold by the local authority after the application received an unprecedented number of responses. The British government is strongly supporting the development of shale gas by offering favorable tax terms as it seeks to reduce dependence on gas imports. Opposition to the unconventional drilling method has been growing in Britain, however, on grounds that it is harmful to the environment and that one project had triggered earth tremors. The South Downs National Park Authority has requested oil and gas explorer Celtique Energie Weald to submit more details on noise and geological aspects of its application to drill for oil and gas and, if found to be present, later extract shale gas on a site at Fernhurst. “National Park will be submitting a request for further information,” the authority’s chief executive, Trevor Beattie, said at a planning meeting, according to his speech sent to Reuters. “This will put the Fernhurst application on hold whilst the applicant provides the additional information we require.” A spokesman for Celtique Energie said the company was planning on submitting the additional information requested and that it was normal practice for an authority to seek further details. The application received an unprecedented number of comments, a spokeswoman for the national park authority said.
Britain must streamline shale gas planning rules to cut delays or it will fail to achieve significant output and will miss out on potential tax revenues, energy consultancy Poyry said. The country is in the early stages of exploring for unconventional gas to counter growing dependence on imports and a government-commissioned geological study has estimated it could have shale resources equivalent to several hundred years of demand. The government, eager for tax revenues and new jobs, is supporting shale gas by offering favorable tax rates and promising returns for communities that host exploration. But Poyry warned that red tape was unnecessarily delaying shale gas development. “If the regulatory and permitting process is not made more efficient, then it may not be possible to achieve shale gas production at any scale,” Poyry analysts said in the report, which was also given to members of the economics committee in the House of Lords, parliament’s second chamber, last week. Poyry estimated it takes around 6-8 years for a shale gas developer to start commercial production in Britain after receiving a license – if there are no legal challenges. The recommended time is around four years, Poyry said. The consultancy suggested creating a one-stop-shop for shale gas permitting to cut down on timing and allow for a potentially high demand in well applications over the coming years. Poyry analysts estimate that by 2024 around 100 new wells will need to be approved each year to pave the way for significant shale gas production. For more information, please contact us.
INEOS Europe AG has announced a new ethane purchase agreement with CONSOL Energy in the USA. Ethane will be transported through the Mariner East infrastructure and imported by sea for use in INEOS’ European cracker complexes. Supplies will start from 2015. “This contract adds to our supply portfolio providing for long-term sourcing of advantageously priced US ethane for our European crackers. It will allow us to continue to consolidate the competitiveness of INEOS’ ethylene production in Europe.  We are excited about our new business relationship with CONSOL Energy and look forward to future opportunities between our companies” commented David Thompson, INEOS Procurement & Supply Chain Director. INEOS is the first company to establish seaborne intercontinental ethane transportation, having earlier announced the completion of agreements with Sunoco Logistics for capacity in the Mariner East pipeline and terminal system, with Range Resources for the purchase of ethane, with Evergas for the construction of new customized vessels and with TGE Engineering for the construction of a new tank in its Rafnes cracker. INEOS is presently conducting engineering studies for the construction of an ethane terminal in Grangemouth.
Additional Information

For additional information, please contact Bo Ollison with HBW Resources.  His contact information is below.
Bo Ollison
HBW Resources
2211 Norfolk Street, #410
Houston, TX 77098
Tel: 713-337-8810
Twitter: @BoOllison

HBW Resources Contact Information
If you have any general questions, please contact us anytime. Previous versions of the HBW Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report and other reports can be viewed on the Intelligence Tab on the HBW Resources website at:  Hope you all have a great day.
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927


Today in Washington: HBW Resources Daily Energy & Politics Update

Tuesday in Washington:

Congress Goes on Recess:

After a virtual torrent of scandals and investigations, the House and the Senate will not be in session this week.   Before leaving town, the House passed H.R. 3, legislation expediting the approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  The House also passed llegislation allowing power plants the flexibility to continue operating to maintain grid reliability even if that requires violating certain environmental regulations.  The Senate continued its work on the Farm Bill.  The work on the Farm Bill will continue when the Senate returns, and the House is expected to take up a number of other energy related measures to push for greater domestic production in upcoming weeks.
Other Items of Interest:
DOI Signs Agreement with Pacific Northwest States on Energy Infrastructure:  Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell signed a Declaration of Cooperation with the States of Oregon and Washington to expedite the review and permitting of energy generation, power transmission and other vital infrastructure development in the Pacific Northwest. The agreement establishes a pilot Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure Team to more efficiently coordinate the permitting processes for infrastructure. The infrastructure team will focus on a variety of projects, including renewable energy generation, electricity transmission, broadband, pipelines, ports and waterways, and water resource development that are proposed in the states.
Senate Forum Considers Best Practices for Natural Gas Development:  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a forum on best practices for natural gas development.  The members of the committee were joined by leaders in the oil and gas industry, state regulators, federal official and representatives of the environmental community.  The participants discussed efforts to improve operations to safeguard water resources and minimized GHG emissions from development.  The dispute over whether hydraulic fracturing had polluted ground water prompted Sen. Landrieu to request documentation from all the people around the table to substantiate their claims.  Another interesting issue discussed was the use of FracFocus to disclose chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing with participants seeming to agree that some sort of federally supported third party audit of data submitted would help build trust.
Senator Vitter Introduces Rigs to Reefs Bill: Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced S. 1079, the Artificial Reef Promotion Act, which would increase the utilization of decommissioned Gulf platforms as artificial reefs, as part of the Rigs to Reefs program. The Artificial Reef Promotion Actrequires that twenty new reef planning areas be established after a year of enactment, including six off each of the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, three off the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, and five off of the coast of Florida. Currently, of the approximately 2,946 production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, 813 of them have been identified by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement as fitting the criteria for use as artificial reefs. Over the last forty years, 13 percent of decommissioned platforms have been placed in the Rigs to Reefs program, leaving the rest to be decommissioned in a lengthy and expensive process that disturbs the existing ecosystems. 
Senators Urge President Not to Tie Keystone XL Approval to Climate Change Efforts: Following the House’s approval of legislation expediting the approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, Senator Barrasso (R-WY) authored a letter with two dozen Senate Republicans expressing concern about some efforts to tie the decision on the pipeline to other climate/carbon related policy initiatives.  The other Senators signing the letter included Murkowski, Vitter, McConnell , Cornyn, Thune, Blunt, Moran, Inhofe, Sessions, Hatch, Johnson (WI), Cruz, Isakson, Boozman, Chambliss, Burr, Coats, Enzi, Scott, Wicker, Risch, and Johanns.
Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report: The report provides a summary of all major activities at the state, federal, and international levels that could impact the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas development.
Greenfield Offshore Energy Report:  The report provides a summary of all major regulatory activities that could impact further development of offshore oil and gas resources.
Important Events and Hearings: 
US Energy Association Annual Membership Meeting and Policy Forum: On May 30th at 11 AM at the National Press Club, the United States Energy Association (USEA) holds its annual membership meeting and public policy forum. Acting Assistant Energy Secretary for Fossil Energy Christopher Smith; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Philip Moeller; U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator for Africa Earl Gast; Karl Rose, director of policy and scenarios at the World Energy Council; Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy; Tom Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute; Walter Howard, CEO of Westinghouse Plasma Corporation; Sheila Hollis, partner at Duane Morris LLP; Jack Futcher, president of Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals Inc.; Javier Humberto Estrada of the Mexico Department of Energy; Anita Decker, chief operating officer at Bonneville Power Administration; Vicky Bailey, principal at BHMM Energy Services LLC; Greg Aliff, vice chairman and senior partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP; and Jun Wyeon Byun, vice president and director of Korea Electric Power Company, will be participating.  Additional information about the event can be found here
Small Scale LNG Webinar:  On May 30th at 2 PM, Pace Global will hold a webinar, on “Small Scale LNG (Liquid Natural Gas): Why It Works,” on efforts by infrastructure developers to permit and construct LNG export capacity. Todd Thurlow, vice president of Pace Global, will lead the discussion.  Webinar information is available at
New Member of the Day: US Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX)

Committee Assignments: Armed Services and Science
Chief of Staff: Jane Hamilton
Legislative Director: Chris Kelley
Twitter: @RepVeasey
Experience: Rep. Veasey grew up in Fort Worth, living at his grandmother’s house with his mother after his parents divorced. He graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth with a degree in mass communications. He represents a newly drawn district stretching from Fort Worth to Dallas. He told voters that in Congress he wants to focus on education because “that is the key to everything.” If Texas students graduated at the national average, 1 million new jobs would be created in the state by 2030, he said. He worked for an advertising agency and was a substitute teacher. After volunteering in the office of Democratic Representative Martin Frost for a summer, he got a job with Frost as a field representative in the lawmaker’s Dallas-Fort Worth region. He was elected to the TX House in 2004 and re-elected three times. While serving in the TX legislature, he took the lead on certain technology-related issues in the TX House and served on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ committee on technology.
Importance: Rep. Veasey is a hard working, progressive individual with an eye towards seeking compromise middle ground positions to move legislation forward. He serves on both the Armed Services Committee and the Science Committee, which puts him in a position to pursue policies aimed at guiding both defense and research policies in the Congress to benefit both service members and academic institutions. Although not yet 40 years old, Representative Veasey has over a decade of governmental experience as a staffer for a former senior member of the United States Congress. This gives Representative Veasey a unique understanding of how Texas can partner with the Federal government to serve the needs of his constituents.
If you have any questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous updates and Member profiles can be reviewed at: Hope you have a great day!
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

Today in Washington: HBW Resources Daily Update on Energy & Politics

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.
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
Twitter: @RonWyden
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: Hope you have a great day!
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

Monday in Washington

Monday in Washington:

Congress On Recess: 

With both the House and the Senate on recess this week, activity on Capitol Hill will be sluggish.  When they return, the Senate will finish up work on the Marketplace Fairness Act, hearings on the budget and annual appropriations bills will continue, and work on comprehensive immigration reform will kick off in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The Senate is also expected to begin consideration of the Water Resources and Development Act Reauthorization S. 601, when they return.  A copy of the legislative text being considered can be viewed here.  The bill has been criticized by some anti-development groups for its streamlining provisions.

Other Items of Interest: 

Annual White House Correspondents Dinner:  At the event, the President spares few, including himself, in annual roast.  A video of his speech can be viewed here.

HBW Resources Ollison Fracking Report:  Released last Friday, the report covers events at the state, federal and international levels potentially impacting the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction.  A copy of the report can be viewed here.

Committee Leaders Seek GAO Analysis of DOE’s Nuclear Waste Storage Proposal:  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) wrote to the GAO requesting an analysis of the costs and liabilities associated with the administration’s new nuclear waste proposal. The committee leaders are asking GAO how such a proposal would affect costs and liability for taxpayers and the timeline for a permanent nuclear waste solution.  A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

House Passes the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act:  The House passed legislation providing the BLM with the authority to manage and divest the remainder of the Federal Helium Reserve to maximize benefits to U.S. Taxpayers.  The reserve was created after WWI and helium continued to be stockpiled through the 1980’s.  In 1996, Congress passed legislation ordering the closure of the reserve once sales had paid off $1.3 billion in debt the reserve had built up.  Helium is now used for MRI machines, computer chips, fiber optic cables, and other defense related industries.  The reserve currently holds half of the U.S. helium supply and 30 percent of the world’s helium supply.  Additional information about the bill and the Federal Helium Reserve can be found here.

House Science Committee Review Federal Research on Hydraulic Fracturing:  Over the last two year, the Administration has requested $83 million to fund investigations into the use and safety of hydraulic fracturing, despite a track record of flawed studies.  The hearing examined research activities pursuant to an agreement signed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Interior (DOI) in April of 2012, which created an interagency effort to “address the highest priority challenges” related to the production of domestic unconventional oil and natural gas resources.  The testimony and a webcast of the hearing can be viewed here.

Senators Release Discussion Draft of Comprehensive Nuclear Waste Legislation: Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. – the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development – and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, collaborated on the proposal, which builds on work by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
The members are seeking comment on the discussion draft and a number of policy and technical questions from experts and stakeholders, including utilities, conservation groups, Blue Ribbon Commission members and others, by May 24. Additional information about the legislation can be reviewed here.

Senate Finance Committee Releases White Paper on Infrastructure and Energy Tax Options:  As part of the Finance Committee’s ongoing efforts to pursue comprehensive tax reform, the Committee released a paper detailing many of the tax challenges and options for infrastructure and energy.  The paper notes the funding shortages under the current structures for the Highway Trust Fund and other funds needed for critical infrastructure.  The paper also notes the complexity and possible duplication of both tax and incentive programs for energy production.  A copy of the white paper can be reviewed here.

Events This Week:

Mergers and Acquisitions in the Energy Business: At 12:30 today, the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will hold a discussion on “Mergers and Acquisitions in the Energy Business: Lessons Learned.” Lucio Noto, managing partner at Midstream Partners, LLC and former vice chairman of ExxonMobil will lead the discussion. A live stream will be available here.

Relationship Between Oil and Economic Growth:  On April 30th at 10 AM, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) holds a forum on “the relationship between oil and economic growth, the impact of recently developed unconventional resources in the United States, and the transformation underway in Saudi Arabia.” Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim al-Naimi; Frank Verrastro, senior vice president and chair for energy and geopolitics at CSIS; and John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS will lead the forum.  Additional information can be found here.

US Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative:  On May 1st 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.

The Carbon Tax:  On May 3rd at 8:30 AM, the George C. Marshall Institute will hold a discussion on the report “Understanding the Political and Economic Realities of a Carbon Tax.” The report author James DeLong of the Convergence Law Institute; William O’Keefe, CEO of the Marshall Institute; David Kreutzer, research fellow in energy economics and climate change at the Heritage Foundation; and Scott Segal, founding partner for Bracewell and Giuliani’s Policy Resolution Group and director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council will participate in the discussion.  The event will be held at the Capitol Hill Club, 300 First Street SE, Washington, D.C. RSVP to to attend.

New Member of the Day: US Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)

Committee Assignments: Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, and Indian Affairs

Chief of Staff: Andrew Winer
Deputy COS: Malia Paul
Senior Policy Advisor: Dale Hahn
Twitter: @SenBrianSchatz

Experience: Brian Schatz attended Punahou School in Honolulu, the same school as President Obama. He served in the Hawaii State House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006 and as head of the Democratic Party of Hawaii from 2008 through 2010. Most recently, he was the Lieutenant Governor of the state from 2010 to 2012, when he was appointed by Governor Abercrombie to fill the remainder of Sen. Daniel Inouye’s term following the Senator’s passing. The appointment came as a surprise to many who had expected Abercrombie to honor the late Senator’s deathbed request to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his replacement. The Senator was an early supporter of President Obama and led an effort to draft him into the presidential election of 2008.

Importance: Senator Schatz has been a supporter of clean, sustainable energy and has stated that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing policy makers. He also comes from a state that imports 94 percent of it energy and has the highest energy prices in the United States. Hawaii is the most petroleum dependent state in the United States as well importing close to $4 billion in oil per year, much of which is used for electricity generation. To address this challenge the State’s energy plan aims for an agricultural biofuels industry that, by 2025, can provide 350 million gallons of biofuels. Hawaii is one of eight States with installed geothermal capacity; in 2011, 25 percent of its renewable net electricity generation came from geothermal energy. With positions on both the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Commerce Committee he is in a unique position to speak for constituents facing high energy costs and could be a very interesting member with regards to LNG and climate change.

If you have any questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous updates and Member profiles can be reviewed at: Hope you have a great Monday!


Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

Monday in Washington

Monday in Washington:


The Work Continues:

Congressional hearings on the FY2014 budget will continue this week in both the House and the Senate.  The Boston bombings and subsequent manhunt along with the Ricin attack on the Senate did not stall the first week of budget hearings, and as they go on longer, more details of executive branch policies will emerge.

This week, the Senate will be considering the Marketplace Fairness Act, legislation providing a legal framework for states to impose sales taxes on some internet purchases. Like the ill-fated gun control measure last week, Members of both parties will support and oppose this legislation.  However, if the debate moves forward, it could be another opportunity for the parties to take up amendments and prove that the Senate can take up and debate controversial items.

The House will not be in session today, but will be taking up legislation on national parks, commemorative coins, reforms to the Affordable Care Act, and federal helium reserves later this week.  The House Natural Resources will be marking up H.R. 3 this week.  The legislation, which was marked up and passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, would expedite the approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Other Items of Interest:

Sen. Vitter Highlights Energy Development Comments By WH Energy Advisor: On Friday, Sen. Vitter sent a letter to White House Energy Advisor Heather Zichal regarding her public statements at an event hosted by Securing America’s Future Energy. At the event Zichal said that the Administration would not accept any expanded drilling on federal lands beyond the existing Outer Continental Shelf plan. Sen. Vitter and other Members do not believe that such a policy is consistent with an “all of the above” energy strategy.  A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

Chairman Hastings Seeks Additional Information About National Ocean Policy: At the hearing las week, Chairman Hastings (R-WA) and Members of the House Natural Resources Committee asked CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley for information about the development of the National Ocean Policy. Over the past two years, the Committee has repeatedly attempted to obtain information on the development, legal authority, regulatory burdens, staffing, and funding sources of this policy. These requests have been largely ignored.  After the hearing, Chairman Hastings sent a letter renewing his requests for information on the various activities, costs, impacts, and burdens associated with implementation of the National Ocean Policy. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

NRC and DOE Meeting to Discuss Nuclear Storage Options: At the meeting, leaders will discuss the agency’s 10-year, $5.6 billion plan for waste disposal, which includes construction of a pilot site for interim storage. They want the project to be operational by 2021 and a geologic repository in service by 2048.  They will also discuss U.S. plans to support development of small modular nuclear reactors. A presentation planned for the meeting can be viewed here.

Important Events and Hearings:

Coast Guard and NOAA Budget Hearing: On April 23rd at 10 AM in 253 Russell, the Senate Commerce Committee Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the proposed budget request for FY2014 for the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Link

Senate Hydopower Hearing: On April 23rd at 10 AM in 366 Dirksen, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on S.306, the “Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act”; S.545, the “Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013”; H.R.267, the “Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013”; and a bill to promote energy savings in residential and commercial buildings and industry. Link

DOE Energy Innovation Discussion: On April 23rd at 10:30 AM in 2325 Rayburn, the Energy Department will host a panel discussion with directors of the Energy Innovation Hubs to discuss the potential for transformative breakthroughs in energy, including “virtual reactors” powered by supercomputers.
Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa.; Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman; Douglas Kothe, director of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors; Nathan Lewis, founding director and chief scientist at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis; Henry Foley, executive director of the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub; George Crabtree, director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research; and Alex King, director of the Critical Materials Institute will participate.

Politico Pro Discussion on Energy Tax Policy:  On April 24th at 8 AM at the Newseum, Politico Pro will hold a discussion on “The Energy Sector and The Implications of Tax Policy.” Additional information and registration can be found here.

Senate EPA Budget Hearing:  On April 24th 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 estimates for FY2014 for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Link

CSIS Discussion on US-Canadian Energy Policies: On April 24th at 9:30 AM at CSIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) holds 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:

U.S-Poland Energy Roundtable: On April 24th at 8:30 AM at the Ronald Regan Building, the U.S. Energy Association (USEA) holds a U.S.-Poland Energy Roundtable. Additional information can be found here:

Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation Markup #2: On April 24th 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: On April 24th 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

PoliticoPro Hosts Forum on Future of Tax Reform: On April 25th at 8 AM at the Newseum, Politico Pro holds 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: On April 25th at 8:30 AM in 122 Cannon, the House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus holds 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:  On April 25th 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:  On April 25th 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:  House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee and Environment Subcommittee hold joint hearing on “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

House Reviews Native American Energy Act:  On April 26th at 11 AM, the House Natural Resources Committee Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee will hold a hearing on H.R.1548, the “Native American Energy Act,” to facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands. Link

New Member of the Day: Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)


Committee Assignments: Natural Resources and Science

Chief of Staff: Mark Gruman
Twitter: @RepKevinCramer

House Natural Resources Interview:  The House Natural Resources did a very good interview with Rep. Cramer exploring his thought on energy and environmental policy.  A copy of the video interview can be viewed here.

Experience: Rep. Kevin Cramer served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission from 2003-2012, after first being appointed to Commission by then-Governor John Hoeven. Prior to joining the PSC, Cramer served as the first director of the Harold Schafer Leadership Foundation. He was State Tourism Director from 1993 to 1997 and State Economic Development Director from 1997 through 2000. Prior to government service, Rep. Cramer served as Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party. At 30 he was the youngest member of the Republican National Committee. Cramer has a B.A. degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in Social Work with an emphasis on pre-seminary studies and a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Mary. He is a native of Kindred, ND where he received all of his primary and secondary education.

Importance: North Dakota is one of the leading energy producing states in the United States, primarily due to advancements in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing that has unlocked massive shale resources throughout the country. The production from the Bakken and the Williston Basin have fundamentally altered energy assumptions in the US and have brought about the real potential of N. American energy self-sufficiency. Rep. Cramer is a self-described energy expert with years serving on the ND PSC. He supports expanded production on federal lands and is opposed to any regulations that would unduly restrict access to natural resources. With seats on the Natural Resources Committee and the House Science Committee, he is well positioned to advance policies advantageous to energy producers in his state and around the country.

If you have any questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous updates and Member profiles can be reviewed at: Hope you have a great Wednesday!


Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

Thursday in Washington

Jefferson 2

Spring in DC:

Both the House and the Senate will be in session today. The Senate continues its deliberation of a gun control package with the potential of a cloture vote later in the day. Senators Manchin and Toomey have offered a compromise amendment to the package that would protect gun owners’ rights while limiting certain loopholes that have been used by criminals and mentally ill individuals to obtain firearms. Details of the compromise proposal can be reviewed here:

The House will be considering H. Res. 146, a resolution providing for the consideration of H.R. 1120. The bill would limit the ability of the NLRB to conduct business requiring a quorum until the dispute over recess appointments has been resolved. Both the resolution setting the rules for the debate and the bill itself are expected to pass the House with a less certain future in the Senate.

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Sally Jewell to be the next Secretary of Interior by a vote of 87 to 11. The 11 Senators voting in opposition to the nomination included: Barrasso, Chambliss, Coburn, Enzi, Fischer, Johanns, Lee, McConnell, Rubio, Scott, and Vitter.

Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 678, which would deem available for hydropower development every existing Bureau of Reclamation canal, pipeline, ditch and other conduit of water. The vote was 416-7.
Under the bill, the Interior Department would be required to offer “lease of power privilege” rights to the irrigation district or water-users association operating or receiving water from the conduit before the rights are offered to other users. The Bureau of Reclamation says it is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the U.S.

Other Items of Interest:

DOE Budget Includes $28.4 billion and Maintains and Expands Clean Energy Focus: The budget request represents an 8 percent increase in funding over 2012 enacted levels. It includes $615 million to increase the use of and reduce the cost of power from solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power. Under the request, spending for the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would be increased by nearly $1 billion to $2.78 billion. It will also increase funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) to $379 million from $275 million in 2012. The budget request also proposes using $2 billion in funding from oil and gas drilling royalties to fund research into alternative fuel vehicles.  The budget request would cut the Fossil Energy Research and Development Program by $113 million and the Office of Nuclear Energy by $58 million.  Additional information on the budget can be found here:

ConocoPhillips Announces Halt to 2014 Chukchi Exploration Plans: ConocoPhillips on Wednesday announced it was putting its 2014 Chukchi Sea exploration plans on hold until there was a reliable and predictable regulatory framework at the federal level. ConocoPhillips has a stake in 98 leases in the Chukchi Sea. A copy of Senator Murkowski’s statement regarding the decision can be viewed here:

Subcommittee Begins Work on Northern Route Approval Act to Support American Jobs and North American Energy Independence: The Energy and Power Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), began its work reviewing H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, to allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline has been tied up in regulatory review for over four years, but even with the Presidential Permit, construction of the pipeline will likely be further delayed due to additional regulatory hurdles and legal challenges. Similar legislation was necessary in 1973 to achieve construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline after facing many of the same challenges. Additional information about H.R. 3 and the committee’s activities can be reviewed here:

Energy Producing States Coalition Urges Action on Theft of State Mineral Royalty Payments: On Wednesday, the Energy Producing States Coalition ( sent a letter to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee expressing their concern about the Administration’s effort to withhold $109 million in state mineral royalty payments to the states using sequestration as the justification. The EPSC is urging Congress to take action to block this effort.
A copy of the letter can be viewed here:

Rep. Goodlatte Introduces Bills to Modify Ethanol Mandate: Congress Goodlatte introduced two bills yesterday dealing with renewable fuels. The first would repeal the U.S. ethanol mandate and the second would revise the definition of renewable fuels to include only advanced biofuels and exclude corn-based ethanol. The legislation would eliminate corn-based ethanol requirements, cap the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, and requires the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels. Additional information on these bills from Rep. Goodlatte’s office can be found here:

Members Introduce Legislation to Reform EPA’s Scientific Advisory Process: The Subcommittee on Environment Chairman Chris Stewart (R-UT) today introduced legislation to reform the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) scientific advisory processes. The bill, H.R.1422, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2013, makes changes to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) to enhance public participation, improve the process for selecting expert advisors, expand transparency requirements and limit non-scientific policy advice. Additional information about the bill can be found here:

FY2014 DOI Budget of $11.9 Billion focused on Conservation and Energy Production: President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget request of $11.9 billion for the Department of the Interior maintains critical funding for the Department’s core missions, while making strategic investments to sustain economic recovery and generate jobs, including vital funding for recreation and conservation programs, enhanced science to inform decision-making, domestic energy development and the advancement of American Indians and Alaska Native communities. Additional information on the FY2014 DOI Budget can be viewed here:

President Proposes $1.2 Billion for BLM for FY2014: Focusing on renewable energy, safe and responsible mineral development, outdoor recreation and other key priorities, the budget has requested $1.2 billion in appropriations for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The request represents a $32.6 million or 2.9 percent increase over the agency’s congressionally enacted FY 2012 budget. Additional information on the BLM budget request can be found here:

USGS Budget Request include $1.167 Billion: The fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request for the U.S. Geological Survey is $1.167 billion, an increase of $98.8 million above the 2012 enacted level, reflecting a commitment to scientific research and development as the foundation for innovation, socio-economic well-being, environmental sustainability, and sound decision-making. This includes science to support the safe and responsible development of domestic energy, protect critical water resources and ecosystems, respond to natural disasters, and advance our understanding and resilience to the effects of climate change. Additional information on the budget request can be found here:

USDA Announces Funding to Improve Electric Service to Customers in 13 States: USDA announced it will provide nearly $280 million for rural electric infrastructure, including more than $6 million in smart grid funding. In addition, the funds will result in the construction of more than 1,900 miles of new or improved electric lines. Additional information about the announcement can be viewed here:

GAO Issues Report on Emergency Preparedness for Radiological Incidents at Nuclear Plants: To better inform radiological emergency preparedness efforts, GAO recommends that NRC obtain information on public awareness and likely public response outside the 10-mile zone, and incorporate insights into guidance, as appropriate. NRC generally disagreed with GAO’s finding, stating that its research shows public response outside the zone would generally have no significant impact on evacuations. GAO continues to believe that its recommendation could improve radiological emergency preparedness efforts and is consistent with NRC guidance. A copy of the report can be reviewed here:

Vitter Releases Eye on the EPA: No New Power Plants: Leading up to today’s hearing on Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the EPA, Senator Vitter releases a document calling into question both legal and practical implications of EPA’s GHG regulations for new utility plants. According to the document, the proposal for new power plants abandons decades of precedence under the Clean Air Act (CAA) by setting one standard for all fuel types used in electricity generation, the standard for natural gas plants. However, the standard for natural gas would be impossible for coal and oil to meet. New coal fired power plants would have to utilize carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that currently do not exist. A copy of the document can be reviewed here: Minority Members of the EPW Committee also requested McCarthy answer unresolved inquiries made while she was in her current position. A copy of that letter can be viewed here:

Other Hearings to Watch:

Gina McCarthy Nomination Hearing: Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Link:

Energy Opportunities in Latin America Hearing:
Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Western Hemisphere Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Energy Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Link:

Coal Ash Hearing: Today, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on the Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act. Link:

Nuclear Waste Hearing: Today, the House Appropriations Committee, Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Oversight Hearing: Nuclear Waste Programs and Strategies.” Link:

Energy Consumers Relief Act Hearing: On April 12, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on the Energy Consumers Relief Act. Link:

Ethanol Hearing: On April 11th, the House Science Committee will meet to consider H.R. 875, to provide for a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends, and new legislation to amend the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to provide for Scientific Advisory Board member qualifications, and public participation. Link:

New Member of the Day: US Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)


Committee Assignments: House Financial Services

Chief of Staff: Betsy Hawkings
Legislative Director: David Stern
Twitter: @RepAndyBarr

Rep. Garland “Andy” Barr is a 1992 graduate of Henry Clay High School. In 1996, he graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Philosophy. From 1996 through 1998, he served as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congressman Jim Talent (R-MO). He graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2001. He served as General Counsel to former Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Prior to winning his seat, he served as an attorney and part time instructor at Morehead State University where he taught Constitutional Law and Administrative Law. In 2010, Barr was the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District losing by one of the closest margins of any race that year. In 2012, he won the rematch by more than 12,000 votes.

In November 2012, Rep. Barr defeated incumbent Democrat US Rep. Ben Chandler in a rematch of one of the closest races of 2010. Rep. Chandler, grandson of former KY Governor Albert Benjamin “Happy” Chandler, had been viewed as one of the most capable Democrats in a state that had shifted from Democratic control to Republican majority over the last few years. Rep. Barr ran on a platform of small government, supporting cuts to federal spending, taxes and regulations. Coal issues featured in his race against Chandler, successfully tying the President’s carbon emissions policies to the incumbent. He is one of just a handful of members where “War on Coal” slogan proved a benefit. In addition to supporting coal, Rep. Barr supports for lifting restrictions on domestic oil and gas production, including offshore and in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As a Member of the Financial Services Committee, he is expected to advocate for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial industry regulation law.

If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at: Hope you all have a great Thursday!


Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

Wednesday in Washington


Wednesday in Washington:

Both the House and the Senate are in session. The House will continue its consideration of H.Con.Res.25, the House’s Budget Resolution, which appears to be on track to pass by the end of the week. The Senate continues to struggle to complete its work on the CR/mini-bus legislation. Majority Leader Reid is still hoping to complete work on both the CR/mini-bus and the Senate budget resolution before the Senate goes into a planned two-week recess.

Other Items of Interest:

Senators Introduce Revenue Sharing Legislation
Senators Murkowski and Landrieu (D-LA) will introduce the Fixing America’s Inequality with Revenues(FAIR) Act. The bill is written to ensure all energy-producing states receive a fair share of the revenues they help produce while also encouraging investments in clean energy and conservation. The bill provides up to 37.5 percent of all revenues from offshore development to coastal states. This includes revenues from oil and gas, as well as revenues from the development of alternative and renewable energy sources. States would automatically receive 27.5 percent of these revenues, 25 percent of which would go to the coastal communities most impacted by offshore development. States are eligible for an additional 10 percent if they establish funds to support projects relating to clean energy or conservation. The bill would also expand revenue sharing onshore to include renewable energy production on federal lands at the same 50 percent share currently given for oil and gas production. Even before introduction, the proposal has drawn criticism from anti-development groups opposed to oil and gas extraction. Additionally, without adding new areas for development, the proposal will likely be viewed by non-energy state fiscal conservatives as a raid on the federal treasury. Additional information about the bill and the introduction today can be reviewed here:

House Oversight Committee Holds Hearing on LNG Exports
On March 19th, the House Oversight Committee Energy and Policy and Regulations Subcommittee will held a hearing on “The Department of Energy’s Strategy for Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas.” In late February, FERC had three applications for s The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), will heard testimony from: Chris Smith, DOE acting assistant secretary for fossil energy, who is in charge of the agency’s review effort; Charles Ebinger, director of foreign policy in the Brookings Institution energy security initiative: and Tom Choi, natural gas analyst for Deloitte MarketPoint LLC. iting and construction permits that had moved into the formal review stage: Cameron LNG, Freeport LNG, and Corpus Christi LNG. The most interesting exchanges from the hearing occurred between Rep. Lankford and Chris Smith of DOE, where the Congressman repeatedly attempted to nail down how and when the DOE would evaluate the export license applications, to which the DOE claimed more time was needed to evaluate public comments and determinations would be made case-by-case. A summary of the hearing and the highlights can be viewed here:

Energy Coalition Hosts Discussion on Nuclear Power in Era of Low Cost Natural Gas
At 8:30 AM today, CASEnergy Coalition is holding a discussion on the importance of energy diversification and will provide commentary on a white paper, “Balancing Long-Term Energy Planning with Near-Term Energy Opportunity: An Exploration of Nuclear Infrastructure Investment in a Low-Price Natural Gas Market.” The event features: Rep. John Barrow (D-GA); former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R-NJ), co-chairman of CASE Energy Coalition and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator; Joshua Freed, vice president for the Clean Energy Program at Third Way; Jim Hunter, director of the utility department at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); Bill Murray, director of corporate public policy at Dominion Power; and Keith Belton, director of government affairs, environment and energy at Dow Chemical Company. The event is taking place in room 441 of Cannon House Office Building.

Senator Rockefeller Urges Increased Investment in Nation’s Infrastructure
On March 19th, Chairman Rockefeller reiterated the need to invest in the nation’s infrastructure after the ASCE released a report that estimates the U.S. faces a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion for transportation infrastructure projects. Rockefeller’s legislation, S. 387, the American Infrastructure Investment Fund Act, would attempt to fill the investment gap identified by ASCE. Additional information about the legislation and the announcement can be viewed here:

Sen. Vitter and Rep. Issa Pursue EPA Use of Outside E-mail Accounts
Following numerous reports of EPA officials using personal E-mail accounts to coordinate with interest groups, Sen. Vitter and Rep. Issa sent a letter Jared Blumenfeld, the Region 9 Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting that he certify that he has not at any juncture used a non-official email account to conduct official work. A copy of the letter can be viewed here:

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to Consider Jewell Nomination
On March 21st, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a Business Meeting to consider the nomination of Sally Jewell to be the Secretary of the Interior. The business meeting will be webcast live on the Committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the meeting is complete. Additional information on the meeting can be viewed here:

House Committee To Review State of US Steel Industry
On March 21st, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing entitled “Our Nation of Builders: The Strength of Steel.” The Committee will hear testimony from: Rep. Tim Murphy, Vice Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus; Rep. Pete Visclosky, Vice-Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus; Joe Carrabba, President and CEO, Cliffs Natural Resources; John Ferriola, President and CEO, Nucor Corporation; Richard Harshman, Chairman, President and CEO, Allegheny Technologies, Inc.; Ed Kurasz, Executive Vice President, Allied Tube and Conduit; Mike Rehwinkel, President and CEO, EVRAZ North America; Mike Rippey, President and CEO, Arcelor Mittal USA; John Surma, CEO, United States Steel Corporation; and Yvette Pena Lopes, Deputy Director, BlueGreen Alliance. Additional information about the hearing can be reviewed here:

T&I Leaders Host Roundtable on Ports, Jobs, Economic Development and Trade
On March 21st, Leaders of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will host a bipartisan roundtable on Thursday to discuss ports, jobs, economic development, and trade. The roundtable is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM on Thursday, March 21, 2013 in 2253 Rayburn House Office Building. Invited participants include American Association of Port Authorities President Kurt J. Nagle; Maersk, Inc. Vice President of Government Relations Clint Eisenhauer; Port of Tampa President and CEO Paul Anderson; and Port of Skagit Executive Director Patsy Martin. Additional information about the roundtable can be viewed here:

New Member of the Day: US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)


Committee Assignments: Agriculture, Budget, and Government Oversight and Reform

Chief of Staff: Leticia Mederos
Policy Advisor: Issac Padilla
Twitter: @LujanGrisham

Rep. Grisham is a twelfth generation New Mexican who has dedicated her life to serving her community. Born in Los Alamos and raised in Santa Fe, she graduated from St. Michael’s High School, then attended the University of New Mexico for both undergraduate and law school. Her grandfather Eugene Lujan was the first Hispanic Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. As an attorney she worked for the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program of the State Bar of New Mexico and was appointed to head the New Mexico State Agency on Aging. She also served as the state’s first Secretary of Aging and Long Term Services when the department was elevated to a cabinet position. In 2004, she was asked to head the New Mexico Department of Health, where she managed over 3,800 employees and a $440 million budget. In 2010, she was elected to the Bernalillo County Commissioner.

The NBC Latino website included her in its list of 10 Latino politicians to watch in 2013. Her legislative priorities include health-care and women’s issues. New Mexico is well situated to become the nationwide leader in clean-energy development as home to Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. In the 113th Congress she will be the whip of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the fourth rung on the caucus’s leadership ladder. She ran for the House in 2008, seeking a seat vacated when Republican Heather Wilson ran for the Senate. She finished third in the Democratic primary with 24 percent, losing to Martin Heinrich, who went on to win the seat. In mid-2011, when Heinrich announced that he would seek to succeed retiring Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman, Lujan Grisham decided to run for the House again. In the Democratic primary, she finished first with 40 percent of the vote in a three-candidate race, then won the general election with 59 percent of the vote. With seats on the Agriculture, Budget, and Oversight Committees she is well positioned to evaluate and shape energy policies affecting energy consumers in NM and around the country.

If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be reviewed at Hope you all have a great Wednesday!


Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw