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House Hearing on DOE Budget

On April 12, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on “The Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Energy Budget” with testimony from Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. The wide-ranging discussion covered the Administration’s request for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which would see a 70% reduction from Fiscal Year 2018; the Yucca Mountain project and legacy cleanup responsibilities; pipeline safety; encouraging innovation in the private sector; the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; resiliency in the electric grid; fusion energy research; cybersecurity infrastructure; fuel security; and Small Refinery Waivers.

Continue Reading May 2018 Washington Update

The House of Representatives and Senate returned September 6 from the long August recess that started in mid-July. The House is scheduled to be in session for four weeks and the Senate for five weeks before breaking again for the month of October to campaign. Energy legislation will be debated at the conference of the energy bills (S.2012 and H.R. 8) and potentially during an end of the year tax extenders debate. For further information on energy legislation updates, continue reading!

Continue Reading Energy and Environmental Legislative Updates for Fall 2016

Energy and environment debates are alive and well in Washington this week, as the Senate begins negotiations over the Keystone XL pipeline and policy-makers react to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address from President Obama. Click here to see ML Strategies’ full update on all things energy and environment in Washington this week, including such topics as:

  • Amendments to S.1, which would authorize the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline;
  • New energy legislation introduced;
  • The NOAA and NASA’s announcement that 2014 was the warmest year on record; and
  • The release of the Energy Information Agency (E.I.A.)’s Short Term Energy Outlook.

Energy Tech Matters and ML Strategies will continue to be your go-to for analysis on these and all other energy and environmental topics throughout the course of the new year. Stay tuned!

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

The 114th Congress and the final two years of the Obama Administration include a full energy and environment agenda.

With some new energy and environment leadership on the relevant Congressional committees, chairs and ranking members are beginning to lay out their priorities for the next two years.

While the Keystone XL pipeline is the first energy issue out of the gate this Congress, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said January 8 that the committee would hold a hearing on the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act (S. 33) later this month, and that she hopes to find common ground for comprehensive energy legislation this spring. She also hopes to address offshore oil and gas development, an issue she worked on with former Committee Chair Mary Landrieu (D-LA), but on which she disagrees with new Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Senator Murkowski envisions the broad energy package centering on four main areas: strengthening supply, modernizing infrastructure, supporting efficiency, and ensuring federal accountability.

Continue Reading ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 1/13/2015

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

Congress returns for the 114th session January 6, and efforts are underway to prepare for an eventful two years on Capitol Hill as well as the final two years of the Obama Administration.

Energy and environment issues, in particular, are likely to play a key role in 2015, much like they did in 2014, from the Keystone XL debate to international climate negotiations to a host of Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vowed late last year to make the Keystone XL pipeline the first order of business for the upper chamber, and his colleagues are already moving quickly on the issue. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing January 7 to consider legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline and will take a vote on the measure the following day, setting the stage for a floor vote as early as next week. The committee approved identical language from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in June. Senate Democrats are expected to introduce several amendments to the bill, but only a few will ultimately vote for the measure – how many that few actually is remains the key question, with many predicting that there are at least 61 votes for the bill, including seven Democrats. If the upper chamber does approve the legislation and the president vetoes it, both sides are confident that they could win the fight, as getting to the necessary 67 votes to override a presidential veto will be the truly difficult battle. The House, which has passed several pro-Keystone measures in the past couple of years, will take up similar language in the near future. President Obama last month expressed skepticism over the project’s economic benefits, but the White House has yet to outright threaten to veto Keystone legislation. The president did say December 29 that he expects to veto legislation this year that would block or impede his climate and environmental policies. In the meantime, the Nebraska Supreme Court will soon rule on the route approval process, and a federal decision is likely to follow soon thereafter.

Continue Reading ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 1/5/2015

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

The House and Senate are in session for just a few more days prior to adjourning the 113th Congress. Remaining issues to address during the lame duck include the hybrid omnibus-continuing resolution, which could close out most work on fiscal 2015 spending and fund the government after December 11, a tax extenders package, completing the Defense authorization, a terrorism risk insurance extension, which expires December 31, and a handful of other last minute measures.

Continue Reading ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 12/8/2014

With Congress returning for the final days of the lame duck session before Republicans assume control of both chambers in the 114th Congress, and President Obama entering the final two years of his term, several energy and environmental issues remain unfinished. Several of these issues may play out before we ring in the new year, and others will await calendar time in 2015.

Continue Reading ML Strategies Preview: Energy and Environment Policy in the 114th Congress

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

Prior to recessing for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House and Senate both took several votes and introduced numerous pieces of legislation on energy and environment related issues last week.

After the House approved their version of Keystone XL pipeline (H.R. 5682) legislation the previous week, the Senate failed to move an identical bill (S. 2280), from Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Hoeven (R-ND) November 18. The one-vote loss, 59-41, is yet another hit to Senator Landrieu’s runoff election campaign against Representative Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is confident that the upper chamber will pass Keystone language in the 114th Congress. Republican gains in the midterm elections may bring the vote count in favor of Keystone passage to 63, but bill supporters would still need 67 votes to override a presidential veto.

Continue Reading ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 11/24/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

Republicans gained control of the Senate last Tuesday, and, with Republicans picking up several House seats as well, Congress rests in their hands. The question now becomes: can D.C. govern?

Republican gains in the midterm elections bode well for increased oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency, due in large part to Senator James Inhofe’s (R-OK) imminent ascension to chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will move to the Ranking Member slot. Senator Inhofe, self-proclaimed climate skeptic, has indicated that he will use the committee to investigate the agency’s regulations and authority. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will replace Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) as majority leader, and, he is likely to lead the party’s efforts to roll back Environmental Protection Agency rules, including CO2 standards for power plants, ozone air quality standards, and expanded Clean Water Act jurisdiction over U.S. waterways. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) faces a runoff December 6, and she is likely to lose, meaning that Senator Maria Cantwell (D-CA) will join Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as ranking member and chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, respectively. With a 54-member majority, it is likely that Senate Republicans will be able to find the 60 votes necessary to move legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House is declining to say whether President Obama would veto legislation approving the Keystone pipeline. To reach the 67 votes needed to overcome a presidential veto, Senate Republicans will still have to work closely with their Democratic counterparts, and they will need to employ creative approaches, such as using authorization bills, appropriations riders, oversight hearings, and the Congressional Review Act, to advance their energy agenda. Other agenda items may include altering the Renewable Fuel Standard; expediting liquefied natural gas exports; streamlining transmission project decisions; expanding oil and gas drilling; and funding the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

Continue Reading ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 11/10/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

With election day looming, our attention turns to the outcomes of the close races, potential lame duck issues, and what the election means for the new 115th Congress.

While Republicans may reclaim control of the Senate, they will need to employ creative approaches to advance their energy agenda, which may include approving the Keystone XL pipeline; restricting Environmental Protection Agency regulatory authority; altering the Renewable Fuel Standard; expediting liquefied natural gas exports; streamlining transmission project decisions; and expanding oil and gas drilling. Unlike in the House, the Senate’s close majority will necessitate the use of tools such as authorization bills, appropriations riders, oversight hearings, and the Congressional Review Act in order to move any of the contentious issues forward.

Continue Reading ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 11/3/2014