Congress Considers Pipelines, Energy Prices, and DOE Funding

Tuesday in Washington:

Work Commences On Energy Funding:

Both the House and Senate are in session today.  The House will be taking up H.R. 2609, the FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.  The bill includes massive cuts to funding for DOE grant programs for renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, which could be the subject of debate during the consideration of the legislation.  Overall, the bill is $113 million below funding levels passed last year.  The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating if the bill were passed and presented to the President, senior advisors would recommend he veto it.

The Senate continues to work on a solution to the interest rate increases on student loans that went into effect on July 1st.  The Senate will continue its debate on the motion to proceed to S. 1238, which would extend the 3.4 percent interest rate for a year.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin a two day process of legislative hearings and markups of H.R.1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, and H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013.  These bills along  will a number of others dealing with energy extraction and the coal industry are expected to be on the floor later this month.

Other Items of Interest:

DOE Releases Report on Ultra-Deepwater and Other Unconventional Natural Gas Development:  The Department of Energy released the 2013 Annual Plan for the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research Program.  The report outlines DOE’s research plan for the safety and success of unconventional and deepwater oil and gas development, including shale gas, coalbed methane, oil sands, and for ultra-deepwater oil and gas development.

White House Releases Unified Agenda Laying Out Regulatory Plans: The agenda includes summaries and projected timetables for regulations the administration intends to advance.

Important Hearings and Events:

DOE and FERC Hold Reliability Conference: Today at 9 AM at FERC, the Energy Department (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold a reliability technical conference to discuss policy issues related to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System. The event will be available via webcast at

Energy and Commerce Committee Reviews Pipeline Legislation:  Today at 10 AM in 2322 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on H.R.1900, the “Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act.” Philip Moeller, commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; David Markarian, vice president for governmental affairs at NextEra Energy, Inc.; Maya van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network; Rick Kessler, president of the Pipeline Safety Trust’s Board of Directors; Alex Paris III, president of the Alex E. Paris Contracting Company, Inc.; and Donald Santa Jr., president and CEO of INGA, will testify. Additional information can be found here.

Ecosystem Services Approach to Assessing Impacts of Macondo Accident:  Today at 12 PM, the National Academies holds the embargoed release of a new National Research Council report on “An Ecosystem Services Approach to Assessing the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” Additional information can be requested by e-mailing:

How the Grid Works:  Today at 2 PM in 2212 Rayburn, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on “Electric Transmission 101: How the Grid Works.” Jeff Dennis, director of the Division of Policy Development at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); Jay Caspary, director of research and development and special studies at Southwest Power Pool; Wayne Galli, executive vice president of transmission and technical services at Clean Line Energy Partners; and Jim Hoecker, former FERC chairman and counsel with the Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems, will participate.

House Natural Resources Hearing on Powder River Basin Coal Mining:  Today at 2 PM in 1324 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Mining in America: Powder River Basin Coal Mining the Benefits and Challenges.” Additional information can be found here.

The Obama Power Africa Initiative:  Today at 2 PM at the CSIS office at 1800 K St., the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will hold a discussion on “The President’s Africa Trip and the Power Africa Initiative.” Christopher Camponovo, director of business development at Symbion Power; Ben Leo, global policy director at ONE; Robert Perry, vice president for international programs at the Corporate Council on Africa; Sarah Ladislaw, co-director and senior fellow of the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS; and Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa Program at CSIS, will participate in the discussion. Additional information about the event can be found at the website:

House Rules Committee Considers Critical Minerals Legislation: On July 9th at 3 PM in H-313 of the US Capitol, the House Rules Committee will consider H.R. 761, the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013,” to require the secretary of the Interior and the secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to U.S. economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness. Additonal information can be found here.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Takes Up Energy Bills:  On July 9th at 4 PM in 2123 Rayburn, the Energy and Power Subcommittee markup of H.R.1582, the “Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013”; H.R.1900, the “Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act”; and H.R.83, to require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of action plans aimed at reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels and increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources. Additional information about the markup and the legislation being considered can be found here.

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 HBW Resource’s new Intelligence Tab 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
Twitter: @mzehrhbw