Controversy Erupts Over #GHG Coal Regs While #Congress Dithers on Gov’t Funding


Today in Washington

The planned recess this week for House members is being cut short as congressional leaders haggle over a legislative package to keep the government funded through the end of the year.  The Senate will be in session all week, and the House will return on Wednesday.  The Senate will be considering the House-passed Continuing Resolution, which would keep the government funded through December 15th.  The House-passed measure included a provision defunding the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as “Obama-care.”  The Senate intends to strip the ACA language from the bill and send it back to the House.

When the House reconvenes, it will consider the following legislation: H.R. 1961 – To amend title 46, United States Code, to extend the exemption from the fire-retardant materials construction requirement for vessels operating within the Boundary Line; H.R. 3095 – To ensure that any new or revised requirement providing for the screening, testing, or treatment of individuals operating commercial motor vehicles for sleep disorders is adopted pursuant to a rulemaking proceeding; H.R. 2600 – To amend the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act to clarify how the Act applies to condominiums; H.R. 687 – Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013;
Potential legislation related to the debt ceiling; and H.J.Res. 59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014.

Consideration of the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency legislation got bogged down by the inability of Senators to reach an agreement on debating and voting on a number of amendments to the bill.  The underlying bill remains uncontroversial and has bipartisan support, but the inability to offer and debate amendments continues to stall work on multiple measures in the Senate.  The Senate had to move off the bill last week to complete work on a bill authorizing the federal helium program, and the will not move on to other business until the CR is completed.

Other Items of Interest

EPA Releases Long-Awaited Carbon Rules for New Power Plants:  The EPA released new rules last week requiring new power plants to meet stringent standards for carbon dioxide emissions.  The rules require new coal-fired power plants to emit no more than an average of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour and new natural gas fired power plants to emit no more than an average of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.  While combined-cycle natural gas powered plants will have little difficulty achieving these levels, coal-fired plants will struggle to achieve these targets and will require the deployment of carbon, capture and sequestration technology that is not currently in commercial scale use.  EPA rules addressing existing power plants are planned for release in June of 2014.

House Passes Strategic and Critical Minerals Legislation:  The House of Representatives passed H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act 246-178 with the support of both Republicans and Democrats. The bill, if enacted would allow the United States to more efficiently develop strategic and critical minerals, such as rare earth elements, that are vital to economic competitiveness and national security.

House Energy and Power Subcommittee Reviews Administration’s Climate Change Plans:The House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power subcommittee held a hearing to examine the details of the president’s Climate Action Plan and the full scope of federal climate change-related activities and their impacts on the economy and the environment. Both the Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, testified at the hearing. Members of the committee expressed concerns about the commercial viability of carbon capture and sequestration technologies currently available and the impact new regulations could have on the future use of coal as an energy source.

Senate Passes Helium Legislation: By a vote of 97 to 2, the Senate passed legislation ensuring continued access to the federal helium supply and requiring the federal government to phase out its involvement in the helium sector over the next 10 years.  The Federal Helium Reserve supplies about 40 percent of domestic and 30 percent of world helium demand. The alternatives for helium are limited and often nonexistent. The House passed similar legislation earlier this year.  Now the differences between the two bills will be worked out and passed by both chambers before the current authorization expires on October 1st.

DOE Invests $60 Million in Next Generation of Nuclear Energy Leaders: The Department of Energy announced more than $60 million in nuclear energy research awards and improvements to university research reactors and infrastructure. The 91 awards will help train and educate the next generation of leaders in America’s nuclear industry as well as support new and advanced nuclear technologies from reactor materials to innovative sensors and instruments to more efficient manufacturing.

DOE Announces $66 Million in Funding for Energy R&D and $30 Million for Cyber Security:  The Department of Energy announced that 33 breakthrough energy projects will receive approximately $66 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under two new programs that provide options for a more sustainable and secure American future.  A full list of the projects can be reviewed here.  The DOE also announced awards totaling approximately $30 million for the development of new tools and technologies to strengthen protection of the nation’s electric grid and oil and gas infrastructure from cyber attack.

Important Events and Hearings

The Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute hold a discussion on “Climate Change Reconsidered: Science the UN Will Exclude from Its Next Climate Report.”
September 23, 2013 12:00 PM
Heritage Foundation
Robert Carter, palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist; Willie Soon, astrophysicist, geoscientist, receiving editor in the area of solar and stellar physics for New Astronomy, and author of “The Maunder Minimum and the Variable Sun-Earth Connection”; and Joseph Bast, president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, will participate.  RSVP to:lectures.seminars@heritage.org

Rebuilding the Nation’s Infrastructure: Leveraging Innovative Financing to Supplement Federal Investment

September, 24 2013 2:30 PM
Russell Senate Office Building
The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security will hold a hearing on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. on the ability of public-private partnerships to meet the nation’s infrastructure investment needs. Several legislative proposals have been introduced this Congress that would encourage private financing to supplement federal investments and provide the funding to rebuild the nation’s outdated infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently estimated this public-private investment would need to reach $3.6 trillion by 2020 in order to maintain a safe and efficient transportation system that is also essential to U.S. economic competitiveness.

The United States Energy Association (USEA) holds a briefing on the launch of the World Energy Council’s 2013 World Energy Trilemma report, “The Case for Sustainable Energy Investment and Energy Sustainability Index.”
September 24, 2013 9:30 AM
National Press Club
RSVP to Barry Worthington at 202-312-1230 or, or online at:

The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) holds a discussion on “Trillion-Dollar Problem: How Oil Dependency Drives U.S. Debt.”
September 24, 2013 9:30 AM
Kenneth Blackwell, visiting professor of law at Liberty University School of Law; Phillip Swagel, visiting scholar at AEI; Robert Wescott, president at Keybridge Research LLC; and Benjamin Zycher, visiting scholar at AEI, will participate.  RSVP at 202-862-5829 or The event will be streamed live at

The Energy Department holds an event to kick-off the “Minorities in Energy Initiative” and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
September 24, 2013 11:00 AM
Department of Energy
Additional information and registration can be found here: A live stream will be available at

The Environmental Law Institute holds a webinar, beginning at 12 p.m., on “The Changing Face of International Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation.”
September 24, 2013 12:00 PM
Steven Leifer, partner at Baker Botts; Thomas Jackson, special counsel at Baker Botts; Stuart Kemp, senior director of environmental law at Halliburton; Rebecca Moring, counsel at Halliburton; John Staub, international analysis and forecasting expert at the U.S. Energy Information Administration; and Andrew Williams, state regulatory and legislative affairs manager at the Environmental Defense Fund will participate.  RSVP for Webinar information to

Inter-American Dialogue (IAD) holds a discussion on “Shale Gas in Latin America.”
September 25, 2013 8:30 AM
Inter-American Dialogue
David Mares, professor at the University of California at San Diego; and Edward Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup will participate. RSVP here:

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) holds a workshop on “GHG (greenhouse gas) Regulation of Existing Power Plants under the Clean Air Act: What Is It and How Will It Work?”
September 25, 2013 12:00 PM
Grand Hyatt
Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal; former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., senior fellow at BPC; Phillip Jones, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC); Joseph Goffman, senior counsel to the assistant administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency; Jason Grumet, president at BPC; Ellen Anderson, senior adviser on energy and the environment to Gov. Mark Dayton, D-Minn.; Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center; Chuck Barlow, vice president of environmental strategy and policy at Entergy Services Inc.; Megan Ceronsky, attorney at the Environmental Defense; Steven Corneli, senior vice president of NRG Energy; Kyle Danish, partner at Van Ness Feldman; David Doniger, policy director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council; Kimberly Greene, president and CEO of Southern Company Services Inc.; G. Vinson Hellwig, chief of the air quality division at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Joe Kruger, director for energy and the environment at BPC; and Jennifer Macedonia, senior adviser at BPC, will participate.  For more information, contact Rosemarie Calabro Tully at 202-641-6209 or

Member of the Day:  US Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) 

Committee Assignments: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Small Business

Chief of Staff: Nicholas Zupancic
Legislative Director: Lindley Kratovil
Twitter: @scottrtipton

Experience:  Rep. Tipton attended college at Ft. Lewis College, where he studied political science.  Upon graduation, he returned to his home of Cortez and, with his brother, founded a pottery business. In 2008, after spending his entire career as a small businessman, Tipton was elected to the State House.  Two years later, he was elected to the US House of Representatives.  Rep. Tipton and his wife, Jean, have two daughters.

Importance: Rep. Tipton has used his positions on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committees to effect legislation regarding Colorado’s natural resources.  He has worked on legislation to encourage healthy forest management, including the prevention of wildfires.  He also worked to stop a federal grab of privately-held water rights.  With respect to energy, Rep. Tipton has championed an all-of the-above strategy. He has authored legislation that called for the advance and development of clean, renewable energy.  As part of the American Domestic Energy Act, he put requirements in place to develop wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale, and minerals.  Tipton’s lifelong small business experience provides him a great foundation for which to understand the impacts of the cost and demand for energy on job growth and economic development.  He will continue to champion the issues that impact small businesses and the vast open spaces of his state.

Contact Information

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
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Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw