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