Both the House and the Senate are in session today. The House will begin consideration of H.Con.Res. 25, the House’s budget resolution. Meanwhile, the Senate will continue its efforts to resolve differences over the number and content of votes on the Senate’s version the continuing resolution/mini-bus legislation. Senator Reid filed cloture on both the Murray substitute amendment and the underlying bill passed by the House attempting to force action on the measure. Yesterday, Sen. Reid threatened to keep the Senate in session next weekend if roadblocks to consideration of the CR and the Senate budget resolution are not resolved by the end of the week. On a vote of 63-35, the Senate voted to invoke cloture and cut off further debate on the Murray substitute amendment, which contains full-year fiscal 2013 appropriations bills for Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Commerce-Justice-Science, and a select number of federal agencies and programs. Some GOP Members claim that the procedure and the pace at which consideration is proceeding is designed to force the House to pass the Senate version of the CR/mini-bus legislation.
Other Items of Interest:
DOI’s Salazar will Participate in GOM Lease Sale
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will participate in the Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas Lease Sale 227 in New Orleans on Wednesday. Following the lease sale, he will travel to Louisiana’s Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge where he will tour the refuge by airboat and see firsthand a Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) marsh restoration project. Salazar will then host a Gulf restoration stakeholder meeting at the NWR headquarters. Additional information can be reviewed here: http://www.interior.gov/news/mediaadvisories/secretary-salazar-to-participate-in-39-million-acre-central-gulf-of-mexico-lease-sale.cfm.
House Hearing on Grid Operations and Coordination Challenges with Natural Gas
Today at 10:00 AM, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing on “American Energy Security and Innovation: The Role of Regulators and Grid Operators in Meeting Natural Gas and Electric Coordination Challenges.” The hearing will be held in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The committee will hear testimony from : Philip D. Moeller, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Cheryl A. LaFleur, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Barry T. Smitherman, Chairman, Railroad Commission of Texas; Joshua B. Epel, Chairman, Colorado Public Utilities Commission; Todd A. Snitchler, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio; Mr. Clair J. Moeller, Executive Vice President, Transmission & Technology Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.; Mr. Gordon van Welie, President and CEO, ISO New England,ISO; and Mr. Paul J. Hibbard, Vice President, Analysis Group. Copies of the testimony and the webcast of the hearing can be viewed here: http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/AESI-role-regulators-and-grid-operators-meeting-natural-gas-and-electric-coordination-challenges.
SAFE Hosts Forum on President’s Energy Security Trust Fund
Today at 10:00 AM at the National Press Club, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) holds a summit on “Energy Security Trust Fund: A Bipartisan Opportunity to Strengthen U.S. Energy Security.” The event will feature: Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal; former Assistant Energy Secretary for Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner; Michael Levi, energy fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; McKie Campbell, former staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair, member of the Energy Security Leadership Council.
House Appropriators Review DOE Environmental Management Budget
Today at 10:00 AM, the House Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Energy Department’s environmental management budget. The hearing will feature Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, Dave Huizenga. Numerous issues are expected to be addressed at the hearing including DOE’s involvement with the National Ocean Policy. The hearing will take place in room 2362-B of the Rayburn House Office Building.
House Committee to Review DOE’s LNG Export Policies
Today at 3:00 PM, the House Oversight Committee Energy and Policy and Regulations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The Department of Energy’s Strategy for Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas.” The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), will hear 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. In late February, FERC had three applications for siting and construction permits that had moved into the formal review stage: Cameron LNG, Freeport LNG, and Corpus Christi LNG. The hearing will take place in room 2247 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Additional information on the hearing can be viewed here: http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/the-department-of-energys-strategy-for-exporting-liquefied-natural-gas/.
US and New Zealand Officials Call for Creation of Largest Marine Sanctuary in History
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for establishing the world’s largest protected marine area in Antarctica and urged stronger global safeguards for oceans. Kerry and New Zealand’s ambassador to the U.S., Michael Moore, announced yesterday a joint New Zealand-U.S. proposal to establish a Marine Protected Area, or MPA, in the Ross Sea, a 1.9 million-square-mile area off the Antarctic coast. Additional information about the sanctuary proposal can be viewed here: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130318/us-backs-antarctic-reserve-amid-calls-fishing-ban.
Hold Placed on McCarthy Nomination
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) announced that he has placed a hold on President Obama’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency until the senator gets an update from the administration on its plans for a flood-control project in southern Missouri. He said his hold will remain in place until the administration announces a schedule for the release of a draft environmental impact statement for the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway Project, which would close a 1,500 foot gap in the Mississippi River levee system. Additional information on the hold and Sen. Blunt’s announcement can be viewed here: http://www.blunt.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news?ID=6707b8ea-6184-4d3c-aca5-ae295d440134.
EPW Floats WRDA Reauthorization Draft
On Monday, the Senate EPW Committee released a draft version of the Water Resources Development Act of 2013. The draft includes provisions to accelerate environmental reviews for water infrastructure projects. A copy of the draft can be viewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g3k1t82j9zp64lk/WRDA%20Draft%20Floated.pdf
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
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: http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. Hope you all have a great Tuesday!
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