Wednesday in Washington:
Both the House and the Senate are in session today. Questions about the attack in Boston and the recent Ricin laced letter sent to the office of Senator Wicker continue to mount as few concrete answers have been immediately available. Meanwhile, the Senate continues its consideration of gun control legislation with votes on up to nine amendments planned to begin around 4PM this afternoon.
The House will be considering amendments to H.R. 624, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. There could be more than 12 amendments considered to the bill today with votes occurring throughout the afternoon.
Committee work on legislation to expedite the approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline continues today with a Full Committee Markup of the legislation, H.R. 3 occurring this morning at 9AM. The legislation was marked up and approved by the Energy and Power Subcommittee yesterday afternoon by a vote of 17-9. The House Natural Resources also held a legislative hearing on H.R. 3 yesterday.
Other Items of interest:
Energy Development on Federal vs. Private Lands: Today at 10 AM, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “State Lands vs. Federal Lands Oil and Gas Production: What State Regulators are doing right.” Link
President Releases Implementation Plan for National Ocean Policy: President Obama released the final implementation plan for the National Ocean Policy and ocean zoning initiative on April 16th. Questions regarding the policy and how it could affect both commercial and recreational activities offshore have surrounded the policy since it was first proposed in 2009 and the Executive Order directing the creation of the implementation plan was issued in 2010. Additionally, repeated requests from Congress as to the groups involved and resources expended in preparing the implementation plan have been largely ignored for the last few years resulting in bipartisan efforts to prohibit funding until a full account of these activities is provided. A copy of the implementation plan can be viewed here.
New Freight Transportation Panel Established By House T&I Committee: The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure announced the members of a special panel tasked with examining the current state of freight transportation in the United States and how improving freight transportation can strengthen the U.S. economy. The full committee’s Vice Chairman, Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), will chair the “Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation.” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) will serve as the panel’s ranking member. By the rules of the Committee adopted at the beginning of the Congress, the special panel will serve for a period of six months, beginning with its first scheduled hearing on April 24, 2013.
DOE Announces New Investments in Nuclear Fuel Storage Research: The Energy Department announced a new dry storage research and development project led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The project will design and demonstrate dry storage cask technology for high burn-up spent nuclear fuels that have been removed from commercial nuclear power plants. The Department will invest $15.8 million over five years, with private industry contributing at least 20 percent of the total project cost.
EPW Minority Members Request Additional Transparency from McCarthy: Following the nomination hearing for Gina McCarthy to serves at the next Administrator of the EPA, Senator Vitter and other minority Members of the Committee submitted five additional requests for transparency to the nominee. The requests cover private e-mails, scientific data, CAA decisions, and the practice of setting environmental policies through legal settlements with anti-development groups. A copy of the letter with the requests can be viewed here.
EIA Begins Release of 2013 Energy Outlook Report: The Annual Energy Outlook will be released in stages between April 15th and May 2nd. The Preface, Market Trends, Legislative Analysis, and Comparisons to other outlooks were released on April 15th and the oil production trends and imports are expected out today. Copies of the available sections of the report can be found here.
Member of the Day: US Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA)