Legislative Action

Future of House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Committee favorably reported its $37.4 billion Energy and Water Appropriations bill on April 19 by voice vote. With the House having not yet adopted a budget resolution, the bill cannot be considered on the floor until mid-May. With the Senate having passed its $37.5 billion Energy and Water Appropriations bill last week by an overwhelmingly strong bipartisan vote of 90-8, there could be pressure on the House to take its bill. According to House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID), the week before the Memorial Day recess or the week after are potential dates for floor action.

This Week’s Hearings

OCS

  • Thursday, May 19:  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. 

Nuclear

  • Tuesday, May 17:  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing regarding the status of advanced nuclear technologies.

Oceans

  • Tuesday, May 17:  The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing titled “The Implications of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy.”

Regulatory Action

Pipeline Safety

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) has announced that it will extend its comment period on its proposed rulemaking titled: ‘‘Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines.” The agency seeks comments on “changes to pipeline safety regulations for gas transmission and gathering pipelines.” PHSMA is extending the comment period from June 7 to July 7.

Air Emissions and Site Remediation

EPA has issued a proposed rule, in addition to a notice of reconsideration of a final rule, concerning air pollution emissions due to site remediation activities that had been previously exempted. Comments are due June 27.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed revisions to its Mitigation Policy to take account for environmental changes since 1981, “including loss of habitats, effects of climate change, and advances in conservation science.” The draft plan includes a landscape-wide or “umbrella” approach to conservation. According to the agency, “the revised policy integrates all authorities that allow the Service to recommend or require mitigation of impacts to federal trust fish and wildlife resources, and other resources….” USFWS is reopening its comment period that had originally closed on May 9 and will accept comments on the draft until June 13.