Legislative Action

Senate Energy Policy Modernization Act

While there is interest in resuming Senate floor consideration of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 this week, the bill continues to be held up largely by Democrats led by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) due to the lack of agreement as to how to address the Flint, Michigan water crisis – for which funding is being requested in the bill.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • On Wednesday, February 24, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, will review the Army Corps of Engineers’ reports to Congress on future water resources development projects. The projects could potentially be funded this year should Congress decide to pass the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA).
  • On Thursday, February 25, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, will hold a hearing to consider the reauthorization of the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline Safety Program. The Committee will hear testimony from the American Gas Association, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, among others. The Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Marie Therese Dominguez, will also provide testimony.
  • On Tuesday, February 23, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Department of the Interior’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2017.
  • On Wednesday, February 24, the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, will hold a hearing to evaluate environmental mitigation regulations put forth by the Obama Administration.
  • On Wednesday, February 24, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard.
  • On Wednesday, February 24, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, will hold a hearing to examine management and accountability of the Department of Energy’s National Labs.

Regulatory Action

Deepwater Horizon – Plan Released

The Department of Commerce has released a restoration plan for the Gulf of Mexico in response to Deepwater Horizon. The “Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement” assesses the damage of the oil spill on natural resources in the Gulf and the restoration needed. Once the settlement is final, under the plan BP would pay up to $8.8 billion for natural resource injuries over the next 15 years.

Petroleum Refineries

EPA has issued a proposed rule to amend the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Refinery regulations and New Source Performance Standards(NSPS) for petroleum refineries. The amendments largely focus on standards that apply during startup, shutdown, maintenance or inspection operations for refineries.  Comments are due March 25.