Executive Action

USDA Secretary-Nominee Perdue Confirms Support for RFS

During last week’s Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry’s confirmation hearing for former Governor Sonny Perdue to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), lawmakers questioned Perdue on his support for various programs affecting the agricultural sector, rural communities, and conservation efforts. Of particular note, when questioned by several members, Perdue indicated he will support and advocate for the Renewable Fuels Standard program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Legislative Action

This Week’s Hearings:

  • On Tuesday, March 28, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, will hold a hearing titled “Endangered Species Act (ESA) Consultation Impediments to Economic and Infrastructure Development.”
  • On Tuesday, March 28, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, will hold a hearing titled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Revitalizing American Communities through the Brownfields Program.”
  • On Tuesday, March 28, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing titled “Prioritizing Basic Research at the Department of Energy.”
  • On Tuesday, March 28, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing to “examine the United States’ increasing dependence on foreign sources of minerals and opportunities to rebuild and improve the supply chain in the United States.”
  • On Tuesday, March 28, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy, will hold a hearing to “examine the cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid and technology advancements to minimize such threats and to receive testimony on the “Securing Energy Infrastructure Act.” The Securing Energy and Infrastructure Act (S. 79) would establish a pilot program to identify security vulnerabilities of different entities in the energy sector.
  • On Tuesday, March 28, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, will hold a hearing to consider: a bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide for technical assistance for small treatment works (S.518); and the “Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act of 2017” (S. 692) which would promote green infrastructure.
  • On Wednesday, March 29, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy, will hold a hearing titled “Federal Energy Related Tax Policy and its Effects on Markets, Prices, and Consumers.”
  • On Wednesday, March 29, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing titled “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method.”
  • On Wednesday, March 29, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing titled “Cleaning up our Nation’s Cold War Legacy Sites.”

Regulatory Action

NOAA’s Marine Panel

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soliciting nominations for its Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP). The NOAA Administrator is seeking individuals with expertise in the following areas: “marine navigation and technology, port administration, marine shipping or other intermodal transportation industries, cartography and geographic information systems, geodesy, physical oceanography, coastal resource management, including coastal preparedness and emergency response, and other related fields.” Posts will begin January 1, 2018. Nominations will be accepted until May 30.