Legislative Activity

Senate Floor Consideration of Comprehensive Energy Bill

The Senate has been trying to conclude its floor consideration of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016. Last week, a motion to invoke cloture was offered but the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to end debate on the bill. Democrats refused to bring the debate to an end because they and the Republicans have not yet agreed upon how to address the Flint, Michigan water crisis – for which the two Michigan Senators are requesting funding as an amendment to the bill. We expect the Senate to continue its floor consideration of the bill until at least mid-week, when the chamber could turn to legislation concerning North Korea sanctions.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • On Tuesday, February 9, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, will hold an oversight hearing titled “Federal Interactions with State Management of Fish and Wildlife.”
  • On Wednesday, February 10, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold an oversight hearing titled “The Importance of Enacting a New Water Resources Development Act” (WRDA).  This follows on the heels of last week’s activities by the House which held a WRDA roundtable by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, discussing the potential to pass a bill this year. WRDA authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain, and construct flood protection, commercial navigation, and aquatic ecosystem restoration projects.
  • On Wednesday, February 10, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans, will hold a hearing to consider federal statutes governing “Endangered Fish Species”.

Regulatory Activity

Deepwater Horizon

The Department of the Interior has announced the availability of its report titled, “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Final Phase V Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment.” The report outlines the first phase of the approved Florida Coastal Access Project, with an estimated cost of more than $34 million.