Executive Branch Activity

Last Friday, President Trump signed an executive order (EO) directing the Department of the Interior to review and potentially rewrite the Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Final Program for the years 2017 to 2022 to include provisions for oil and gas development in the Arctic and the Atlantic. The current five-year plan, put forth by the Obama Administration, allows the Department of the Interior to hold only those lease sales that are on the schedule, unless the plan is rewritten to include additional leases. The existing plan includes 10 leases in the Gulf of Mexico but does not permit drilling in the Arctic or Atlantic oceans. The EO also orders the Department of Commerce to review marine sanctuaries that were created or expanded in the last 10 years under the Antiquities Act and to report its finding the White House within three months.

Legislative Activity

  • On Tuesday, May 2, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands, will hold an oversight hearing titled “The Consequences of Executive Branch Overreach of the Antiquities Act.”
  • On Tuesday, May 2, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing to examine federal payments to local governments provided through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program. The legislation proposes to provide increased fiscal certainty for resource-dependent communities with tax-exempt federal lands.
  • On Wednesday, May 3, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy, will hold a hearing to examine ten pieces of legislation addressing pipeline and hydropower infrastructure modernization.
  • On Wednesday, May 3, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans, will hold an oversight hearing titled “The Challenges of Keeping Hydropower Affordable and Opportunities for New Development.”
  • On Wednesday, May 3, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Energy, will hold a hearing titled “Oil and Gas Technology Innovation.”
  • On Wednesday, May 3, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing titled “Infrastructure Project Streamlining and Efficiency: Achieving Faster, Better, and Cheaper Results.”
  • On Thursday, May 4, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing to examine potential threats posed by electromagnetic pulse and policy options to protect the electricity grid.

Regulatory Activity

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW) will hold a listening session on Tuesday, May 2 to receive input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified by the agency. This listening session follows President Trump’s February 24 executive order (EO) 13777 titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” which calls for each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate and identify existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified. EPA’s OW is soliciting comments on water actions only and individuals must preregister here to verbally submit comments during the call. Individuals who are interested in listening to the web conference can sign in here before the call and preregistration is not required. Those who are unable to join the call can still submit written comments through May 15, 2017 at EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190.

The Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, will hold a meeting open to the public on June 2. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide advice to the DOE and to the National Science Foundation (NSF) on basic nuclear science research priorities.

National Forest Planning Rule

The Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service will hold a meeting open to the public on May 9 concerning the implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule.