Legislative Action

Senate Energy Policy Modernization Act

As a result of continued opposition to the Flint water funding package and an off-shore oil revenue amendment, the Senate continues to remain in a holding pattern on floor action for S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016.

Renewables in FAA Reauthorization

The Senate prepares for a possible vote on the FAA Reauthorization bill next week, which likely will include amendments to extend tax credits to support biomass, geothermal energy, and carbon capture.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • On Tuesday, April 12, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Waste, Superfund, and Oversight Management, will hold a hearing titled “American Small Businesses’ Perspectives on Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Actions.” The Subcommittee will hear testimony from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation, among others.
  • On Wednesday, April 13, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Role of Environmental Policies on Access to Energy and Economic Opportunity.” The hearing will examine the impact of the Obama Administration’s climate policies.
  • On Wednesday, April 13, the House Committee on Agriculture will hold a hearing titled “Energy and the Rural Economy: The Impacts of Oil and Gas Production.”
  • On Wednesday, April 13, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled “Flint Water Crisis: Impacts and Lessons Learned.” The Committee will hear testimony from the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as others. During the hearing, the Committee aims to assess the ongoing drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, seek additional information concerning drinking water infrastructure issues, and examine public health implications caused by the crisis.
  • On Wednesday, April 13, the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans, will hold a hearing titled “Empowering States and Western Water Users Through Regulatory and Administrative Reforms.”
  • On Thursday, April 14, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining, will hold an oversight hearing to receive testimony on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule, entitled “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resources Conservation.”
  • On Thursday, April 14, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, will hold a hearing to discuss the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 (H.R. 4775). The bill addresses implementation issues for states under the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards Program.

Regulatory Action

Methane Regulations

As we last reported, the EPA had announced its intention to begin drafting proposed rules to limit methane leaks from oil and gas drilling sites. The EPA continues to work on this rule, with Administrator Gina McCarthy stating last week that the agency needs an accurate reporting of methane emissions from entities in order to move forward with the rule. She emphasized that “The [EPA’s] information request is really a requirement for oil and gas companies to do specific testing that will allow us to understand the emissions better.” Administrator McCarthy also suggested the proposed rule may capture new sources of methane emissions, noting that “…we think there’s more information that indicates that there are some sources that we may not have yet addressed.”