This past week was very busy for energy and environment issues both on and off Capitol Hill. As we reported last week, Sen. Coons introduced the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act (S. 795) on Wednesday. The following day, members of the Senate Finance Committee had their weekly, bipartisan meeting on tax reform; this past week’s meeting focused on energy policy. While no details of the discussion have been released, the Committee put out an options paper outlining measures it could potentially consider. The same day, several senators circulated a discussion draft of a bill on nuclear waste management. Off the Hill, the IRS released, as anticipated, updated guidance on Thursday on the definition of under construction for the production and investment tax credits. Additional information on all of these issues has been attached.
In addition, Congress has moved forward on a few issues while stalling on others. House Natural Resources Committee favorably reported H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, out of committee. Republican leaders hope to vote on the bill on the House floor before the Memorial Day break. Meanwhile, in the Senate, the nominations of Dr. Ernest Moniz to be Energy Secretary and of Gina McCarthy to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator have been stalled. Moniz’s nomination, which was expected by some to be voted on the Senate floor this past week, was delayed due to a hold placed on the nomination by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will likely vote on McCarthy’s nomination when Congress returns from its week long recess.