Executive Branch Activity

U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have announced an unprecedented effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The target for the United States is to cut its GHG emissions by 26-28 percent below year-2005 levels by 2025. China is expected to increase its share of non-fossil fuels in energy consumption to 20 percent by 2030. The announcement also presumes a decrease in China’s CO2 emissions after 2030, when China is expected to reach its peak emissions.

Legislative Activity

Natural Resources Ownership

Potentially impacting an entire supply chain of natural resources, on Thursday, November 20, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, will begin a two-day hearing titled, “Wall Street Bank Involvement With Physical Commodities.” The hearing will investigate “the extent to which banks and their holding companies own physical commodities” including “oil, natural gas, aluminum and other industrial metals, as well as own or control businesses like power plants, oil and gas pipelines, and commodity warehouses.”

Natural Disaster Tax Implications

On Tuesday, November 18, the Senate Finance Committee, Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, will hold a hearing titled, “Tax Relief after a Disaster: How Individuals, Small Businesses, and Communities Recover.”

Cyanotoxins

On Wednesday, November 19, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, will hold a hearing titled “Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water.” The hearing will examine the lethal effects of cyanotoxins, a by-product of blue-green algae, that can cause respiratory failure.

Regulatory Activity

Hydrogen Fueling for Fuel Cell Vehicles

On Tuesday, November 18, the Department of Energy will hold a webinar addressing hydrogen fueling infrastructure research and station technology. Emphasis will be on creating for fuel cell vehicle customers an experience similar to utilizing conventional gas stations with the expectation that more fuel cell vehicles will soon be on the market.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program

On Thursday, November 20, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture will hold a webinar titled “Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program” (EECLP). This will be the first in series and will provide an overview of the Rural Utilities Service’s new loan program.