Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) introduced legislation (H.R. 3404) November 14 to establish in the Department of Interior an Under Secretary of Energy, Lands, and Minerals, and a Bureau of Ocean Energy, an Ocean Energy Safety Service, and an Office of Natural Resources Revenue.  

Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) introduced the PIONEERS Act (H.R. 3408) the same day. The Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act would direct the Secretary of Interior to issue additional commercial leases and Research, Development, and Demonstration leases and make oil shale regulations permanent, allowing the production of 1.5 trillion barrels of U.S. oil shale.

Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced legislation (H.R. 3410) to require the administration to lease offshore areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) plans to include the legislation in his American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7) soon.

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced legislation (S. 1863) November 15 to promote natural gas vehicles. The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 would boost domestic production of vehicles that run on natural gas, extending tax credits for natural gas vehicles and building refueling infrastructure, and would be paid for by a temporary user fee on natural gas used as a vehicle fuel.  

Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced legislation (H.R. 3424) to establish a program under which the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator shall provide grants to eligible state consortia to establish and carry out municipal sustainability certification programs.  

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced legislation (H.R. 3431) to amend the Clean Air Act to require that the Environmental Protection Agency certify that all new fuels will not only lead to emissions decreases, but also not reduce fuel efficiency or damage engines.  

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced climate change adaptation legislation (S. 1881) November 16. The Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment Act would require federal natural resource agencies to plan for their projected long-term effects of climate change, and encourage states to prepare natural resources adaptation plans; it would also create a science advisory board to ensure that the planning uses the best available science.  

Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) were joined by several of their House Natural Resource Committee colleagues in introducing the Fair Payment for Energy and Mineral Production on Public Lands Act (H.R. 3446). The bill also would recover $19 billion from oil, gas, and mining companies for deficit reduction or transportation infrastructure spending by ensuring that they are paying a fair price to use public resources. The bill would require payments for unused leases and fees to cover the cost of mandatory government inspections.  

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) introduced the Stop Green Initiative Abuse Act of 2011 (H.R. 3441). The legislation would eliminate the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, saving $2.1 billion over the next ten years.  

Representative Don Young (D-AK) introduced the Fine Act of 2011 (H.R. 3450). The legislation would require the Environmental Protection Agency to use the money it collects from fines on government entities or private industry for community grant programs to aid communities in funding projects to comply with EPA regulations. The legislation would also prohibit any agency funds from being used to fund programs or activities outside the country.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced Buy American legislation November 17 with the support of Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). On a related note, Senator Schumer is soon to add an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act on Buy American for solar photovoltaics.