• On March 12, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and six other senators introduced S. 545, the Hydropower Improvement Act. The bipartisan bill would expedite the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) licensing process for small-scale hydroelectric projects that are considered to have a low impact on the environment. Similar legislation, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (H.R. 267), passed the House on February 13 by a unanimous vote.
  • On the same day, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and eight other senators introduced S. 552, a bill to replace the current Department of Energy (DOE) requirement for a biennial energy policy plan with a Quadrennial Energy Review.
  • On the same day, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced S. 558, a bill to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from providing Clean Air Act grants to foreign countries. Rep Ed Whitefield (R-KY) has introduced similar legislation (H.R. 959) in the House.
  • On the same day, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) introduced the Solar Energy Deployment Act of 2013 (H.R. 1107) to provide funding for state and local governments to install solar energy systems. The bill allows the Secretary of Energy to award grants to governments for the installation of solar equipment on roofs and parking structures. The bill gives broad authority to the Secretary to distribute funding based on need and capability of the state or local government.
  • On the same day, Rep. Matsui (D-CA) along with five of her Democratic colleagues introduced the Small Business Clean Energy Financing Act of 2013 (H.R. 1138) to help small businesses in the clean energy sector gain access to financing. The bill would create a loan program within the Small Business Administration that would guarantee loans to clean energy technology manufacturers. The bill would not authorize new funds for the clean energy sector under the SBA, but rather allow the SBA to utilize its budget to help clean energy businesses more.
  • On March 13, Rep. Lamborn (R-CO) reintroduced legislation (H.R. 1063) that would require the Secretary of the Interior to produce an assessment of the current and future needs of the United States in regards to critical minerals. The bill intends to increase agricultural competitiveness, manufacturing capabilities, and economic and national security. The bill comes as a response to increased calls for energy independence and utilizes a diverse range of natural resources for the end of independence and security.
  • On that same day, Rep Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and 13 of his Republican colleagues in the House introduced, H.R. 1065, a bill to reduce the federal tax on fuels by the amount of any increase in the rate if tax on such fuel by the states.
  • On March 14, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced S. 570, the Clean Energy Race to the Top Act. The bill would establish a $5 billion competitive grant program for states and local governments to work with local energy businesses to utilize clean energy and reduce carbon pollution. Under the bill, states, local governments, and private-public partnerships would be able to apply for grants to develop clean energy and carbon reduction measures.
  • On that same day, Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and 15 other senators introduced S. 582, a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline in an attempt to spur the project forward. The bill calls for a timetable from the administration regarding the construction of the project. The bill enjoys significant bipartisan support with seven Republicans and eight Democrats joining as original co-sponsors.
  • On the same day, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and 37 of his Democratic House colleagues introduced H.R. 1154, the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE). The BREATHE Act would eliminate the exemptions for aggregation of emissions from oil and gas sources under the Clean Air Act.
  • Also on March 14, Rep. Calvert (R-CA) introduced the Maximize Offshore Resource Exploration Act (H.R. 1165) which calls for the termination of Federal prohibitions on the production of offshore oil and gas resources. The MORE Act would provide states with 75 percent of the royalties for oil and gas production beyond 25 miles off the coastline and the Treasury would get the remaining 25 percent. Inside 25 miles, the states would receive up to 90 percent of the royalties.
  • On the same day, Rep Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced H.R. 1189, a bill that would place a moratorium on U.S. oil and natural gas imports.
  • On the same day Rep. Ed Markey and Rush Holt introduced two other bills (H.R. 1190 and H.R. 1191) that would limit the Department of Interior’s ability to accept new bids on new oil and gas leases of Federal lands.
  • On March 15, Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) introduced H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, which approves the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline, and states that there is no requirement for a presidential permit for the pipeline. The bill has 83 cosponsors.