Washington Energy Update: Week of November 26, 2012

Congress reconvenes this week after a week-long Thanksgiving break. Lawmakers will continue budget negotiations and consider other legislation this week, including a bill in the House that could affect energy research and development by targeting science, technology, engineering and math experts in a new immigration visa. Lawmakers also raised the importance of legislation enhancing cyber...

Shape of the President’s Energy Agenda in the Second Term

With the election over, President Obama’s energy priorities will emerge as new rules and regulations are finalized under existing law. The balance of power in Washington is the same as it was prior to the elections– President Barack Obama will serve another four years and Congress will continue to be divided with a Democrat-controlled Senate...

Energy Industry Anticipations in the Wake of Obama’s Re-election

Under President Obama’s second term, energy industry officials and analysts are keen on the Administration’s priorities for the energy sector, envisioning regulatory reforms and policies to advance the nation’s energy and economic security.  Key areas to watch include Keystone XL Pipeline talks, recognizing the primacy of states in regulating oil and natural gas development, and...

Look Ahead at Congress: Effects of Sequestration on the Energy Industry

Sequestration refers to a package of automatic $1.2 trillion across-the-board spending cuts that is a part of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA), passed in August 2011.  The spending cuts would affect some 1200 government programs, including those that fund energy research and development initiatives. The cuts are scheduled to begin on January 2, 2013...

MIT Study: Applying Carbon Tax Can Relieve US Budget Deficit

According to a report released by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on August 27, 2012, applying a carbon tax at the rate of $20 per ton in 2013 and increasing it by four percent per year can raise $1.5 trillion over a span of 10 years.  The report, which comes at a time when Congress...

Expert Review Committee to Assess Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant

According to an announcement from the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Secretary Steven Chu convened a group of technical experts on August 2, 2012 to review the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) at Hanford Site, in order to assess its capability to detect and rectify equipment failure inside the plant’s black cells.  Due to high levels...