FOSSIL FUELS

Administration Unveils National Arctic Strategy

The National Strategy for the Arctic Region intends to position the U.S. to respond to challenges and economic opportunities in the Arctic, prioritizing security, responsible resource development, and cooperation with other Arctic nations.   On May 10, 2013, the White House unveiled the “National Strategy for the Arctic Region,” outlining the administration’s priorities to manage…...

FRAC Act Reintroduced as Bipartisan Bill

The FRAC Act is reintroduced to implement federal level regulations to protect groundwater resources from potential risks associated with hydraulic fracturing. On May 9, 2013, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) reintroduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act, a bill first proposed by DeGette in 2008.  The 2013 version signifies a…...

Taxation Group Report Outlines Energy Tax Reform Proposals

Energy tax reform proposals released by the House Ways and Means Committee outline potential modifications to federal tax code for fossil fuel production, renewable energy tax credits, and energy efficiency provisions. On May 6, 2013, the House Ways and Means Committee released the Joint Committee on Taxation report detailing tax reform suggestions to 11 Tax…...

Senators Seek GAO Investigation of Nuclear Research Program Costs

Senators have sought GAO investigation of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor research program, in view of the constrained budget environment that could cut funding for U.S. fusion energy programs. On May 3, 2013, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) wrote to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) seeking information…...

Bill to Expand Master Limited Partnerships to Renewable Energy Projects

The revised Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act would allow renewable energy projects to access financing and tax advantages that are currently available only to fossil fuel energy projects. On April 24, 2013, a group led by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced an expanded version of the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act introduced in 2012 to…...

EPA Proposes Water Pollution Standards for Steam Electric Power Plants

EPA’s proposed standards to limit toxic waste disposal from steam electric power plants mainly target coal and other fossil fuel-fired plants. On April 19, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed water pollution regulations for steam-electric power plants, which currently account for more than 50% of pollutants discharged into American waterways from U.S. regulated industrial…...

Alaska Legislature Passes Oil Tax Reform Bill

Alaska’s legislature gives final approval to a bill designed to reform the state’s oil tax structure with significant tax cuts aimed to spur production and new investment. On April 14, 2013, Alaska’s Legislature passed Senate Bill 21, an oil-tax reform bill aimed to encourage industry production and investment.  The approval came on the final day…...

U.S. and China Launch Joint Initiative to Fight Climate Change

U.S. and China have committed to take cooperative action to combat climate change using practical emissions reduction measures and low-carbon initiatives, setting a powerful example to the rest of the world. On April 13, 2013, the U.S. State Department announced the U.S. and China will launch a Climate Change Working Group, recognizing the need for…...

FY 2014 Budget Proposal: Significant Investment in Clean Energy Development

In his FY 2014 budget proposal, President Obama increases spending on clean energy development, seeking to expedite R&D and boost cost-competitiveness and deployment of clean energy technologies.   President Barack Obama’s FY2014 budget plan released on April 10, 2013, proposes increases in spending for clean energy production and deployment.  The budget aims to support cost-competitiveness…...

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Plans Natural Gas Forums

The Senate Energy Committee’s natural gas forums, scheduled for May 2013, will assess several issues surrounding natural gas development to ensure that upcoming policies will maximize economic benefits while maintaining environmental safety.    On April 3, 2013, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced the…...