I cannot start today without a mention of the Winter Olympics. I just love all the personal stories and herculean efforts. While there were many ups (X Games-type events) and downs (men’s hockey, figure skating), my top three US moments were 1) Women’s Hockey Gold; 2) Jessie Diggins epic gold medal final sprint in the X-country Sprint relay and 3) the surprise US Men’s Curling Gold. And overall, how amazing is Norway’s almost 38-year old cross country skier/mom Marit Bjoergen who won five medals, including two golds, becoming the most decorated career Winter Olympian ever with 15 medals. And how about Czech skier/snowboarder Ester Ledecka, who is the first competitor to win Golds on each.
Congress returns today with focus on gun control issues, infrastructure and budget/dreamers (underscored by this morning’s SCOTUS decision). No votes on Wednesday and Thursday as Rev. Billy Graham – who passed away last week – will lie in The Capitol for a public viewing.
On the environment/energy front, tomorrow morning House Energy handles energy infrastructure and House Oversight hears from Govs Hebert, Martinez and Otter on Federalism, while in the afternoon, House Resources looks at LNG exports with our friend Chris Smith of Cheniere. On Wednesday, the House Energy Committee’s oversight panel will examine the state of Puerto Rico’s electric grid rebuilding after Hurricane Maria, while Senate Energy digs into energy legislation including one that promotes smaller hydropower projects supported by Clearpath’s Rich Powell who cited the “enormous potential in these projects to provide clean and reliable power.” Finally, Thursday the Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on rebuilding infrastructure featuring Transportation Sect Chao, while Senate energy looks at cybersecurity on energy infrastructure.
And if you are headed to the Senate side any way Thursday, you should come to the other big infrastructure event: the Bracewell infrastructure symposium in 902 Hart which starts at 8:30 a.m. Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Will Hurd will lead off the discussion, followed by panels of experts including the White House’s Paul Teller, CEQ’s Alex Hergott, INGAA’s Don Santa, House T&I staff Chris Vieson and DOT’s Jim Wray.
Today is the deadline for comments to be filed on repeal of the Clean Power Plan, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Meanwhile, Wednesday the CPP repeal gets its second additional hearing in San Francisco. I expect that our friends in the enviro community will go all out for this one.
Finally, if you have been watching the ethanol debate lately, you’ll have noticed a lot of action. And again, the temp ramps up tomorrow when Sens. Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst head to the White House to meet with President Trump, EPA’s Scott Pruitt and USDA’s Sonny Perdue. They are trying to solve tensions over the RFS’s RINs program. Reports say Pruitt/Perdue will propose capping the price of biofuel credits, a year-round waiver for the sale of 15% ethanol, the creation of credits for exported ethanol and new transparency measures hoping to reduce speculators trading in the program.
We are all over it. See you on Thursday and call with questions. Best,
1. (202) 997-5932