Legislative Activity

Energy Efficiency

The “Shaheen-Portman” bill (S. 761) is expected to be considered on the Senate floor this week. Senate leaders are working to reach an agreement on amendments, some of which would be controversial (e.g., expedited approval of the Keystone XL pipeline).

Natural Gas

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced his policy priorities to “maximize the advantages of America’s natural gas boom,” which include: accelerating pipeline development while reducing methane leaks, incentivizing usage as a transportation fuel, clarifying the export process, and improving public transparency in the production process.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, July 30: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a legislative hearing on the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013 (S. 1240).
  • Wednesday, July 31: A House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) strategy for the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and waste.

Regulatory Activity

Offshore Wind

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a final sale notice for commercial wind power leasing off the coast of Virginia. An auction will be held       September 4.

Fossil Fuel Loans

DOE’s Loan Programs Office will hold a series of public meetings in coming weeks to receive comments on the draft Advanced Fossil Energy Projects federal funding solicitation.

FERC Standards

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed approving a revised Reliability Standard to supersede four existing standards (Transmission and Generation Protection System Maintenance and Testing, Underfrequency Load Shedding Equipment Maintenance, Undervoltage Load Shedding Equipment Maintenance, and Special Protection System Maintenance and Testing). Comments are due September 23. This week, FERC is also expected to (1) issue a final rule approving revisions to the Modeling, Data, and Analysis Reliability Standard; and (2) issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to approve the Frequency Response and Frequency Bias Setting Reliability Standard.

FERC Technical Conference

Staff will host a September 25 technical conference in Washington, D.C. to consider how current centralized capacity market rules and structures are supporting the procurement and retention of resources necessary to meet future reliability and operational needs.