House Passes Water Resources Reform and Development Act
Last week, the House passed its Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which provides federal funding for water and water-related infrastructure projects. The Senate passed its Water Resources and Development Act legislation in March. A conference committee will now be appointed to work out differences between the House and Senate bills. Congress last passed a WRDA bill in 2007.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Tuesday, October 29: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water and Power, will hold an oversight hearing titled “A Roadmap for Increasing our Water and Hydropower Supplies: The Need for New or Expanded Multi-Purpose Surface Storage Facilities.”
- Tuesday, October 29: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, will hold an oversight hearing concerning federal land management agencies.
- Tuesday, October 29: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Energy, will hold a joint hearing titled “EPA Power Plant Regulations: Is the Technology Ready?”
- Tuesday, October 29: The House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “EPA’s Regulatory Threat to Affordable, Reliable Energy: The Perspective of Coal Communities.”
EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data from Large Facilities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its annual greenhouse gas data detailing carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA has organized the data according to industrial sector, greenhouse gas, geographic region, and individual facility. The data show a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
U.S. Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis
The U.S. Department of Energy has released a 2013 report documenting the progression of off-shore wind energy in the United States. The report highlights two completed commercial lease auctions for federal Wind Energy Areas and 11 other commercial-scale projects in the United States. The report also discusses a global trend toward developing offshore in deeper waters that can use larger, more efficient turbines. The report especially highlights that delayed federal permitting is a hindering factor to the renewable energy sector, noting that:
“The main challenges faced by U.S. offshore wind developers are cost-competitiveness, a lack of infrastructure such as offshore transmission and purpose-built ports and vessels, and uncertain and lengthy regulatory processes.”