Hope you had a restful weekend because this week runs hot and heavy in Congress on energy legislation, fundamentally shaping the business and manufacturing climate. So, here we go, a quick summary of the hot and a fast review of the heavy ….
The Senate is back at 2 p.m. Monday, with a political tussle of a “no confidence” vote over Attorney General Albert Gonzales (S.J. Res 14).
And then, energy, energy, energy. Planned is a cloture vote on S. 1419, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act. The bill and amendments feature the critical energy issues of the year: market-distorting portfolio standards; ramped-up and unreasonable CAFE standards; “price-gouging” measures, i.e., price controls; Outer Continental Shelf development; some worthy coal-to-liquid conversation (and sequestration) incentives; and langugage on oil and gas royalties. Expect to see manufacturing-friendly amendments to the “price gouging” and CAFE provisions — More as the week progresses.
A non-energy hearing! Tuesday at 10 a.m. the Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing to examine trade enforcement for a 21st century economy. Details here.
Energy and appropriations are interconnected in the House, which meets today at 2 p.m. for legislative business. (No votes until the evening.) The House Natural Resources Committee returns to marking up H.R. 2337, the Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007. For “reform and revitalization” read “roll back important provisions of the 2005 Energy Policy Act.” NAM President Engler’s recent testimony on the bill is here.
The House has several appropriations bills on tap, including Energy and Water (mark-up summary here), and Interior and EPA (mark-up summary here.) Interior offers bad language to block access to the much-needed energy resources in Bristol Bay as well as to force renogotiation of royalty payment provisiosn in offshore oil and gas leases. Question: When is a contract not a contract? Answer….
Away from the Hill, the topic is…ENERGY. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman joins John Engler here at HQ at 11 a.m. Tuesday for a news conference announcing a Memorandum of Understanding with NAM to promote energy conservation. Lending a hand is Gary Veurink of Dow Chemical, who heads the NAM’s Energy Efficiency Ad Hoc Group. The DOE’s media advisory is here.
Another NAM-related news conference Thursday at 10 a.m., up on Capitol Hill, announcing the new legislative agenda forCoalition against Counterfeiting and Piracy. A powerhouse line-up, with the NAM’s Engler, Bruce Josten of the U.S. Chamber, Rick Cotton of NBC Universal, and Chris Singer for PhRMA.
President Bush returns to Washington tonight after his week in Europe. After the Gonzales vote, we’ll assuredly hear more about immigration this week. (Last week’s radio address on the topic is here. But did you see where the President met with small business owners in Albania? Worthy attention to free-market leaders in a former Communist hell-hole.
You can get to the House’s schedule for the week as a .pdf file by clicking here.
Otherwise, the schedule of Senate committee hearings is available here.