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Catherine Treadwell Perry, J.D., Director of Government Relations
|President Trump Signs Executive Orders to Promote Energy Infrastructure, Could This Mean More Sales for ASA Members
It is no secret that President Trump’s agenda includes infrastructure. On April 10, 2019. President Trump signed into law two Executive Orders on Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth. More energy infrastructure and economic growth could mean more sales for ASA members, specifically to the Industrial Pipe Division.
The Executive Orders are meant to ensure that the United States reaches its full energy potential. The Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry stated, “America has become the world’s top producer of energy, and the President is committed to expanding this growth into the future, These Executive Orders implement a comprehensive whole-of-government approach to streamline the development of necessary energy infrastructure projects and reduce existing barriers to achieving that goal.”
Under President Trump’s Executive Orders, the Department of Energy is directed to do the following, work in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, to submit a report to the President, regarding the impacts of current limitations on the export of coal, oil, natural gas, and other domestic energy recourses through the west coast of the United States; work in consultation with the heads of other agencies to submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, describing opportunities through the Federal Government or otherwise, to promote economic growth of petrochemical and other industries. This report also shall assess methods for diversifying the Appalachian economy and promoting workforce development; and finally, work in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation to submit a report to the President regarding the economic and other effects caused by inability to transport sufficient quantities of natural gas and other domestic energy resources to the New England states and, as the Secretary of Transportation deems appropriate, to the states in other regions of the nation. The report shall assess whether and to what extent, state, local, and tribal, or territorial actions have contributed to such effects.
The Executive Orders address issues that have been burdensome on energy infrastructure and help streamline the Federal processes for energy infrastructure development. This starts with addressing energy supply issues and to help promote a better energy market. This includes addressing barriers that have previously been burdensome to financing new energy infrastructure projects. The Orders also address permit barriers and directs the EPA to make it harder for states to block energy infrastructure projects, which the EPA is already working to resolve
Overall the Executive Orders are geared to promote an efficient domestic energy market that creates jobs and provides affordable reliable energy to consumers. This includes making the ability to transport energy resources more reliable and officiant.
This is step in the right direction for energy infrastructure and ASA is pleased to see these Executive Orders signed into law. You can find more on the Executive Orders here.
In other news, thank you to everyone who has taken action on the DRIVE SAFE grassroots campaign. The response has been excellent and we have decided to extend the end date.. If you have not already done so, please click here to let Congress know that we support the DRIVE SAFE ACT.
The ASA Advocacy Team is your voice on the Hill and in D.C. Please contact Catherine Treadwell Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org with what legislative or regulatory issues are effecting you and your company.
- The Environmental Protection Agency started working "in advance" on a proposal responding to President Donald Trump's executive orders directing the agency to make it harder for states to block energy infrastructure projects, and the agency intends to issue a proposal "soon," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The agency will not prevent states from vetoing projects but will clarify the scope and length of states' reviews, Wheeler said. (Reuters)
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Democratic majority will investigate whether Environmental Protection Agency officials broke ethics guidelines by working to ease air pollution rules to benefit former utility clients at lobbying firm Hunton Andrews Kurth, where EPA air chief Bill Wehrum and the air office's senior counsel David Harlow previously worked. The lawmakers want records of contact between utilities, Hunton and EPA officials and clarity over whether the utilities used customer money to pay lobbying fees. (Politico)
- President Donald Trump is expected to sign two executive orders today near Houston, Texas, that are designed to speed up pipeline projects. One order will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to update guidance under the Clean Water Act that has let some states obstruct projects, including pipelines, while a second order will limit environmental reviews for pipelines that cross an international border. (The Wall Street Journal)
- The Environmental Protection Agency reopened a regulatory comment period on whether to reveal which oil refiners applied for waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard's biofuel blending requirements. The move is considered a victory for ethanol advocates that have said the waiver program is insufficiently transparent. (Reuters)
- The Trump administration proposed $11 billion of tariffs on goods from the European Union citing the bloc's subsidies for European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, a Boeing rival. The United States has been in litigation at the World Trade Organization over Airbus subsidies since 2004, and the list of proposed tariffs comes as it anticipates a ruling soon from the WTO. (The Wall Street Journal)
- California Rep. Eric Swalwell formally announced his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination on CBS' "Late Show with Stephen Colbert." The four-term lawmaker is the 18th candidate to join the crowded race, and plans to stand apart by making gun control a central focus of his campaign. (Los Angeles Times)
- Gregory Craig, a White House counsel for former President Barack Obama, was indicted for lying to federal officials examining whether he should have registered as a foreign lobbyist for work he did for the Ukrainian government in 2012. The charges stem from his professional relationship with lobbyist and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who pleaded guilty last year to charges related to his own Ukraine work. (The Washington Post)
- In a 56-41 vote, the Senate confirmed acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to permanently lead the department. Democrats have raised concerns that Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, has used his federal position to benefit former industry clients, while he says he has complied with all ethics laws and rules. (The Associated Press)
- Attorney General William Barr told Congress he expects to release a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and possible ties to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign "within a week." The nearly 400-page report is being scoured to redact sensitive information and secret grand jury testimony, and Barr told lawmakers he could be open to releasing some redacted details to Congress but that he did not plan to ask a court for permission to release the grand jury information. ( The Associated Press)
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. is ready to apply new sanctions on Venezuela's leadership as it continues to pressure Nicolas Maduro to step aside and allow new elections to be held. Pompeo, ending a three-day visit to South America, said 3.4 million Venezuelans have fled the country and that the number may reach 5 million by year-end. (Bloomberg)
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a presidential candidate, is proposing a 7 percent tax on corporate profits above $100 million each year, in addition to the current income tax. The plan is estimated to boost corporate tax collections by around 30 percent in the next 10 years and would raise about $1 trillion. (The Wall Street Journal)
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced his new "Medicare for All" bill with the support of 14 co-sponsors, including 2020 presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). The bill would implement a full single-payer system, eliminate the private insurance market and include coverage for care not currently covered by Medicare, such as dental, vision and long-term care. (The Hill)
- ASA’s DRIVE SAFE grassroots campaign has been extended! Please click here to let Congress know that you support the DRIVE SAFE ACT.
- House and Senate are not in session
| || NEWS FROM STATE AND LOCAL |
Updates on Activity Being Tracked
- Illinois HB 3658 (101st) APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY STANDARDS – HB 3658 has been referred to the Rules Committee. ASA commented on this bill and raised concern about the compliance date being based a “sell date” and not a “manufactured date”. We have started a grass roots campaign for those distributing plumbing products in Illinois to contact their local representative letting them know about our opposition. For those having facilities in Illinois you can learn more AND TAKE ACTION by clicking here.
- Colorado HB 19-1231 (2019A) New Appliance Energy and Water Efficiency Standards – approved by House with no amendments; introduced in Senate – Assigned to Transportation and Energy Committee. ASA submitted comments on the proposed bill and has expressed concern that the bill is need clarity to ensure it is understood that companies within the State can sell products not complying with the new legislation to entities outside the State. ASA members with facilities in Colorado have been contacted asking them to contact their local representatives.
No new activity this week.
The Wall Street Journal
The Trump administration moved Monday toward imposing tariffs on about $11 billion in imports from the European Union, saying the move was justified by the bloc’s subsidies for European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
The U.S. has been in litigation at the World Trade Organization over Airbus subsidies since 2004, and said it was releasing a list of items proposed for tariffs in anticipation of a ruling soon from the WTO.
The Associated Press
The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general says data released to the public about municipal sewer discharges is not accurate.
The agency watchdog sent a letter to the head of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention on Monday, warning that some information about hazardous substances released from publicly owned sewer systems is missing from a public database.
The United States approved nearly 40 percent more oil and gas drilling permits on public lands in 2018 than it did the previous year thanks to an automated online system introduced in the waning days of the Obama administration, helping reduce a big backlog of applications.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could grant fewer waivers exempting small refineries from the country’s biofuel policy as lower prices for blending credits have reduced the cost of compliance, the agency’s administrator Andrew Wheeler told Reuters on Thursday.
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