Full Committee Markup

Wed, 02 May 2007 15:00:00 GMT

The House Natural Resources Committee will meet in an open markup session to mark up the following bills: H.R. 1595, To implement the recommendations of the Guam War Claims Review Commission. (Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act) H.R. 359, To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of sites associated with the life of Cesar Estarada Chavez and the farm labor movement. (Cesar Estrada Chavez Study Act) H.R. 713, To establish the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area in the State of New York, and for other purposes. (Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Act) H.R. 1100, To revise the boundary of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in the State of North Carolina, and for other purposes. (Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Boundary Revision Act of 2007) H.R. 986, To amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Eightmile River in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes. (Eightmile Wild and Scenic River Act) H.R. 505, To express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. (Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007) H.R. 487, To amend the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Equitable Compensation Act to provide compensation to members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for damage resulting from the Oahe Dam and Reservoir Project, and for other purposes. (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Equitable Compensation Amendments Act of 2007) H.R. 1114, To require the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation and the United States Geological Survey, to conduct a study on groundwater resources in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes. (Alaska Water Resources Act of 2007) H.R. 1080, To modify the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park to include certain land within the GT Park Subdivision, and for other purposes. (Grand Teton National Park Extension Act of 2007) H.R. 1140, To authorize the Secretary, in cooperation with the City of San Juan Capistrano, California, to participate in the design, planning, and construction of an advanced water treatment plant facility and recycled water system, and for other purposes. (South Orange County Recycled Water Enhancement Act)

Action: The Committee on Natural Resources met in open markup session on Wednesday, May 2, 2007, and considered the following bills: H.R. 1595, To implement the recommendations of the Guam War Claims Review Commission. (Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act) An amendment offered by Mrs. Bordallo.057 was agreed to by voice vote. Favorably reported to the House of Representatives, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 359, To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of sites associated with the life of Cesar Estrada Chavez and the farm labor movement. (Cesar Estrada Chavez Study Act)

By unanimous consent, the Committee Print showing the text of the bill as amended by the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on April 19, 2007, was considered as original text.

An amendment offered by Mr. Sali to the Committee Print was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 5 yeas and 24 nays.

Favorably reported to the House of Representatives, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 713, To establish the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area in the State of New York, and for other purposes. (Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Act) The Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 713, by voice vote. An amendment in the nature of a substitute was offered by Mr. Grijalva. The following amendments were offered to the amendment in the nature of a substitute: An amendment offered by Mr. Bishop #4 to the amendment in the nature of a substitute was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 9 yeas and 18 nays. An amendment offered by Mr. Bishop #6 to the amendment in the nature of a substitute was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 9 yeas and 18 nays. An amendment offered by Mr. Flake.042 to the amendment in the nature of a substitute was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 9 yeas and 18 nays. An amendment offered by Mr. Flake #7 to the amendment in the nature of a substitute was ruled non-germane. An amendment offered by Mr. Flake #1 to the amendment in the nature of a substitute was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 10 yeas and 16 nays. The amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. Grijalva was agreed to by voice vote. Favorably reported to the House of Representatives, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 1100, To revise the boundary of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in the State of North Carolina, and for other purposes. (Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Boundary Revision Act of 2007) By unanimous consent, the Committee Print showing the text of the bill as amended by the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on April 19, 2007, was considered as original text. An amendment offered by Mr. Bishop #1 to the Committee Print was not agreed to by voice vote. An amendment offered by Mr. Heller #2 to the Committee Print was not agreed to by voice vote. Favorably reported to the House of Representatives, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 986, To amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Eightmile River in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes. (Eightmile Wild and Scenic River Act) By unanimous consent, the Committee Print showing the text of the bill as amended by the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on April 19, 2007, was considered as original text. An amendment offered by Mr. Bishop #3 to the Committee Print was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 9 yeas and 17 nays. Favorably reported to the House of Representatives, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 505, To express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. (Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007) Favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice vote.

H.R. 487, To amend the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Equitable Compensation Act to provide compensation to members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for damage resulting from the Oahe Dam and Reservoir Project, and for other purposes. (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Equitable Compensation Amendments Act of 2007) Favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

H.R. 1114, To require the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation and the United States Geological Survey, to conduct a study on groundwater resources in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes. (Alaska Water Resources Act of 2007) Favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

H.R. 1080, To modify the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park to include certain land within the GT Park Subdivision, and for other purposes. (Grand Teton National Park Extension Act of 2007) Favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

H.R. 1140, To authorize the Secretary, in cooperation with the City of San Juan Capistrano, California, to participate in the design, planning, and construction of an advanced water treatment plant facility and recycled water system, and for other purposes. (South Orange County Recycled Water Enhancement Act) Favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

Markup of Energy Legislation and Isakowitz Nomination

Wed, 02 May 2007 14:00:00 GMT

The nomination of Stephen J. Isakowitz to be the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Energy. The draft of an original bill drawn from the text of bills: S. 731, S.962, S. 987, and S. 1115.

CQ:
A tenuous agreement to delay action on divisive issues blew up Wednesday as a Senate panel marked up its first major energy legislation of the year.

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee had agreed not to consider amendments on coal and renewable electricity. But the deal fell apart when Republicans forced a vote on an amendment by Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., to create a new mandate for coal-based transportation fuels.

Democrats tightened ranks — despite the fact that many support “coal to liquids” technology — and defeated the amendment 11-12 in a party-line vote.

The panel went on to adopt, 15-8, an amendment by Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., that would make various industrial facilities — including coal-to-liquids facilities — eligible for a 50-50 cost share program that would help pay for projects that capture the resulting greenhouses gases and store them underground.

The deal between Bingaman and ranking Republican Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico was intended to save controversial amendments for the Senate floor debate on the legislation. The underlying bill, which is still unnumbered, includes language from four measures that would address biofuels (S 987), energy efficiency (S 1115) and carbon sequestration technologies (S 962, S 731).

Although Republicans broke what one Democratic aide called a “ceasefire,” Democratic committee aides said Bingaman plans to keep his end of the bargain and withhold his amendment to create a “renewable portfolio standard” until the bill moves to the floor. That language would require utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Thomas and Jim Bunning, R-Ky., plan to bring their proposal to boost coal-to-liquids technology to the floor as well.

The committee also adopted by voice vote 22 minor amendments that had been cleared with staff on both sides of the aisle in advance.

Conservation policy recommendations for the farm bill

Tue, 01 May 2007 18:00:00 GMT

The Future of Fossil Fuels: Geological and Terrestrial Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

Tue, 01 May 2007 18:00:00 GMT

The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, led by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), will hold a joint oversight hearing on “The Future of Fossil Fuels: Geological and Terrestrial Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide.” Witnesses: Panel1 Patrick Leahy, Associate Director, United States Geological Survey Carl Bauer, Executive Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory

Panel 2 Judy Fairburn, Vice President, Downstream Operations, EnCana Corporation Howard Herzog, Principle Research Engineer, Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, Massachusetts Institute of Technology George Kelley, Treasurer, National Mitigation Banking Association William Schlesinger, Dean of the Nicholas School, Duke University Vello Kuuskraa, President, Advanced Resources Michael Goergen, Executive Vice President and CEO, Society of American Foresters

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee 1324 Longworth
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Advanced technology vehicles, focusing on the road ahead

Tue, 01 May 2007 14:00:00 GMT

In today’s hearing in the new Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure, we look forward to hearing testimony on advanced technology vehicles. As we discuss energy policy and the most efficient path toward energy security and independence, we naturally turn to the issue of transportation fuels.

Right now, over 50% of the nearly 21 million barrels of oil we use each day in the U.S. is imported. And almost 70% of that oil consumption is used in the transportation sector. In 2007, we expect American to use over 14 millions barrels of oil to drive to work and do their chores, to travel within their communities, and to travel on vacation. We will also use over 4 million barrels of fuel on industrial transportation. Ten million gallons of that fuel will be imported.

These numbers suggest that in order to achieve energy security, we need to reduce our use of imported fuels. We can begin this effort by becoming efficient users of transportation fuels.

In our tax code, we have several incentives aimed at encouraging manufacturers and consumers across many industries to build and purchase more fuel efficient vehicles. We have tax credits for the purchase of vehicles featuring technologies that greatly increase their fuel economies. And we have tax penalties that apply to the purchase of the least fuel efficient vehicles. The tax code also features credits, against income or excise tax, for bio-based fuel blends that displace imported fuels.

And while we pursue energy security, we are always mindful of environmental concerns. Our vehicle tax credits have minimum emissions standards. And our alternative fuels credits are intended to encourage clean burning fuels.

We hope during this hearing to establish a record regarding the response of the market in general, and of vehicle manufacturers in particular, to the current tax incentives for efficient and clean vehicles. And as always, we are interested in hearing testimony on new incentives that might be more effective in helping us achieve our energy policy goals with respect to transportation fuel usage.

In particular, we sought testimony from:
  • Manufacturers who employ cutting edge power storage technologies;
  • Manufacturers who are active in the traditional and diesel markets;
  • Producers of alternative transportation fuel who can speak to fueling station needs, and
  • Scholars from the automotive industry who have long studied the response of the industry to Federal energy policies.
Witnesses

Gone with the Wind: Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats

Tue, 01 May 2007 14:00:00 GMT

The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans, led by Del. Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU), will hold an oversight hearing entitled, “Gone with the Wind: Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats.” Witnesses: Panel 1 Honorable Alan B. Mollohan, Member of Congress

Panel 2 Mr. Dale Hall, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mr. Edward B. Arnett, Conservation Scientist, Bat Conservation International Dr. Michael Fry, Ph.D., Director, Birds and Pesticides, American Bird Conservancy Mr. Eric R. Glitzenstein, Partner, Meyer Glitzenstein and Crystal Mr. Michael Daulton, Director of Conservation Policy, National Audubon Society

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee 1324 Longworth
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Establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 18:00:00 GMT

Committee page.

H.R. 364 establishes an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) within the U.S. Department of Energy, similar to the successful DARPA program within the Department of Defense. With a lean and agile organization ARPA-E will assemble cross-disciplinary research teams focused on addressing the nation’s most urgent energy needs through high-risk research and the rapid development of transformational clean energy technologies. By leveraging talent in all sectors – from private industry, to universities, to government labs – ARPA-E will foster a robust and cohesive community of energy researchers and technology developers in the U.S. This bill follows on the direct recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences’ report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.”

Witnesses
  • Dr. Stephen R. Forrest
  • Mr. John Denniston
  • Mr. William B. Bonvillian
  • Dr. Richard Van Atta

H.R. 1462

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 18:00:00 GMT

The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water and Power, led by Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), will hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 1462, the “Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and Pathfinder Modification Authorization Act.” Witnesses: Panel 1 Jason Peltier, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, D.C.

  • Mr. Peltier will be accompanied by Mark Butler of the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation’s Great Plains Regional Director, Mike Ryan

Panel 2 Alan Berryman, Assistant General Manager, Engineering Division Northern Colorado, Water Conservancy District, Berthoud, Colorado Ann Bleed, Executive Director, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Lincoln, Nebraska Ted Kowalski, Program Manager, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Denver, Colorado Dan Luecke, Platte River Issues Consultant to the National Wildlife Federation, Boulder, Colorado Mike Purcell, Director, Wyoming Water Development Commission, and Chairman of the Governance Committee, Cheyenne, Wyoming

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    Water and Power Subcommittee 1324 Longworth
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Coal, focusing on a clean future

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 14:00:00 GMT

Opening statement from Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.): In today’s hearing in the new Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure, we look forward to hearing testimony on advanced coal technologies. As we discuss energy policy and how to best use coal, a natural resource that we have in abundance, to enhance our energy security, it is important that we learn more about the feasibility of various advanced clean coal technologies that feature clean emissions and allow carbon sequestration and storage.

In our current tax code, we have several tax incentives for these technologies, including investment tax credits for investments in advanced coal technologies and accelerated depreciation to address the capital costs involved in these technologies. We hope during this hearing to collect testimony regarding the response of the market in general, and of coal producers and utilities in particular, to these incentives. We are also interested in hearing your views on new incentives that might be more effective in helping us achieve our energy policy goals. In particular, we sought testimony from experts on:
  • Clean coal and gasification projects, including the newly announced Wyoming Coal Gasification Project, a private-public partnership formed to develop an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant.
  • Coal to liquids, the process of making liquid fuels from coal
  • Refined coal production tax credits
  • The costs of establishing new facilities as well as retrofitting existing coal-fired power plants.

We also look forward to hearing these experts’ views on the feasibility and future of carbon capture and sequestration as well as the market for sequestered carbon. Sequestered carbon can be used in many useful technologies, including enhanced oil recovery. A primary focus of energy policy discussions is the abundance of coal in the U.S. This hearing represents our first examination of the possibilities of that endowment.

Witnesses
  • Steve Waddington, Executive Director, Wyoming Infrastructure Authority
  • Dr. Nina French, ADA-ES, Director, Clean Coal Combustion
  • John Diesch, President, Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation
  • Dr. Brian McPherson, Research Scientist, Petroleum Recovery Research Center, NM Tech and Manager, Carbon Engineering Group Energy and Geoscience Institute, University of Utah
  • Bill Townsend, CEO, Blue Source

Land-Use Issues Associated with Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing and Development

Thu, 26 Apr 2007 14:00:00 GMT

The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, led by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), will hold a joint oversight hearing on “Land-Use Issues Associated with Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Development.” Witnesses: Panel 1 Henri Bisson, Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior Tony L. Ferguson, Director, Minerals and Geology Management, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture

Panel 2 John Emmerich, Deputy Director, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Jewell James, Member, Lummi Nation Honorable Maxine Natchees, Chairwoman, Northern Ute Tribe

Panel 3 Steve Adami, Powder River Basin Resource Council Ashley Korenblat, Owner, Western Spirit Cycling Claire M. Moseley, Executive Director, Public Lands Advocacy Roger Muggli, Northern Plains Resource Council Peggy Utesch, Western Organization of Resource Councils & Western Colorado Congress

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee 1334 Longworth
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