The House is back in session this week, and healthcare measures are expected to dominate both chambers. Three conference committees are reconciling differences between House and Senate approved bills. The first will tackle S. 601 and H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Development Act; the second will address the budget, giving a path forward for 2014 appropriations; and the third will focus on the farm bill. Of the three committees, the latter two have the most relevance to energy-related matters.
Looking to the future, tax reform is the next significant area of focus for Congress. Our team here at ML Strategies is monitoring the status of tax extender provisions scheduled to expire at the end of the year, including the production tax credit. Traditionally, these provisions are extended, sometimes retroactively, however, efforts to pass comprehensive tax reform have curtailed consideration of the extenders package this time around.
President Obama made several energy-related nominations this past week. At the Energy Department, he nominated Madelyn Creedon to serve as National Nuclear Security Administration Principal Deputy Administrator and Ellen Williams as Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. For the Department of the Interior, Tommy Beaudreau was nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budge; Neil Kornze was nominated to serve as Bureau of Land Management Director; and Janice Schneider was tapped to serve as Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. Thomas Burke was nominated to serve as Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for Research and Development.