Tag Archives: Department of Energy
For perhaps the first time since the 2010 election inaugurated divided control of Capitol Hill, there was actual excitement about energy legislation as the House took up a bill to expedite the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It’s not that the House hasn’t passed dozens of bills to encourage domestic oil and gas production, or discipline extralegal rulemakings by the EPA – it surely has. Rather, it’s been the automatic DOA status of these measures in the Senate that’s made the movie seem old and predictable. Well, that may be changing.
Have you ever had a kid ask for seconds during a meal before he’s even finished what’s on his plate? Well, that’s what the Texas legislature is asking of voters on November 5. Lawmakers want Texans to pass a constitutional amendment, Proposition 6, to approve more funding for water projects. A similar measure narrowly passed in November 2011 for a $6 billion revolving fund to loan money to local government entities for water infrastructure, outside constitutional debt limitations.
As a professional staff member on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in 2011, I was able to visit several countries to check on how the U.S. Aid for International Development (USAID) agency was fulfilling its many missions. On the agency’s website is the statement, “Broad-based economic growth is essential to sustainable, long-term development. It creates the opportunities impoverished households need to raise their living standards, provides countries with the resources to expand access to basic services, and—most important of all—enables citizens to chart their own prosperous futures.” Absolutely true, and not just in “developing” parts of the Third World, but in all parts of the world as “development” is an ongoing process everywhere.
In a suit brought by the states of Washington and South Carolina against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided 2-1 to grant a writ of mandamus against the NRC for the agency’s failure to obey 1987 amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (the Act). The Department of Energy had submitted its 8,600 page Yucca license application to the NRC in June 2008, but the incoming Obama Administration, in league with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), worked to zero-out money for the program. Then, a former Reid staffer, Gregory Jaczko, even became NRC chairman, and unilaterally froze the agency staff’s evaluation of DOE’s application.