THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 23

F11PHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

legislative outlook

Post-Recess Legislative
Calendar Begins with More
Questions Than Answers

A

ugust recess has ended, and
the first session of the 115th
Congress enters its final few
months. Congress began this session
with a flurry of regulatory reform efforts
centered around Congressional Review
Act (CRA) resolutions. Additionally,
the Senate cleared many important
nominations, including most recently
the confirmations of Neil Chatterjee
and Rob Powelson as Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Commissioners, and Dan Brouillette as
Deputy Secretary for the Department
of Energy (DOE). Pending confirmations
include Dave Jonas for General Council
at DOE, and Richard Glick and Kevin
McIntyre as FERC Commissioners.
However, as major legislative efforts
began to take center stage, policy
discussions increasingly became bogged
down with parliamentary hang-ups
and other extraneous derailments.
Congress headed into the August recess
having failed to pass major healthcare
reform - a key pillar of both the Trump

Administration and the Republican
Congress' campaign platforms. Now,
several major, must-pass items loom over
the final months of 2017.
First, Congress must pass a spending
package for fiscal year 2018. The House
passed a minibus appropriations
package in July, approving four of the
12 spending bills needed to fully fund
the federal government, including the
Energy and Water appropriations bill.
This included DOE energy activities, as
well as R&D and various other grant and
loan programs. The House bill prioritizes
early-stage general research as opposed
to commercialization. Funding levels
include $600 million for fossil energy
research, $5.4 billion for the Office of
Science, $1.1 billion for the Office of
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The Advanced Research Programs
Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is zeroed
out. The Senate has yet to take up its
appropriations bills.
It is unlikely that Congress will be able
to pass all 12 appropriations bills by the

September 30 deadline. Congress will
once again need to resort to a short-term
funding patch, known as a Continuing
Resolution (CR), to keep the government
temporarily funded while it hammers out
spending negotiations. The question is
how long this patch will last and whether
there are more than one. Additional
questions include whether Hurricane
Harvey aid will be included and whether
the President will hold up negotiations
over funding for his proposed border
wall. The answer to those questions are
contingent on other legislative issues
that must be dealt with in the fall.
Also at the top of Congress' to-do
list is raising the debt ceiling. The debt
ceiling is the specific level the Treasury
can borrow without defaulting on
payments. This is a statutory level set by
Congress, and the Treasury usually runs
up against the debt ceiling, or limit, every
three years or so. Congress must raise the
debt ceiling: the debate is whether the
legislation should be "clean" (containing
no other policy provisions) or should be
THE SOURCE | WINTER 2017, VOL. 10, ISSUE 2 23



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Winter 2017

A Vision from Our Industry: Listen, Define, Allocate, Execute
First Person
APGA Events
Q&A: Chairman Chatterjee
Furnace Rule Update
Delivering the Needs of Customers Through Legislative Action
Reaching Your Future Customers
Whistling In The Dark: Shortcomings of Natural Gas Indices Persist
Growth in Renewable Natural Gas
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
At Last
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - intro
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - ebelly1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - ebelly2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - A Vision from Our Industry: Listen, Define, Allocate, Execute
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 6
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 7
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 9
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Q&A: Chairman Chatterjee
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Furnace Rule Update
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 13
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Delivering the Needs of Customers Through Legislative Action
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 15
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Reaching Your Future Customers
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 17
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Whistling In The Dark: Shortcomings of Natural Gas Indices Persist
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 19
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 20
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Growth in Renewable Natural Gas
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 22
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 24
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 27
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - At Last
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 29
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 30
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert6
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