By Laura Barron-Lopez - 03/29/14 06:25 PM EDT
If last year's budget is any indication, it's safe to say Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) coming budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 will include a number of energy provisions.
Here's what E2-Wire thinks you may want to keep an eye out for:
1. Keystone XL
Past budget proposals have never failed to include a legislative way forward for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and there is no indication that the 2015 proposal would be any different. Republican's are hopeful but wary that President Obama will make a decision on the $5.4 billion project by this summer. To be safe, the GOP may include a measure calling for a hard deadline for Obama to rule on the pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Alberta's oil sands to Gulf refineries.
The growing oil boom in the U.S. has boosted the GOP's case to build the pipeline as well as the recent Ukraine crisis. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and a majority of Republican's are calling on the president to approve the pipeline for national security reasons in light of Russia's energy hold on Ukraine.
2. Oil and gas development
The final 2014 Ryan-Murray budget passed by Congress included a huge win for offshore drilling along maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S.-Mexico drilling pact opened up oil and gas reservoirs across 1.5 million acres of the outer continental shelf.
The 2015 proposal will likely include more measures to expand offshore and onshore oil and gas exploration. With more possibilities opening up in the Arctic, it would be interesting to see if any mention of the uncharted frontier is made.
3. Reversing Obama's climate regulations
There may be some language in the budget that seeks to reverse a proposed regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency on carbon emissions limits for future coal-fired power plants. Republicans have been outspoken critics of the rule and a second one by the EPA for existing power plants that is set to be released in June.
Republicans have indicated they are making Obama's energy strategy and climate agenda a central target in his remaining years in office, which is why it wouldn't be a shock to find similar language in the budget.
4. Tax reform
With production tax credits for wind energies and several renewables having expired at the end of last year, the new budget may include more cuts to incentives for renewable sources. Republicans don't like that the administration is friendly with the renewable industry and what they claim are attempts to kill fossil-fuels.
Last year, Ryan called for a revenue-neutral tax reform and rejected calls by Obama to raise taxes on oil and gas producers. In his proposed budget for 2015, Obama seeks to end subsidies granted to top oil producers.
5. Renewable Fuel Standard
While no significant movements have been made to completely repeal the renewable fuel standard, it remains a contentious issue on Capitol Hill. Oil industry executives and biofuel producers won't stop hammering home their positions as the EPA just proposed to scale back the amount of ethanol refiners must blend into the nation's fuel supply.
And if history again offers any hint as to what the budget will include, it may seek to repeal regulatory roadblocks, like the renewable fuel mandate — which Ryan has called "unrealistic" — and have increased the price of gasoline.
Bernie Becker contributed to this report.