OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Energy-efficiency bill rises from the dead

SHAHEEN-PORTMAN 2: THE SEQUEL: You thought the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency legislation was dead after it failed a procedural vote in May? You were wrong.

The bill’s sponsors, Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' If Taliban regains power, they would roll back rights for women: US intelligence Manchin says he doesn't support DC statehood, election reform bills MORE (D-N.H.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse panel advances bipartisan retirement savings bill Democrats confront difficult prospects for midterms Biden, GOP set to find out if US wants activist government MORE (R-Ohio), have brought their push for building and federal-agency efficiency back, albeit in a watered-down form.


The new Shaheen-Portman bill, introduced Wednesday, matches a House energy efficiency measure that passed in March with broad, bipartisan support.

It focuses on improving efficiency in rental buildings and federal agencies, in ways less ambitious than the original Senate bill.

Its sponsors hope that the last few days of the lame-duck session will present an opportunity to get some bipartisan agreement on efficiency.

Read more here.

NOMINEES MOVING ALONG: The Senate took some action on moving along energy-related presidential nominees Thursday, as part of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) push to confirm appointments before Republicans take control.

First, the Energy Department got a new undersecretary for science and energy. Franklin Orr, a Stanford University professor for the last three decades, was approved by voice vote to the position.

Next came Joseph Hezir, confirmed by a vote of 83 to 9 to be the Energy Department’s chief financial officer. He was previously a research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Later Thursday, the Senate voted for cloture by a vote of 53-40 to move Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Jeffery Baran to a seat that expires in 2018, out of his current one that ends next year.

Baran’s nomination has proven extremely controversial, with Republicans charging that he lacks experience in nuclear power. The Senate plans to vote next week on the nomination.

Read more here.


ON TAP FRIDAY I: The Hudson Institute will host a discussion Friday on the prospects of bipartisan energy policy and its risks and benefits. The event will include experts from Hudson, Butler University and Nera Economic Consulting.

ON TAP FRIDAY II: The National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board will finish its meeting Friday on the application of real-time monitoring of offshore oil and gas drilling operations. Friday’s portion of the meeting, which started Thursday, focuses on what the private sector is currently doing to monitor operations.



The honorable Honorable ... Colette Honorable, President Obama’s nominee for the open seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), breezed through her confirmation hearing Thursday.

Members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee used the meeting to compliment Honorable’s work, express support for her nomination and make sure she has their pet concerns on her radar.

“Honorable clearly has the background, training and experience necessary to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who chaired the committee meeting while Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (D-La.) was campaigning for her runoff election this weekend.

Wyden said Honorable’s work leading the Arkansas Public Utility Commission and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners shows strong experience.

“It’s clear that you have seasoned experience that I believe will be an asset at FERC,” added Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the panel’s ranking member.

Honorable emphasized her commitment to ensuring Arkansas’s energy is diverse and reliable. No senator said he or she would vote against confirming Honorable.



Pennsylvania officials are giving $150,000 to a gas industry-backed group that has never conducted research to study natural gas drilling, NPR reports.

NextEra Energy Inc. is acquiring Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. in an effort to expand clean energy in Hawaii, the Associated Press reports.

The Church of England is asking BP and Shell, in which it is a shareholder, to adapt their businesses for a low-carbon economy, the Guardian reports.



Check out Thursday’s stories ...

— Christie heads to Canada to promote Keystone

— Conservatives push back against parks provisions in defense bill

— Natural gas reserves hit all-time high

— Senators introduce smaller energy efficiency legislation

— Labor Department finalizes protections for gay employees

— Landrieu warns against Cantwell leading Energy Dems

— Senate confirms Energy nominees

— Germany launches new carbon-cutting effort


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