PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • February 8, 2016

    By Shane Doucet and Michael Kans

    As part of the Obama Administration’s initiative to advance equal pay policies, on January 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released a proposal that would expand the information many private entities must report to the EEOC. Specifically, the proposed revision would require all employers with 100 or more employees (both private industry and federal contractors) to collect and report data on pay and hours-worked on their annual employer information reports (i.e. EEO-1 forms). Employers have previously reported to the EEOC the number of their employees by sex, race, ethnicity, and job category. However, it should be noted that the proposal is not a rulemaking and is a proposed revision of an existing EEOC information collection.

     

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  • January 27, 2016

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 27, the Senate opened debate on the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015” (S. 2012). The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the legislation by an 18-4 vote on July 30, 2015, and reported it to the Senate (S.Rept. 114-138) on September 9, 2015. On January 26, Murkowski introduced a substitute amendment (SA 2953), which is a modified version of the legislation that will serve as the base text for debate and further amendment. The legislation is divided into five titles covering: “Efficiency”; “Infrastructure”; “Supply”; “Accountability”; and “Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization”. The bill includes provisions addressing: appliance, building and manufacturing efficiency; liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports; energy commodity market oversight; hydroelectric power; geothermal energy; U.S. helium reserves; and critical minerals.

     

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  • January 6, 2016

    By Frank Vlossak

    The past year saw significant legislative and regulatory action on energy policy and energy infrastructure issues. 2016 will continue this pace of activity. In 2015, Congress:
    • Advanced energy policy legislation, which includes reforms to the federal approval process for natural gas pipelines and the permit process for cross-border energy infrastructure.
    • Began work on updates to the pipeline safety statute.
    • Enacted legislation repealing the ban on crude oil exports.

    The Executive Branch also took action in the energy sphere last year:
    • On November 6, 2015, President Obama announced his Administration had rejected TransCanada’s application for a Presidential Border-Crossing Permit.
    • The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published proposed rules that would expand regulation of oil and hazardous liquid pipelines.
    • PHMSA also issued proposed rules covering operator qualifications, notification requirements for pipeline spills and incidents, and other issues.
    • PHMSA finalized comprehensive rules targeting crude oil rail safety, including a mandated phase-out of legacy tank cars.
    • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the new five-year rate index for liquid pipelines.

    Key policy developments in 2016 are expected to include:
    • Congress will continue work on pipeline safety legislation, with the full Senate potentially voting on the bill approved by the Commerce Committee early in the year.
    • The Senate may take up the energy bill approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in July, 2015.
    • PHMSA is expected to issue a proposed rule on natural gas pipeline safety, which would parallel liquid pipeline safety Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in 2015.
    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose new regulations on the use of PCBs, which will affect natural gas pipelines.

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PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • February 8, 2016

    By Shane Doucet and Michael Kans

    As part of the Obama Administration’s initiative to advance equal pay policies, on January 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released a proposal that would expand the information many private entities must report to the EEOC. Specifically, the proposed revision would require all employers with 100 or more employees (both private industry and federal contractors) to collect and report data on pay and hours-worked on their annual employer information reports (i.e. EEO-1 forms). Employers have previously reported to the EEOC the number of their employees by sex, race, ethnicity, and job category. However, it should be noted that the proposal is not a rulemaking and is a proposed revision of an existing EEOC information collection.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 27, 2016

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 27, the Senate opened debate on the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015” (S. 2012). The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the legislation by an 18-4 vote on July 30, 2015, and reported it to the Senate (S.Rept. 114-138) on September 9, 2015. On January 26, Murkowski introduced a substitute amendment (SA 2953), which is a modified version of the legislation that will serve as the base text for debate and further amendment. The legislation is divided into five titles covering: “Efficiency”; “Infrastructure”; “Supply”; “Accountability”; and “Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization”. The bill includes provisions addressing: appliance, building and manufacturing efficiency; liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports; energy commodity market oversight; hydroelectric power; geothermal energy; U.S. helium reserves; and critical minerals.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 6, 2016

    By Frank Vlossak

    The past year saw significant legislative and regulatory action on energy policy and energy infrastructure issues. 2016 will continue this pace of activity. In 2015, Congress:
    • Advanced energy policy legislation, which includes reforms to the federal approval process for natural gas pipelines and the permit process for cross-border energy infrastructure.
    • Began work on updates to the pipeline safety statute.
    • Enacted legislation repealing the ban on crude oil exports.

    The Executive Branch also took action in the energy sphere last year:
    • On November 6, 2015, President Obama announced his Administration had rejected TransCanada’s application for a Presidential Border-Crossing Permit.
    • The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published proposed rules that would expand regulation of oil and hazardous liquid pipelines.
    • PHMSA also issued proposed rules covering operator qualifications, notification requirements for pipeline spills and incidents, and other issues.
    • PHMSA finalized comprehensive rules targeting crude oil rail safety, including a mandated phase-out of legacy tank cars.
    • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the new five-year rate index for liquid pipelines.

    Key policy developments in 2016 are expected to include:
    • Congress will continue work on pipeline safety legislation, with the full Senate potentially voting on the bill approved by the Commerce Committee early in the year.
    • The Senate may take up the energy bill approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in July, 2015.
    • PHMSA is expected to issue a proposed rule on natural gas pipeline safety, which would parallel liquid pipeline safety Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in 2015.
    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose new regulations on the use of PCBs, which will affect natural gas pipelines.

     Read...

    Read More

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