Nuclear Energy

The Hottest Holiday Parties on the Hill
Are you on the list?

The holidays are party time in D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s the holiday season, which in D.C. means parties for politicos, hosted by nearly every lobbying shop and communications firm in town. 

Despite the busy days of legislating ahead, the party starts this week and goes through the end of the year.

Plan to Boost Coal and Nuclear Could Cost Consumers
Should consumers pay more so coal and nuclear plants can survive?

Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies during the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Oct. 12. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For years, federal regulation of the electric grid has focused on keeping prices low and competition stiff. But that could change with a recent proposal from the Trump administration to put more emphasis on what it calls resiliency.

According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the electric grid is more resilient — able to bounce back from disasters of the natural and man-made variety — when it has plenty of so-called baseload power that can run 24/7, with or without sunshine or wind and regardless of supply snags.

Summer of Storms Tests Energy Resilience
Lawmakers, administration battle over what it means to rebuild

A downed electric pole sits in mud in Jayuya, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 9, more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island. Puerto Rico experienced widespread damage including most of the electrical, gas and water grid. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While the Trump administration proposes to make the nation’s electric grid more “resilient” by propping up nuclear and coal-fired power plants, a wide range of energy advocates say there are better — and greener — ways to achieve the same goal.

And they are urging leaders to heed the lessons provided by the massive storms that took down electricity lines in parts of Texas and Florida and left U.S. island territories in the Caribbean in the dark for weeks.

Senate Energy Committee Eulogizes the Late Sen. Pete Domenici

Former Colleagues Reflect on Life of Pete Domenici
Speaker Ryan learned from Domenici as a staffer

Chief Justice Warren Burger with Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., talking over a book at the Capitol Hill Reception for the New Washington Guide Book in 1975. (Photo by CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan was a Senate staffer back when Sen. Pete V. Domenici wielded the gavel of the Senate Budget Committee.

Ryan was one of the relatively small number of lawmakers quick to offer condolences on the passing of the Republican from New Mexico, who was one of the most influential senators of his era.

After Storms’ Devastation, No Change in Hill Climate Debate
“I don’t think there is going to be some big ‘come to Jesus’ moment”

Inhofe said attempts to connect recent extreme events to climate change are a ploy to drum up support for the climate change movement. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call)

Florida, parts of Texas and the U.S. Virgin Island are facing months or years of recovery after hurricanes Irma and Harvey pummeled communities, turned streets into rivers and upended lives, but it does not appear that the catastrophic storms have changed the conversation about climate change in Washington.

GOP lawmakers skeptical of climate science didn’t announce new views or a sense of urgency in addressing the global warming that scientists say exacerbated the impact of the storms.

DOE Must Improve Its Cyber Defenses, Say House Appropriators

The Energy Department is the lead agency for combating cyber threats to the electric grid, but House appropriators fret it is not doing enough for that effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Department of Energy is the lead agency for combating cyber threats to the electric grid, but House appropriators are expressing concern that it is not doing enough to prevent hacking of its own operations, according to the House Appropriations’ full committee report on its fiscal 2018 Energy-Water spending bill.

The committee’s $37.6 billion draft bill would direct DOE, within 180 days of enactment, to create a cybersecurity implementation plan with the aim of strengthening DOE’s “cyber posture,” according to the report released Tuesday.

House Fits In Abortion Bill, Even With Short Schedule
Philadephia retreat will help set agenda for GOP

New Jersey Rep. Christopher H. Smith, right, will get a vote on his legislation banning the use of federal funds for abortions. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s a short week for Congress in Washington, with Republicans in both the House and Senate heading out Wednesday for a retreat in Philadelphia, where they will strategize with the new administration about the year’s legislative agenda. Before leaving, though, they’ll wade into abortion politics with legislation in the House — just in time for Friday’s annual March for Life.

Before that, though, the House kicks off its abbreviated week at the Capitol on Monday with its usual 6:30 p.m. vote on a number of suspension measures, which require a two-thirds majority for passage.

Attempts to Find Bipartisan Mood Challenged at Start
Despite hope among both parties, partisanship rears ugly head

President Donald J. Trump addresses the crowd after being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol, January 20, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s inauguration ushered in hopes from both sides of the aisle for some bipartisan comity. But shortly after Trump departed the Capitol Friday, those feelings ran headfirst into the partisan scars of the previous Congress.

Some Democrats see the GOP reaping the rewards of what they call a strategy of obstruction in the last Congress, and it might be difficult for them to heed calls for bipartisanship, even if it’s something they might believe needs to happen. 

Trump Inaugural Gives Corporations an Outlet to Press Policy Agendas
Boeing, casino interests on the roster

Sheldon Adelson is among the casino executives on the Trump inaugural committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The inauguration of Donald Trump, with a potential tab of $75 million, may offer corporations and their executives more than just candlelight dinners with the new president and his incoming Cabinet picks. It also could afford them moments to make the case for their policy agendas.

Donors to and members of Trump’s inaugural host committee have plenty of business before the government, as they offer big money to help foot the bill for the January festivities. The inaugural committee members hail from casinos, manufacturing outfits and financial firms, among others.