April 14, 2008
Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) announced House conferees for the Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) yesterday (Senate conferees were named in December) and all indications are that the bill is finally moving! Conferees began the first formal meeting Thursday and the Chairs of the conference, Senator Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Peterson (D-MN), have a blueprint for the bill almost completed and hope to finalize negotiations on the bill within two weeks.
The most recent 30-day extension is set to expire on April 18 and Congressional Leadership is willing to do a short term extension if it means completing the bill. The President has also indicated his support for this approach.
April 6, 2008
Last week the House Select Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee held a hearing to address oil companies’ profits, current gasoline prices and alternative energy. Testifying before the committee were: Mr. J. Stephen Simon, Senior Vice President of Exxon Mobil Corp; Mr. John Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil Company; Mr. Robert A. Malone, Chairman and President of BP America, Inc.; Mr. Peter Robertson, Vice Chairman of Chevron and Mr. John Lowe, Executive Vice President of ConocoPhillips. As in the past, the hearing served as political theatre to criticize major oil companies. Members asked oil companies to invest ten percent of their profits in renewable energy and biofuels. Currently, House leaders are trying to repeal $18.1 billion in oil production tax incentives to create tax breaks for alternative energy companies.
Mr. Simon, Senior Vice-President, Exxon Mobil Corporation explained that there are three factors affecting high energy prices: U.S. monetary policy, geopolitical events, and speculation which may add as much as much as 30 to 40 percent to the cost of crude oil.
April 2, 2008
Earlier today the House Energy Committee adopted a revised version of HR 1108, legislation permitting the FDA to regulate the sale of tobacco. The revisions were part of Subcommittee Chairman Frank Pallone’s (D-NJ) Manager’s Amendment to address the concerns of petroleum retailers.
The bill now goes to the House Floor for consideration where it will likely pass. However, it is expected President Bush would veto any legislation that reaches his desk.