Committee on Energy and Commerce

Fred Upton

Committee Leaders Respond to EPA’s Ozone Proposal

2014/11/26

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today responded to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, costly new regulatory requirements that would have consequences across the U.S. economy.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) stated, “In 2011, President Obama rightly admitted that new regulations in this area could hurt jobs and our economy and the White House directed EPA to withdraw its onerous proposed ozone rule. It makes zero sense to now issue new guidelines that will only destroy jobs when the current standards still have not been fully implemented – the president would be doubling down on disaster. I was a part of the bipartisan consensus, together with my Michigan colleague John Dingell, to deliver the most sweeping environmental law ever, so I know we can work to protect the environment without wrecking the economy. This Thanksgiving, families in Michigan and across the country are giving thanks for the glimmer of an economic recovery, but this proposal threatens to slam the door on new economic growth and job creation and stop our energy and manufacturing renaissance in its tracks.”

Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) stated, “We have seen a lot of destructive rules stem from President Obama’s EPA, but this one has the potential to be the most expensive and one of the most burdensome. EPA is proposing to adopt new standards that could be nearly impossible to meet, especially for areas of the country still struggling to comply with the current ozone standard. America shouldn’t take a backseat to anyone when it comes to our environment, but regulations need to be balanced and reasonable. EPA has not yet fully implemented the existing standard established in 2008, and stakeholders have raised concerns that benefits of further changes are uncertain while the costs are sure to be extreme. EPA needs to be forthcoming about the full costs and consequences of this proposal, and we will continue our efforts in the new Congress to rein in EPA’s relentless regulatory assault.”

On November 13, 2014, members of the Energy and Power Subcommittee wrote to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy urging the agency to provide a full accounting of the costs of its ozone proposal.

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Subcommittee To Examine Changing Energy Markets

2014/11/25

The Subcommittee on Energy and Power has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, December 11, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975: Are We Positioning America for Success in an Era of Energy Abundance?”

America’s energy position today is much different than it was in the 1970s when the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 was written in response to the Arab oil embargo. Instead of oil and natural gas shortages, America now enjoys an abundance of energy supplies. In light of the dramatic changes in America’s energy outlook, the subcommittee will revisit and examine the current law to determine if it is still relevant in this era of abundance. U.S. Energy Information Administration Administrator Adam Sieminski will testify along with a panel of energy experts.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) said, “Our energy landscape looks much different than it did 40 years ago, and the time is now ripe to revisit and consider whether some of the energy policies rooted in the past still make sense today. We need to take a comprehensive look at where we came from, where we are today, and where we want to go from here. We are now one of the world’s greatest energy superpowers, but we need the right policies in place to take full advantage of this position and ensure American consumers are reaping the greatest benefits from our newfound energy abundance.”

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

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Look Ahead: Committee Announces Hearing Schedule for the Week of December 1

2014/11/25

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced its hearing schedule for the week of December 1. The committee will examine the Takata air bag ruptures and recalls and review the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing to review the Takata air bag ruptures and recalls. Members will examine the management and response by industry and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman, Takata’s Senior Vice President of Global Quality Assurance Hiroshi Shimizu, as well as representatives from Toyota, BMW, and Honda have been invited to testify. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Also on Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing, “The Future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Witnesses from the Congressional Research Service, the Government Accountability Office, and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission will testify regarding the current status of the CHIP program and how the president’s health care law has affected it as Subcommittee members prepare for a conversation about the program’s funding next year. Funding for CHIP is set to end after fiscal year 2015. The Majority Memorandum, a complete witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

10 AM2123 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and TradeHearing on “Takata Airbag Ruptures and Recalls”

10:15 AM2322 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on HealthHearing on “The Future of The Children’s Health Insurance Program”

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STELA “a pretty good accomplishment”

2014/11/25

With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House and Senate both acted last week to ensure that over 1.5 million satellite television subscribers will continue to receive broadcast programming. H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization Act, is the bipartisan product of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. In addition to ensuring continued service for satellite subscribers, the legislation also makes a number of changes to improve the video marketplace for consumers.

While the legislation waits on the president’s signature, the La Grande Observer on Monday praised Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden’s work on the bipartisan and bicameral legislation. They note that the legislation, if signed into law, will “do some very good things for the residents in remote areas of Oregon.”

November 24, 2014

OUR VIEW: TV bill’s passage a good thing

As a flash-point issue or an example of monumental, epoch-changing legislation, the recent passage of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization might not appear noteworthy.

Yet it is one of those pieces of legislation the Congress tackles on a regular basis that you and I rarely hear about.

At its essence, the bill — dubbed STELAR — ensures nearly 1.5 million subscribers to satellite television will continue to have access to broadcast network programming after Jan. 1, 2015.

The bill — spearheaded by Oregon U.S. Rep. Greg Walden — gained passage by the U.S. House of Representatives last summer, but the new legislation is a compromise package between the House and the Senate. The new bill, while a compromise, will still accomplish the main objective of ensuring people who live in remote areas, like portions of Union and most of Wallowa County, can continue to get access to key local programming.

“If we do not act to extend these provisions by the end of this Congress, 1.5 million subscribers to satellite television, including many in Oregon, will not have access to broadcast network programming come New Year’s Day,” Walden said during debate on the bill.

Walden deserves a great deal of praise for his role in this matter, and, once again, his actions illustrate why he has become such a force for his constituents in the halls of Congress.

“This bill represents the best of how Congress works when it works together,” Walden said. “Today’s version of STELAR is a compromise bill that incorporates the provisions passed unanimously by the House earlier this year, with the provisions that passed by voice vote out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. By coming together to produce legislation with strong bipartisan, bicameral support we have demonstrated our clear commitment to the continued availability of broadcast programming to millions of subscribers and to some targeted and, in some cases, much needed reforms to our communications laws.”

The provisions of the compromise bill must be renewed by Dec. 31 and we hope that occurs. We also believe that this kind of lawmaking is too often ignored and forgotten by the body politic. Yes, STELAR isn’t a flash-point issue. It isn’t going to grab a lot of headlines. But it will, if the provisions are renewed, do some very good things for the residents in remote areas of Oregon.

We think that is a pretty good accomplishment.

Read the editorial online HERE

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Committee to Examine Takata Air Bag Ruptures and Recalls

2014/11/24

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), has scheduled a hearing entitled “Takata Airbag Ruptures and Recalls” for Wednesday, December 3, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The hearing will examine the management and response by industry and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the latest auto safety recalls regarding defective airbags made by the auto supplier Takata. Beginning in 2008, there have been a growing number of auto recalls to address faulty air bag inflators manufactured by Takata due to a risk air bags could improperly rupture causing serious injuries or even death. NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman, Takata’s Senior Vice President of Global Quality Assurance Hiroshi Shimizu, as well as representatives from Toyota, BMW, and Honda have been invited to testify. Additional witnesses may be announced.  

Terry said, “Americans are weary of ever-expanding safety recalls and we need to know that there is an adequate plan in place to address safety risks. The manufacturers, suppliers, and regulators all bear responsibility in keeping drivers and their families safe. Our first priority is ensuring that all defective vehicles are fixed as soon as possible, but we must also review the actions leading up to and surrounding the recalls to understand how we got into this mess and how to avoid similar problems in the future.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, “Airbags were intended to improve safety, but now we are in a situation where this life-saving tool is actually itself the subject of a safety recall. Drivers are becoming increasingly anxious as the recalls are expanded yet they are being told they can’t get their vehicles fixed. It is clear something must be done to restore the public’s trust and ensure safety on the roads.”

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

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House and Senate Committee Leaders Question Agency Coordination, Seek Action to Address Grid Reliability Concerns

2014/11/24

WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today wrote to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Cheryl LaFleur seeking information regarding any consultation between FERC and the Environmental Protection Agency in the development of EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other major rules impacting electric reliability.

The letter also calls on FERC to convene a technical conference with federal agencies and stakeholders to discuss the reliability challenges posed by new federal environmental regulations.

The request follows a recent report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) that raises concerns about EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposal and its potential impact on the reliability of the nation’s electric grid. In the report, NERC questioned EPA's assumptions and called for additional reliability analysis.

Testimony from FERC commissioners at separate Senate and House hearings also suggests EPA did not properly consult with the commission when writing its proposed rule and ignored recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that a formal, documented process be established among relevant federal agencies to monitor reliability challenges.

“New environmental regulations pose one of the most serious threats to our nation’s electric grid. This administration continues to regulate too much too fast without proper consideration of the consequences for American consumers,” said Rep. Upton. “It is imperative that we know how these rules will impact reliability before they are implemented and that we have a plan in place to ensure that American families and businesses can keep the lights on.”

“The reliability of the grid is not optional,” said Sen. Murkowski. “It has been apparent for some time that we may need to protect the grid from our own federal actions and ensure the growing number of environmental rules do not negatively impact reliability. The challenge before us is maintaining and improving reliability and ensuring our energy supply remains affordable.”

"Recent reports have raised significant concerns over the reliability impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other rules as to whether our grid can sustain the president’s proposed electricity sector overhaul. We can’t afford to play a guessing game when it comes to reliability, and we need to be assured that EPA won’t simply leave Americans in the dark," said Rep. Whitfield.

To read the full letter to FERC, click HERE.

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BOOM! Auction Raises $35 Billion and Counting

2014/11/24

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today praised the Federal Communications Commission’s ongoing AWS-3 spectrum auction. Spurred by provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, the auction has already resulted in over $35 billion in revenue which will pay to upgrade and relocate existing government spectrum users, fully fund FirstNet, the nation’s first interoperable public safety broadband network, and provide $20 billion to meet deficit reduction goals.

“The FCC’s airwave auction has been a remarkable success – a boon for American taxpayers. To date, the auction has already raised enough money to cover the expenses to upgrade and relocate government spectrum users, pay for a nationwide first responder broadband network, and provide $20 billion to reduce the deficit,” said Upton. “Importantly, it has also proved that increased cooperation between the many parts of our government can result in better spectrum use, more resources to fuel the cutting-edge communications tools of the 21st century, and a return on investment for the American people.”

“Our bipartisan work with the Pentagon, FCC, and NTIA helped identify solutions to free this valuable spectrum without harming the Defense Department’s ability to train the men and women that work every day to keep Americans safe,” added Walden. “With the first-of-their-kind incentive auctions up next, the FCC has an opportunity to continue America’s leadership in wireless. We look forward to seeing the same level of dedication, cooperation, and ingenuity as the Commission works to bring broadcasters to the auction. Chairman Wheeler and the entire commission should be applauded for their work on this auction. Let’s build upon this success as we look toward the next auction in 2016.”

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What's Next for the #Path2Cures

2014/11/24

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) earlier this year launched the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative with the goal of accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery cycle of new cures and treatments. The first phase of this effort has been listening, which spurred the committee to host an extensive national conversation that included eight hearings and four roundtables in Washington, D.C., as well as 15 roundtables hosted by committee members all across the country. These events, along with the ideas shared with cures@mail.house.gov, have focused the initiative on six areas for reform:

  1. Integrate the patient’s perspective into the regulatory process
  2. Modernize clinical trials
  3. Foster the future of science, including encouraging young scientists
  4. Invest in advancing research
  5. Incentivize the development of new drugs and devices for unmet medical needs
  6. Support 21st century digital medicine by facilitating data sharing and the use of new technologies

Upton and DeGette are looking to introduce a discussion draft of legislation in January 2015.  

Learn more about 21st Century Cures online here, follow the initiative on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation using #Path2Cures.

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Committee Leaders Respond to EPA’s RFS Announcement

2014/11/21

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) issued the following statement in response to the EPA’s announcement today that it would not issue a rule setting Renewable Fuel Standard targets for 2014:

“Businesses and consumers have been waiting a year now for clarity and guidance from EPA, but this decision to completely abandon the 2014 targets only adds to the growing uncertainty and frustration. EPA cannot just choose to arbitrarily ignore the law and the deadlines established by Congress. This unexpected announcement highlights that there are still significant challenges facing the RFS and underscores the need to come together and find a practical, bipartisan solution.”

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Upton Applauds Swift Senate Action to Ensure Satellite TV Service for Over a Million Subscribers

2014/11/20

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today applauded the United States Senate’s swift action to approve bipartisan legislation that ensures 1.5 million satellite television subscribers continue to receive broadcast programming and makes a number of changes to improve the video marketplace for consumers. H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization Act is a bipartisan product of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The House approved H.R. 5728 by voice vote on Wednesday.

“When Americans flip on their TV, they aren’t thinking about legislative deadlines and complex policy negotiations – they just want it to work, with the programming they want. This bill makes sure satellite customers can keep accessing broadcast content, and it also starts the important process of modernizing our laws as consumers continue to change how and what they watch” said Upton. “I’m pleased with this bipartisan legislation that reflects the input and insight of both houses of Congress and look forward to that ongoing cooperation as we approach the dynamic issues of our innovation economy.”

H.R. 5728 has received the support of groups including 21st Century Fox, ABC / Disney, the American Cable Association, the American Television Alliance, CBS, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV & Dish Network, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and US Telecom.

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Contact Information

2125 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2927
Fax 202-225-1919
energycommerce.house.gov


Membership

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Bill Cassidy

LOUISIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Renee Ellmers

NORTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Cory Gardner

COLORADO's 4th DISTRICT

Phil Gingrey

GEORGIA's 11th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Brett Guthrie

KENTUCKY's 2nd DISTRICT

Ralph Hall

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Gregg Harper

MISSISSIPPI's 3rd DISTRICT

Bill Johnson

OHIO's 6th DISTRICT

Adam Kinzinger

ILLINOIS' 16th DISTRICT

Leonard Lance

NEW JERSEY's 7th DISTRICT

Bob Latta

OHIO's 5th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

David McKinley

WEST VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

WASHINGTON's 5th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Mike Pompeo

KANSAS' 4th DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

MICHIGAN's 8th DISTRICT

Steve Scalise

LOUISIANA's 1st DISTRICT

John Shimkus

ILLINOIS' 15th DISTRICT

Lee Terry

NEBRASKA's 2nd DISTRICT

Fred Upton

MICHIGAN's 6th DISTRICT

Greg Walden

OREGON's 2nd DISTRICT

Ed Whitfield

KENTUCKY's 1st DISTRICT