US lawmakers rethink energy policy priorities

It has been eight years since US lawmakers have attempted to craft comprehensive energy legislation. Past attempts have mandated widespread use of renewable fuels and extended Daylight Savings Time, among other things.

Now, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is attempting to stitch together a range of separate energy policy ideas into a common package. The committee has held three hearings so far, with one more set for 9 June. Its members have considered 70 separate bills that might be included in the package that committee chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) hopes to introduce later this summer.  Continue reading

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Budgetary battles

It’s the time of year when US lawmakers summon federal regulators to Capitol Hill to defend their annual budget requests, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is not immune.

CFTC chairman Timothy Massad was grilled by not one, but two committees in the House of Representative last week.

First up was the House Appropriations committee, where Massad defended the CFTC’s request for a budget increase. The chairman of the subcommittee, Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) pointed out that the CFTC had seen one of the biggest budgetary increases since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, even as US debt mounts. Continue reading

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