Window on Washington – Vol. 6, Issue 28 | Clark Hill PLC | #macos | #macsecurity


Outlook for This Week in the Nation’s Capital

Congress. The House and Senate are in session this week. The House plans to take up an FY23 appropriations minibus this week in addition to a handful of natural resources, foreign affairs, and health bills. The Senate will likely see procedural floor action on the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) funding legislation, setting up a final vote there on this long sought measure next week, with  the House  prepared to follow suit. Hearings for this week include examining nominations, the implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, long COVID, regenerative agriculture, election security, the Farm Bill, gun violence, and early childhood investments. The House Judiciary Committee is also set to markup and report out to the House floor legislation that bans assault weapons, but even if the House ultimately passes the bill, it is unlikely to find adequate support in the Senate.  The House January 6th Committee also holds a prime time hearing Thursday evening as part of its continuing investigation of the events of that day.

USICA CHIPS Funding. The Senate is finalizing legislation and will take the first procedural votes late in the week on $52 billion in incentives for domestic semiconductor chips production as soon as this week, though no final decisions have been made yet. While the semiconductor funding and related tax provisions for the industry will be the core of the bill, it is likely to have additional provisions sought by members of both parties in both Houses of Congress in early versions of the legislation.  Senate Democratic Leader is likely to file a cloture petition on the measure as early as tomorrow, setting up a procedural vote to limit debate on Thursday.  Senate Republicans signaled over the weekend that Democrats’ intention to scale back its proposed Reconciliation package to a few items would justify them dropping an earlier threat to block final passage of CHIPS legislation.  Should these events occur as expected, final Senate action on the measure would occur next week, with a likely House vote before the August recess.

FY23 Budget and Appropriations. The House plans to take up a six-bill appropriations minibus this week that includes the Agriculture (Ag), Energy and Water (EW), Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), Interior, Military Construction and the VA (MilCon/VA), and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bills. House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and House leadership hope to pass all twelve bills before the August recess, but there’s a chance a handful of the bills – such as Commerce/Justice/Science (CJS), Defense, and Homeland Security (DHS) – may not make it to the House floor before then.

Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) plans to forego his panel’s appropriations markups and instead publicly release their versions of the twelve FY23 appropriations bills at the end of July. Similar to last year, the panel could potentially put some of the bills to a vote if Republicans engage in bipartisan negotiations over topline funding levels to Leahy’s satisfaction, but so far, Republican leaders propose a short-term continuing resolution through mid-December, with negotiations taking place after the midterm elections.

Reconciliation. President Joe Biden last week called on Congress to pass legislation before the August recess that would lower prescription drug costs for older Americans and extend Obamacare subsidies. This will likely be the scope of the next reconciliation bill given Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) comments that he is not ready to support climate and energy provisions due to the current inflation situation. The new package, nicknamed “Build Back Manchin,” is likely to undergo a review by the Senate Parliamentarian to make sure its text passes procedural muster.  A final vote on the measure is not expected until very late this month or in early August due to the procedural requirements using Budget Reconciliation.

Jan. 6 Hearings. The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack plans to hold a primetime hearing on Thursday at 8 pm, the Committee’s eight hearing, in what could be the panel’s last hearing for the summer. The panel will review former President Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the attack, particularly the three hours between him leaving his rally and releasing his statement that finally asked the rioters to go home.

Biden Administration. Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver a keynote address at the NAACP convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey today. President Joe Biden is starting off the week freshly back from his first trip to the Middle East since taking office, which included stops in Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia. His trip brought widespread criticism back in the United States, largely given the way he greeted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite Saudi’s human rights violations and that he did not get a concrete commitment from Saudi Arabia to increase oil production that would in turn lower gas prices.

Last Week in the Nation’s Capital

CONGRESS

Budget & Appropriations

DeLauro Working to Get All Dozen Spending Bills Through House: House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said the House is aiming to pass all 12 of its fiscal 2023 appropriations bills before the upcoming August recess. The House will consider six of the bills this week, and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters that the House would take up at least three more of the spending bills, and potentially more, the week of July 25, the final week before the August recess. (Roll Call)

Manchin’s Offer to Dems: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that he wants to see another month of inflation numbers before considering legislation that might increase taxes on some higher-income Americans and plow hundreds of billions of dollars into the energy sector. Manchin “unequivocally” rejected July or August approval of Democrats’ proposed energy investments and tax increases in a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), according to a person briefed on the meeting. (Politico)

Banking & Housing

Cannabis Banking Provisions Clear House for Seventh Time: The House on Thursday passed for the seventh time provisions that would allow cannabis businesses to use banking services, although the amendment to the fiscal 2023 defense authorization bill faces an uphill battle to become law. Past efforts to pass cannabis banking provisions, both as stand-alone legislation and as amendments attached to must-pass bills, have languished in the Senate, where a group of Democrats want to wrap banking provisions into a bigger package legalizing marijuana on the federal level. (Roll Call)

Biden’s Top Bank Cop Confirmed with Strong Bipartisan Backing: The Senate last Wednesday voted 66-28 to approve consumer advocate Michael Barr for the Federal Reserve’s top regulatory job, where he’s expected to bring a tougher approach to the nation’s megabanks but also openness to new financial technology. (Politico)

GOP Lawmakers Urge FHFA Oversight of Fannie, Freddie: Republican members of the House Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Subcommittee are urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to provide oversight of activities under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Financial Reg News)

Crypto/Blockchain

Democrats Concerned by Crypto Mining Energy Usage: Six Democrats led by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-WA) of Massachusetts requested in a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy that they require greater emissions and energy use reporting from the crypto mining industry. The lawmakers said the top seven mining companies have presently developed over 1,045 megawatts of energy capacity for their mining operations – enough to power all the residences in Houston, the largest city by population in Texas. (CoinDesk)

Tax Reform

Democratic Bill Would Mandate New IRS Free Tax-Filing Program: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is leading fellow Democrats in renewing a push for the IRS to create its own free tax-filing services and move away from its current private partnership, whose services only a slim portion of taxpayers use. Warren put forward a bill that would mandate the IRS create its own free, online program for preparing and filing tax returns and expand taxpayers’ access to their own tax-related data held by the agency. California Democrats Brad Sherman and Katie Porter led introduction of a House version of the measure. (Roll Call)

Global Tax Deal Imperiled by Manchin’s Balking at Minimum Corporate Levy: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Friday rejected the idea of imposing a 15 percent global minimum tax on U.S. companies, blowing a big hole in the Biden administration’s campaign to remake the international tax system. (Politico)

Transportation

Lawmakers, Biden, Sports Leagues Press for New Action on Drone Threats: Lawmakers and U.S. sports leagues on Thursday backed a bid by the White House for expanded powers from Congress to detect and disable threatening drones. (Reuters)

New Crewing Mandate Could Be a ‘Gut Punch’ to U.S. Offshore Wind Projects: The U.S. House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), in which it attached a provision that would change rules for manning offshore vessels in U.S. waters, with the goal of fostering American jobs in the U.S. offshore wind sector, however, the move could be counterproductive. (Marine Link)

Trade

House Passes Bill Aimed at Making Imported Baby Formula Cheaper: The House last week overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill aimed to make imported baby formula cheaper for parents to buy in the wake of the ongoing baby formula shortage. The bill passed the House by a 421-2 vote and now moves to consideration in the Senate. (CNN)

Defense

House Passes $839B Defense Authorization Bill, Swatting Down Biden’s Military Plans: The House approved sweeping defense policy legislation last Thursday by a bipartisan vote of 329-101, and it marks the second straight year Democrats and Republicans endorsed significant increases ($37 billion in FY23) to President Joe Biden’s Pentagon spending plan. On top of the budget increase, the bill also rebukes several of Biden’s national security plans. (Politico)

A Look At Some Key Tech Amendments In The 2023 House NDAA: The House passed its version of the annual national defense authorization bill late last Thursday night with several new tech amendments packed into the massive policy legislation, a variety of provisions that touch on everything from cyber education to the electromagnetic spectrum, and satellites. (Defense One)

House NDAA would Further Limit Pentagon Officials’ Stock Ownership: The House voted quietly Thursday to include in its defense authorization bill tighter restrictions on top Defense Department officials owning stocks in major defense contractors. The proposal to address potential conflicts of interest among Pentagon leaders comes despite the fact that Congress has yet to set statutory limits on its own stock ownership or that of the Supreme Court — changes that many on Capitol Hill and beyond say are past due. (Roll Call)

Homeland Security & Immigration

Defense Bill Could be Best Shot for Immigration Changes: Proposals to help Afghan refugees and “documented Dreamers” were included in a sweeping defense authorization bill that passed the House on Thursday, boosting their likelihood of becoming law before the midterm elections. (Roll Call)

Judiciary/Justice

Bipartisan Bill Would Clarify that VP Role with Electors is Only Ceremonial: A bipartisan group of senators is expected to release a bill as soon as this week clarifying that the vice president has only a ceremonial role when Congress tallies Electoral College votes after a presidential election. The legislation would also increase, from one each in the House and Senate, the number of lawmakers required to challenge a slate of electors from a state, according to a source close to the talks. The source did not disclose what the new threshold would be. (Roll Call)

Senate Confirms Steve Dettelbach as Biden’s Pick to Lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: The Senate voted last Tuesday to confirm Steve Dettelbach as President Joe Biden’s pick to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Successful confirmation of the nominee is a victory for the Biden administration and comes in the wake of a string of recent mass shootings – in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas and Highland Park, Illinois – that have shocked the nation and led to calls for further action to address gun violence in America. (CNN)

House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Create Active Shooter Alert System: The House passed legislation last Wednesday that would create an Amber-alert-like system for active shooter situations.

In a 260-169 vote, lawmakers approved the Active Shooter Alert Act, which was sponsored by Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Fred Upton (R-MI). The bill now heads to the Senate. (NBC News)

Republicans Attack Return of Obama DOJ Settlement Deals: Thirty-five Republican lawmakers last week urged the Justice Department not to revive a popular enforcement tool that the Trump administration had eliminated. In comments filed Friday on DOJ’s interim rule to bring back supplemental environmental projects, or SEPs, members of the House and Senate said the tool — which allows polluters to complete EPA-approved projects in exchange for lower fines — had resulted in “corrupt settlement agreements” with third parties during the Obama years. (E&E News)

Cyber

Simple Cyber Reporting Will Enable Better Governmentwide Response, Lawmaker Argues: U.S. government digital systems and infrastructure can adjust to a changing cyber threat landscape with a centralized incident reporting structure to incentivize incident reporting.   Speaking during a panel hosted by the Information Technology Industry Council last Wednesday, Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) discussed the important role federal agencies play in supporting cybersecurity efforts nationwide. (Next Gov)

Agriculture

DeLauro and Durbin Introduce Food Safety Agency Bill:  Introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL),  the Food Safety Administration Act would establish the Food Safety Administration under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by incorporating the existing food programs within FDA into this separate agency: the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). This agency would be led by a food safety expert confirmed by the Senate. (Food Safety News)

New Bill Aims to Strengthen Research in Ag Conservation: A new bill introduced by the Ranking Members of the House Science, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committees, the Carbon Sequestration Collaboration Act, aims to increase agriculture and forestry’s current 13% carbon capture rate by establishing more research and development programs in land use. (AgWeb)

Environment & Interior

Democratic Senator Questions Why Manchin Is Chairman of Natural Resources Panel: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) said Friday he is questioning why Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after Manchin refused to back climate provisions in a Democratic budget reconciliation package. “We have an opportunity to address the climate crisis right now. Senator Manchin’s refusal to act is infuriating,” Heinrich wrote on Twitter. “It makes me question why he’s Chair of ENR,” he added. (The Hill)

Enforcement, Superfund Nominees for EPA in Confirmation Limbo: Two nominees for high-ranking EPA positions are in procedural purgatory as Republicans aim to block their confirmations and Democratic leaders have so far declined to bring them to the floor. The nominations have languished since last year. David Uhlmann, picked to lead the EPA’s enforcement division, formally the Office of Enforcement Compliance and Assurance, and Carlton Waterhouse, chosen to oversee the Superfund and waste division, had their confirmation hearings in 2021. (Roll Call)

Sequoias Safe for Now, as Lawmakers Debate Forest Policies: Giant sequoias — thousand-year-old trees as large as 275 feet tall — came under threat this month from wildfires raging in central California’s Yosemite National Park, though firefighters have reported the blaze was contained before it encroached on trees in the park’s famous Mariposa Grove. The narrow escape for a national treasure has sparked debate in Congress about how to reduce wildfires in Yosemite and other nearby federal lands, pitting lawmakers from both parties against conservationists who fear legislative proposals could open the door to excessive timber-cutting in national forests. (Roll Call)

Sullivan Leads Effort to Overturn Biden’s Onerous NEPA Rules, Save Historic Infrastructure Investments: U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced S.J. Res. 55, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act(CRA), with all 49 of his Senate Republican colleagues to nullify the Biden administration’s new regulation, “National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations Revisions,” that will further bog down the already-onerous federal permitting process and add further delay to building vital infrastructure projects and putting hard-working Americans back to work. (Clark Hill Insight)

Bipartisan Bill Would Streamline Hydroelectric Permitting: A bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) would streamline existing law to hasten the retrofitting of dams for hydropower. The bill would amend the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act to simplify the process of adding hydropower capacity to non-power dams, streamlining what Kuster called a “lengthy and inconsistent permitting review process.” (The Hill)

EXECUTIVE BRANCH 

Budget & Appropriations

Biden Says He Will Act on Climate Change After Manchin Opposes Reconciliation Approach: President Joe Biden said he will move forward with his own efforts to combat climate change and curb greenhouse gas emissions after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Democratic leadership that he won’t support the climate provisions in the reconciliation bill. (CNBC)

Health/HHS/NIH

Monkeypox Cases Are Increasing and The U.S. Doesn’t Have Enough Vaccines to Meet Demand: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that demand for monkeypox vaccine in the U.S. is now greater than the national supply. The shortfall, which CDC Director Rochelle Walensky described as “frustrating,” comes as the U.S. has recorded 1,470 monkeypox cases, up from 45 cases on June 10. The U.S. cases are part of a global outbreak that has been widening since May and now includes more than 11,000 confirmed cases in 55 countries. (Politico)

Biden tells Senate to Pass Health Bill And I’ll Tackle Climate Through Executive Action: President Biden on Friday told senators to move forward with a slimmed-down, health care-only reconciliation package before their August recess after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) struck a blow to his agenda over its tax and climate provisions, which Biden said he will address through executive action. “After decades of fierce opposition from powerful special interests, Democrats have come together, beaten back the pharmaceutical industry and are prepared to give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices and to prevent an increase in health insurance premiums for millions of families with coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said in a statement. (The Hill)

White House COVID-19 Coordinator Says Virus ‘Still Evolving Rapidly’: As variants continue to circulate and develop, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha says the U.S. has “got to stay on top of this virus” as it quickly evolves. “We’re still in the middle of this pandemic,” Jha said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” The latest COVID-19 subvariant, BA.5, is the most highly transmissible to date, Jha said. It’s also “immune-evasive,” leading to high levels of reinfection and breakthrough infections. (The Hill)

Biden Administration Says Pharmacists Cannot Deny Contraceptives: In the latest salvo aimed at responding to a June 24 Supreme Court decision overturning the federal right to an abortion, the Biden administration Wednesday told pharmacists that they will violate federal civil rights laws if they deny women prescribed medications because of personal views about contraception or abortion. The Department of Health and Human Services sent guidance to roughly 60,000 retail pharmacies reminding them of their legal obligation under federal civil rights laws to dispense medication as prescribed, including contraceptives and medication for women experiencing pregnancy loss or needing a medication abortion. (Roll Call)

Labor & Workforce

The Labor Department Moves Forward on Reducing Turnover on Service Contracts: The Labor Department is making progress on the president’s directive from last fall to reduce turnover on federal service contractors in order to promote economy and efficiency. The Labor Department will officially publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on Friday to implement the executive order the president signed in November that requires contractors and subcontractors who work on covered federal service contracts to give service employees the right of first refusal on successor contracts. This brings back policies from an Obama administration-era directive, which the Trump administration revoked. (GovExec)

GOP Takes a Fresh Look at Paid Family Leave: Republicans are taking a renewed interest in paid family leave — traditionally a Democratic priority — in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Republicans urgently want to establish themselves as pro-woman and pro-family, as critics accuse the party of caring about children only before they’re born. (Axios)

Department of Education

Federal Judge Blocks Education Department’s Title IX Guidance That Protects Transgender Students: A federal judge temporarily blocked the Education Department’s Title IX guidance, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Eastern District of Tennessee Judge Charles Atchley in an order late Friday said the agency’s guidance “directly interferes with and threatens Plaintiff States’ ability to continue enforcing their state laws” that restrict transgender people from playing on sports teams and using bathrooms that match their gender identity. (Politico)

Banking & Housing/HUD

SEC Seeks to Ease Barriers for Investors’ ESG Proposals: The Securities and Exchange Commission last Wednesday proposed expanding investors’ ability to resubmit proposals on environmental, social and governance issues as the 2022 proxy season sees record levels of votes and Republicans ramp up criticisms of the agency. (Roll Call)

Crypto/Blockchain

SEC Weighs Waiving Some Rules to Regulate Crypto: Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said that they may use its authority to exempt crypto companies from certain securities laws to help the industry come into compliance. He mentioned that such an approach is used for asset-backed securities and equity offerings. (Yahoo)

Transportation/DOT

Biden Averts Freight Railroad Strike – For Now: Worried about supply chain problems that are already causing problems for the nation’s economy, President Joe Biden took action Friday to prevent 115,000 US railroad workers from going on strike as planned early Monday morning. A strike would have brought nearly 30% of the nation’s freight to a screeching halt. (CNN)

Trade

Biden Administration Reviewing China Chip Export Policies: The Biden administration is reviewing policies for the export of some semiconductor chips to China to ensure that advanced technological know-how does not ending up in Beijing, a top Commerce Department official said during a congressional hearing on Thursday. (Reuters)

Space/NASA & NOAA

Rogozin Out, Seat Swap In: Last Friday saw two big announcements affecting U.S.-Russian ISS cooperation. First came the news that Dmitry Rogozin, the vituperative head of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, was removed from his job. Then NASA issued a statement confirming that at long last it had reached a seat-swap agreement with Roscosmos where U.S. astronauts will launch to ISS on Russian spacecraft and Russian cosmonauts on U.S. spacecraft on a no-exchange-of-funds basis. It is not clear whether the two are related or coincidental. (Space Policy Online)

NOAA’s Powerful New Weather Forecasting Supercomputers Are Now Online: Two new supercomputers are three times faster than NOAA’s previous systems, and NOAA has plans to upgrade a number of major modeling systems over the next few years with this enhanced capacity. More computing power also means that NOAA can build better data assimilation systems to accept weather data from new sources of information such as satellites and saildrones. (Popular Science)

NASA Division Proposing Program to Send Scientists to ISS: NASA’s biological and physical sciences division is seeking funding for the start of a new program in FY23 that could fly “hyper-specialized” scientists to the International Space Station, and potentially future commercial space stations, on private missions to conduct research that could then be handed off to NASA astronauts. (Space News)

Cislunar? White House OSTP is Glad you Asked: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a request for Information to help develop a national science and technology strategy for U.S. activities in cislunar space. Not familiar with cislunar? The OSTP request defines it as geostationary orbit that is subject to the Earth or moon’s gravity, but which also includes orbits around the moon and the lunar surface. (MeriTalk)

Defense/DOD

Pentagon Goes Public to Fill Defense Innovation Unit Post Amid Pressure from Congress: The Pentagon’s technology shop posted a job opening for a new Defense Innovation Unit director, an unusual move for such a high-level position. DIU leads the U.S. Department of Defense’s efforts to transition commercial technology for national security applications and works closely with companies new to doing business with DoD. (Defense News)

20 Years Later, the Navy says Its Littoral Combat Ships (kind of) Work: Two decades after Congress started pouring money into the Littoral Combat Ship program, it is finally “on trend to meet design requirements” established under then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Navy told Congress in a recent report. (Politico)

Navy to Put Some Urgency into Fixing Growing Problems with Sailor Pay: The Department of the Navy launched its new Navy Pay and Personnel System (NP2) in 2019, hoping to consolidate more than 55 disparate systems and modernize some applications that were more than three decades old. For hundreds of sailors, seamen and civilians, NP2 has been an ongoing problem. (Federal News Network)

DHS & Immigration

DHS Puts the Kibosh on Saying ‘Pilot’ as it Deals with New Congressional Reporting Requirements: There is a new unwritten rule at the Department of Homeland Security these days: Don’t use the word pilot or demonstration program in public or in official documents. At DHS these days, the words are verboten thanks to a little noticed provision in the Department of Homeland Security’s section of the fiscal 2022 omnibus spending bill. (Federal News Network)

ICE is Short $345 Million, Poised to Spend More than Ever: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will run out of money before October unless the Department of Homeland Security pulls millions of dollars from other programs, as the surge of migrants at the border drives up costs. (Axios)

Judiciary/DOJ

FCC to Seek Ways to Help Domestic Violence Survivors: The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to begin exploring how its broadband affordability programs can be better tailored to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The FCC’s notice of inquiry seeks comment on how its Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program — which subsidizes phone and broadband service for low-income households — can be changed to ease enrollment for survivors. (Axios)

Cyber

Biden’s Cyber Strategy Expected to Boost Federal Role in Protecting Critical Systems From Hackers:  A forthcoming White House cybersecurity strategy will likely project a more muscular federal government role to safeguard the nation’s digital infrastructure, taking a more aggressive approach than prior administrations to compel industry to do more to prevent U.S. adversaries from hacking critical networks.  (Cyberscoop)

EPA & DOI

A Newly Empowered Federal Agency is Trying to Speed up Megaproject Permitting: The process of getting permits for infrastructure projects that involve federal lands or federal agencies has long been a source of frustration for state and local officials. But a Biden administration official says a new agency is helping to speed those projects along. “Funding is great, but permitting is where the proverbial rubber meets the road,” Christine Harada, the executive director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council. “This is exactly where we really need to work together and ensure that we are reducing the friction with respect to getting this infrastructure actually done.” (Route Fifty)

Department of Energy

White House Energy Adviser says There is ‘Room’ for OPEC to Increase Oil Production: The White House’s senior adviser for energy security on Sunday said there is room for global oil-producing alliance OPEC to increase production. Amos Hochstein said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he was “pretty confident” in upcoming negotiations with the organization to increase global oil supply. (The Hill)

Isotope Supply Chain at Risk from War in Ukraine: The prospect of sanctions on Russia’s nuclear industry over the country’s invasion of Ukraine has drawn fresh attention to the fragility of supply chains for isotopes used in a variety of medical and industrial applications. Russia is the sole commercial supplier for some isotopes and a major producer of uranium, which is used in isotope production reactors. Recognizing risks of U.S. reliance on Russia and other countries for isotopes, five years ago the Department of Energy set in motion efforts to shore up domestic production capacity, but key facilities in that campaign are currently a decade from completion. (AIP)



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