Week Ahead: Congress, Industry Groups Dig Into Infrastructure

Congress and energy industry groups will lay the groundwork during the week of May 15 for President Donald Trump’s forthcoming infrastructure proposal.

Trump has vowed to advance a $1 trillion plan to rebuild aging water lines, pipelines, highways and other U.S. infrastructure through some as-yet undetermined combination of public spending and tax incentives.

The Senate Environment and Public Works’ Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee will hold a May 16 hearing on how federal funding can be leveraged to find innovative infrastructure solutions. The full committee also will hold a hearing May 17 on the future of infrastructure.

Integrated planning in water infrastructure will be the topic of a May 18 hearing by House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on the Water Resources and Environment. The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 integrated planning policy allows cities and counties to prioritize stormwater and wastewater projects based on affordability. The hearing will include Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Ind., representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Mayor Johnny DuPree of Hattiesburg, Miss. Amena H. Saiyid will cover.

As part of a new series on how cities and states address infrastructure, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a May 15 briefing on Capitol Hill. It will discuss the role that state and territorial energy officials—along with other state agencies, the private sector, and Department of Energy—can play in addressing energy-supply disruptions caused by extreme weather and other events.

Bloomberg BNA reporters David Schultz and Saiyid will have a story during the week of May 15 on the impact of Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall on water quality and water supplies as well as ongoing and proposed water infrastructure projects between the countries.

Also coming up the week of May 15:

Bernhardt Hearing: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Trump’s nomination of David Bernhardt, a specialist in energy and natural resources, as deputy secretary of the Interior Department. Bernhardt chairs the natural resource practice at law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP and is a familiar figure to energy industry representatives. Alan Kovski will cover.

Murkowski on Energy: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of Energy and Natural Resources, will be among the speakers at a May 17 event sponsored by the American Council for Capital Formation Policy Research and the ClearPath Foundation. Murkowski and other speakers will discuss new approaches to a national energy strategy, including opportunities in nuclear, hydropower and other technologies. Brian Dabbs will cover.

Pruitt on Federalism: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will speak about his approach to managing the relationship between his agency and the states at the Hoover Institution in Washington on May 18. Pruitt has said handing back authority to the states is one of the centerpieces of his philosophy on environmental regulation. David Schultz will report.

Bloomberg BNA energy and environment staff also will have in-depth articles on several issues, including Dean Scott examining China’s role in global climate-change leadership and Lien Hoang looking at Vietnam’s air pollution.