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Wednesday 7a-loughery

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Trees and Utilities Conference 2017

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Wednesday 7a-loughery

  1. 1. Rick Loughery Edison Electric Institute Trees & Utilities Conference 27 September 2017 Kansas City, Missouri Electric Utilities and Vegetation Management: The Washington, DC Angle
  2. 2. 2 “Elections Have Consequences”
  3. 3. 3 State of Play in DC  Non-traditional President in White House  Solid Republican Majority in the House of Representatives  Razor thin Republican majority in the Senate  Will fissures emerge within the Democrat & Republican parties?
  4. 4. 4  Budget  Tax Reform  Disaster & Wildfire Relief  Immigration Policy  Health Care?  Energy ?  Infrastructure?  Focus on Fall elections in 2018 National Legislative Priorities
  5. 5. 5  The siting, permitting, operation and maintenance of electric infrastructure shaped by consider environmental laws and regulations including: - NEPA - ESA - NHPA - MBTA - BGEPA - FLPMA  Interagency coordination for permitting Environmental Issues & Electric Infrastructure
  6. 6. 6  National reliability standards  State standards and rates  Tribal lands Other Laws & Regulations Affecting Infrastructure
  7. 7. 7  Covered in previous session.  Special thanks to UAA for work on the MOU. 2016 EEI-UAA MOU with Federal Land Management Agencies
  8. 8. 8  Executive Order 13766: Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects (January 24, 2017)  Presidential Executive Order on Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure (August 15, 2017)  Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council -Established under “FAST-41”  Interior Secretarial Order 3355 -Improvements to NEPA reviews conducted by DOI agencies 2017 Presidential Executive Orders and Related Initiatives
  9. 9. 9  Improving the environmental permitting process is a major priority for the current Administration Bottom Line
  10. 10. 10  H.R. 1873 – LaMalfa-Schrader bill  S. 1460, Section 2310 – Senate Energy bill  Senator Steve Daines vegetation management bill  September 19, 2017 Senate hearing “….. to examine the vegetation management requirements for electricity assets located on federal lands” Legislative Activities
  11. 11. 11  Similar to the Zinke-Schrader bill passed by the House in last Congress.  Secretaries of Agriculture & Interior shall provide direction to ensure existing & future ROWs include provisions for UVM, facility inspection and O&M.  Enable compliance with federal & state reliability and fire safety standards.  Allows for NEPA categorical exclusions.  Agencies to approve UVM, facilities inspection and O&M plans within 90 days.  Provides for training and guidance including UAVs and other new technologies. H.R. 1873 – LaMalfa-Schrader Bill
  12. 12. 12  Provides relief if the land agency impedes activities approved in a plan to meet reliability and fire safety standards, or "appropriate" VM activities to deal with a hazard tree or imminent danger of contact.  Provides relief from any wildfire liability [to the U.S.] in those narrow circumstances. H.R. 1873 – Liability Provisions
  13. 13. 13  Some similarities and subtle differences with H.R. 1873  Secretaries of Agriculture & Interior shall provide direction to ensure existing & future ROWs include provisions for UVM, facility inspection and O&M.  Enable compliance with federal & state reliability and fire safety standards.  Guidance should take the 2016 EEI-UAA MOU into account.  Allows for NEPA categorical exclusions, but more restrictive than H.R. 1873  Agencies to approve UVM, facilities inspection and O&M plans within 180 days rather than 90 days.  Provides for training and guidance but makes no mention of UAVs and other new technologies. S. 1460, section 2310 – Senate Energy Bill
  14. 14. 14  Provides relief only in context of unreasonable delay or failure to approve plans or to honor plan schedules, not for impeding compliance with reliability or fire standards or dealing with danger trees, contact, or emergencies.  Provides relief only from strict liability, impliedly not liability for negligence. S. 1460, section 2310 – Liability Provisions
  15. 15. 15  Various drafts have been floated, not known what will be in the final bill he introduces, or when it will be introduced.  Senator Daines has expressed support for H.R. 1873. Senator Steve Daines Vegetation Management Bill
  16. 16. 16  September 19, 2017  “….. to examine the vegetation management requirements for electricity assets located on federal lands and to receive testimony on Section 2310 of S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, and H.R. 1873, the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act.”  Andrew Rable, Arizona Public Service, testified on behalf of EEI Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Hearing
  17. 17. 17  General support by all on the Committee that barriers need to be removed that potentially keep utilities from meeting reliability and fire safety standards on public lands.  The 2016 EEI-UAA MOU was referenced several times in testimony and follow-up questions.  Differences exist within Senate ENR Committee members the extent of liability protection and NEPA categorical exclusions.  Senators Murkowski and Cantwell have submitted follow up questions to Andrew Rable and EEI. September 19, 2017 Senate Hearing Highlights
  18. 18. 18  Access to perform UVM on public lands a high priority for electric utility CEOs.  Trump Administration focused on streamlining permitting for new and existing infrastructure.  Congress showing interest, but other high profile national priority issues may delay passage of legislation. Concluding Remarks
  19. 19. The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association that represents the U.S. investor-owned electric industry. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly employ more than 500,000 workers. Safe, reliable, affordable, and clean electricity powers the economy and enhances the lives of all Americans. The EEI membership also includes dozens of international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members. Since 1933, EEI has provided public policy leadership, strategic business intelligence, and essential conferences and forums for the energy industry. For more information, visit our Web site at www.eei.org.

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