DOE Awards Up to $3 Million for Engagement with Electric Utilities to Support Carbon Management and Energy Storage Technologies

Source: US Department of Energy

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced up to $3 million in funding for four national public power associations to help increase regional and state-level engagement in DOE’s emerging carbon management work and advance energy storage technologies at U.S. power generation facilities. The cooperative agreements issued with these awards will support the development of tools, educational resources and training in long-term planning and policy analysis to improve the conditions of frontline communities impacted by the legacy of fossil fuel use and support a healthy transition to a clean energy economy.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will serve as the contracting authority for the cooperative agreements and will manage the following awards:

  • DOE-NARUC Coal Modernization and Carbon Management Partnership The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) (Washington, District of Columbia) will use its expertise and trusted state partnerships to promote learning and discussion among its membership on topics including (1) using the capabilities of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and other advanced pollution control technologies to reduce emissions and environmental impacts of fossil fuel-based energy generation; (2) exploring opportunities to utilize existing coal and fossil fuel production and transportation infrastructure, as well as coal waste and coal combustion byproducts, to support energy security, economic growth, climate mitigation and an equitable energy transition to a low-carbon economy; and (3) examining the role of coal and other fossil resources in light of the current climate crisis, while also enhancing energy security and resilience, economic growth and sustainability and environmental justice and energy equity for coal communities.
    DOE Funding: up to $200,000 per year for five years; Total Value: up to $1,000,000
  • State and Local Innovation and Analysis in Support of Long-Term Energy Planning and Policy The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) (Arlington, Virginia) will also use its expertise and trusted position in state energy policy and planning to research, analyze and develop educational information on various topics including how to minimize the climate and associated environmental impacts of fossil energy; the impacts on states and local communities of transitioning the energy industry to clean energy; new developments for carbon management such as CCUS; and new technological advances such as hydrogen usage and the potential roles of coal and its byproducts for supplying critical minerals that are used to manufacture products such as smart phones and computer monitors, as well as for clean energy applications like windmills and solar panels. NASEO will develop educational briefs and information sessions on these topics to facilitate peer-to-peer learning among state energy officials.
    DOE Funding: up to $200,000 per year for five years; Total Value: up to $1,000,000
  • Outreach for Advanced Storage Integration and Support (OASIS) The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) (Arlington, Virginia) will provide educational resources, training and workshops to electric cooperatives to help empower them to integrate new energy storage technologies with their generation systems. These efforts will include guidance and support to construct pilot projects that build on previous storage integration studies with DOE. NRECA will conduct coordination and outreach with its smaller electric generation utility members to facilitate awareness, technology transfer and sharing of best practices and lessons learned, as well as information on partnering with DOE on future projects and site-specific energy storage integration studies.
    DOE Funding: $100,000 per year for five years; Non-DOE Funding: $25,000 per year for five years; Total Value: $625,000
  • Energy Storage Accessibility for Public Power Utilities American Public Power Association (APPA) (Arlington, VA) will bring together municipal utilities to facilitate discussion, evaluate opportunities, and define barriers to integrating energy storage technologies with power plants, and work with DOE and other stakeholders to mitigate these barriers. APPA also will develop educational resources, publications and technical tools for public power utilities that will enhance their ability to explore and implement energy storage projects. This work will directly benefit public power utilities, as well as the customers and communities that rely on them to ensure regional grid stability. 
    DOE Funding: $100,000 per year for five years; Non-DOE Funding: $25,000 per year for five years; Total Value: $625,000

FECM funds research, development, demonstration and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial sources, to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and to mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use. To learn more, visit the FECM website, sign up for FECM news announcements and visit the NETL website.       

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H.R. 1224, Merit Systems Protection Board Empowerment Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 1224 would authorize the appropriation of whatever amounts are necessary for the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. The MSPB is an independent quasi-judicial agency that oversees the federal merit system, protects federal employees from prohibited personnel practices, and prosecutes violators of civil service rules and regulations. The bill also would make changes to how the MSPB collects information and trains employees.

In 2021, the MSPB received an appropriation of $44 million. On that basis and accounting for the effects of anticipated inflation, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $46 million in 2022 and growing to $53 million in 2026, to fund the MSPB’s operations. In total, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1224 would cost $242 million over the
2022-2026 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.

The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 800 (general government).

H.R. 1339, Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 1339 would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish an interagency working group on advanced air mobility (AAM) consisting of representatives from at least eight federal agencies. The working group would evaluate the policies and infrastructure necessary to advance AAM operations, coordinate with state and local governments and the private sector, develop recommendations, and report to the Congress.

For the purposes of this estimate, CBO assumes the bill will be enacted by the end of calendar year 2021. Using information from DOT and based on the cost of similar activities, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1339 would cost $1 million over the 2022-2026 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

On July 26, 2021, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 516, the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on May 12, 2021. The two bills are similar, and CBO’s estimates of their total costs are the same. The differences in the costs for 2021 reflect differences in the assumed enactment date at the time we transmitted the estimates.

H.R. 4035, Real Justice for Our Veterans Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 4035 would authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide grants to local governments for improving retention rates in veterans treatment court and drug court programs, specialized programs that integrate substance use treatment services with criminal proceedings. The bill also would allow veterans to participate in a regular drug court if no veterans treatment court is available. H.R. 4035 would require DOJ to report to the Congress three years after enactment on the effectiveness of veterans treatment court programs, including an assessment of access to such programs for women and people in various demographic groups.

The bill would authorize appropriations of $3 million annually over the 2022-2027 period for the grant program. Using historical rates of spending for similar activities, CBO estimates that DOJ would spend $8 million over the 2021-2026 period to implement the provision, with the remaining amount spent after 2026. Based on the cost of similar activities, CBO estimates that the cost to produce the report would be less than $500,000 over the 2022-2026 period; any such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

S. 2123, Pray Safe Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

S. 2123 would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to publish information regarding the safety and security of faith-based organizations and houses of worship, including best practices for those entities and information on relevant federal and state grant programs. The bill would require DHS to establish and administer a website as the primary federal source for that information within nine months of enactment. The agency also would be required to designate at least one employee to assist website users and report to the Congress annually on the bill’s implementation.

Using information from DHS about similar programs, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost about $2 million in 2022 and $1 million each year thereafter, for a total of $6 million over the 2022-2026 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. That estimate includes the cost of about 10 employees who would establish the site and compile information required in the bill and about five employees who would update the site annually, assist users, and report to the Congress.

Any regrets?

Source: US National Republican Congressional Committee

The following text contains opinion that is not, or not necessarily, that of MIL-OSI –

The #BidenBorderCrisis is out of control with some of the most-trafficked areas in Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez’s districts. 

Scenes, like the 10,000 illegal immigrants waiting in Del Rio to enter the United States, are becoming regular occurrences along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Migrants, once let into the United States, aren’t tested for COVID, or given a vaccine, even though they’ve spent months in close quarters with thousands of other people. 

The Biden Administration refuses to fix it, and the pleas of Americans living on the border have fallen on deaf ears. 

Do Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar regret endorsing Joe Biden’s presidential run and working to get him elected? Or do they stand by the president wreaking havoc on their districts?

SEC Awards $11.5 Million to Two Whistleblowers

Source: Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington D.C., Sept. 17, 2021 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards of approximately $11.5 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance contributed to the success of an SEC enforcement action.

The first whistleblower received an award of nearly $7 million, while the second whistleblower received more than $4.5 million. The larger award was in recognition of the fact that the first whistleblower was the initial source that caused the staff to open the investigation into hard-to-detect violations and thereafter provided substantial assistance. The second whistleblower, by comparison, submitted information later, after the investigation was already underway, and had delayed reporting to the Commission for several years after becoming aware of the wrongdoing.

“This case demonstrates the Commission’s continued commitment to rewarding individuals who provide high-quality tips, and particularly timely ones,” said Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “These whistleblowers reported credible information that aided the Commission’s investigation and their subsequent cooperation allowed the Commission to better understand the violations that formed the basis of the enforcement action.”

The SEC has awarded approximately $1 billion to 212 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.  Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action.  Whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.

As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.

For more information about the whistleblower program and how to report a tip, visit www.sec.gov/whistleblower.

DCCC Chair doesn’t want anyone to know how much $ they are spending

Source: US National Republican Congressional Committee

The following text contains opinion that is not, or not necessarily, that of MIL-OSI –

The latest DCCC strategy: stop mentioning how much it costs when talking about Democrats’ newest socialist spending spree.

On Morning Joe Sean Patrick Maloney said there needs to be more “coaching” for Democrats to stop talking about the $3.5 trillion price tag on his party’s socialist spending spree. 

It doesn’t matter how you spin it, Sean, American voters know this is bad for them and will hold Democrats accountable for it!

Now Available: International Guidelines on Natural and Nature-Based Features for Flood Risk Management

Source: US National Ocean Service News

At Swan Island, situated in Chesapeake Bay, high rates of shoreline erosion and subsidence deteriorated the island’s natural habitat and its ability to shelter the nearby town of Ewell, Maryland, from wave energy. Prior to restoration in 2019, the low-lying portion of Swan Island consisted of fragmented low marsh in danger of further loss. To reverse this trend and restore the island, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, placed 60,000 cubic yards of dredged sediments on the island, and planted native salt marsh and dune plants.
High tide flooding events are increasing across the nation. With 40% of the U.S. population living in coastal counties and that population projected to increase, it is clear that a significant portion of the nation is increasingly vulnerable to these hazards. The recently published U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-led International Guidelines on the Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features for Flood Risk Management represent the current state of the science on conceptualizing, planning, designing, engineering, implementing, and maintaining natural and nature-based feature (NNBF) projects.
The publication of the Guidelines is the culmination of a five-year collaboration between NOAA, USACE, and many international partners, including more than 175 international authors and contributors from more than 75 organizations and 10 countries.
Nature-based solutions are infrastructure projects that use natural features or processes that might otherwise be provided by engineered structures. Salt marshes, for example, provide essential habitat for healthy fisheries while protecting shorelines from erosion by buffering wave action and trapping sediments. These natural systems reduce flooding by slowing and absorbing rainwater, while enhancing water quality by filtering runoff and metabolizing excess nutrients.
The complex challenges of sea level rise, coastal flooding, and increased storm frequency, among other hazards, pose increasing risks to our nation’s communities. In the last five years, weather and climate-related disaster events have cost our nation over $630 billion dollars in damages. Solutions that reduce the impacts of coastal hazards, while also addressing the inevitable competition over the use of natural resources for commerce, food, energy, recreation, and conservation, will require innovative methods and approaches that cannot be solely addressed through the use of traditional hardened infrastructure. By using natural infrastructure such as marshes, dunes, reefs, islands, and mangroves to protect coastal communities, we can sustainably improve community resilience. We can also conserve or restore coastal habitats that support commercially important fish, enhancing marine life and opportunities for aquaculture.
The Guidelines provide end-users with information on using NNBF to improve coastal resilience, aligning with NOAA’s mission to manage and conserve coastal and marine ecosystems and resources and maintain healthy and resilient ecosystems. The goal of this milestone effort is to advance the use of NNBF and equip decision makers, project planners, and practitioners with solutions that reduce flood and storm risks while providing jobs, preserving commerce and recreation, improving resilience, and producing more environmentally sustainable solutions.

Business Insider: Rep. Susie Lee Failed To Properly Disclose Stock Trades Worth As Much As $3.3 Million

Source: US National Republican Congressional Committee

The following text contains opinion that is not, or not necessarily, that of MIL-OSI –

Business Insider: Rep. Susie Lee Failed To Properly Disclose Stock Trades Worth As Much As $3.3 Million

Ultra-wealthy Susie Lee is in ethical trouble yet AGAIN. 

In 2020, she used her office to get federal aid for casinos, and then her family benefited from it.  Now, she’s failed to properly disclose as much as $3.3 million in stock trades.

That’s a lot of money. 

Nevadans deserve a congresswoman who’s focused on them, not cashing in. 

In Case You Missed It…

Rep. Susie Lee, A Democrat From Nevada, Failed To Properly Disclose Stock Trades Worth As Much As $3.3 Million

Dave Levinthal

Business Insider

September 17, 2021

https://www.businessinsider.com/susie-lee-nevada-congress-stock-act-trades-disclosure-2021-9

Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada, a two-term Democrat representing one of the nation’s most competitive US House districts, failed to properly disclose more than 200 personal stock transactions since early 2020, according to an Insider review of congressional records.

Together, the trades are worth at least $267,000 — and as much as $3.3 million.

Read the full article from Business Insider, here.