The ability of public power utilities to bring affordable and reliable electricity to their communities is heavily shaped by policies debated and established in our nation’s capital. APPA is the single national organization representing the collective interests of public power in Washington D.C.
Policy Issues Impacting Public Power
Appropriations & Budget
Cybersecurity & Physical Security
Distributed Generation & Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA)
Energy Policy and Generation
Environmental Regulations & Climate Change
Federal Power Program (PMAs & TVA)
Utility Business Issues
Tax and Finance
Telecommunications and Community Broadband
Transmission and Electricity Markets
The majority of legislative issues that APPA follows fall under the jurisdictions of the following U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Committees:
House: Agriculture, Appropriations, Energy & Commerce, Homeland Security, Natural Resources, Oversight & Government Reform, Small Business, Transportation & Infrastructure, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Ways & Means
As a public power advocate, you are in the best position to talk to Congress about the direct impact of federal action at the local level. Our coordinated outreach efforts are strengthened because you represent not only your public power community, but also 48 million other Americans who benefit from being served by public power.
The 2018 Legislative Rally will be held February 26-February 28 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The Policy Makers Council summer meeting is held in Washington, D.C., for members of the PMC every year. Learn more about the PMC.
The 2018 summer meeting will be held in July. Exact dates will be announced in 2018. Please contact Liza White with any questions.
- On July 26, 2017, the House Natural Resource Committee passed two bills of interest to public power: H.R. 2371, the “Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act,” and H.R. 3281, the “Reclamation Title Transfer and Non-Federal Infrastructure Incentivization Act.”
- On July 26, 2017, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee postponed its business meeting vote on six Department of Energy and Department of Interior nominees.
- On July 26, 2017, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing titled "Powering America: A Review of the Operation and Effectiveness of the Nation’s Wholesale Electricity Markets."
- On July 25, 2017, APPA joined the National Hydropower Association and other trade organizations in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee and House Energy & Commerce Committee in support of hydropower licensing reform provisions in S. 1460, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017.
- On July 25, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee announced that it would take up H.R. 1624, the “Municipal Finance Support Act of 2017”, that would require bank regulators to consider municipal bonds as high-quality liquid assets for purposes of minimum capital requirements. APPA is joining other national associations in support of the legislation.
- On July 24, 2017, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a FCC oversight and reauthorization hearing. Along with broad Commission oversight, the hearing focused on a discussion draft of the House FCC reauthorization bill.
- On July 24, 2017, the Senate voted 53-43 to confirm the nomination of David Bernhardt to the Department of the Interior’s number-two position.
- On July 21, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation held a briefing with the House on their joint efforts to maintain the value of federal hydropower through enhanced administrative efficiencies and cost management. The Senate also received a briefing on July 24, 2017, on the same topic. APPA members from the Bonneville Power Administration and Southwestern/Southeastern Power Administration testified in both hearings.
- On July 20, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee came out strongly in opposition to an Administration proposal to sell the Power Marketing Administrations' transmission assets, while also calling on the Department of Energy to fund the third and final year of a cybersecurity cooperative agreement with APPA.
- On July 20, 2017, the Department of the Interior announced that it plans to issue a proposed rule on whether to list the lesser prairie chicken as an “endangered species” under the Endangered Species Act.
- On July 20, 2017, the House Budget Committee approved a $4 trillion budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget resolution serves as a blueprint for the creation of 12 annual spending bills by the House and Senate Appropriation Committees.
- On July 19, 2017, the House voted and passed three bills including: H.R. 2786, to amend the Federal Power Act with respect to the criteria and process to qualify as a qualifying conduit hydropower facility (sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)) approved by a vote of 420-2; H.R. 2828, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (sponsored by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA)) – was approved by voice vote; and H.R. 3050, Enhancing State Energy Security Planning and Emergency Preparedness Act of 2017 (sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)) – was approved by voice vote.
- On July 19, 2017, the House passed H.R. 806, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), by a vote of 229-199. The law gives flexibility to states to implement the NAAQS for ground-level ozone.
- On July 19, 2017, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy Subcommittee kicked off its “Powering America” hearing series with one titled “Examining the State of the Electric Industry through Market Participant Perspectives”.
- On July 19, 2017, the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee held a subcommittee confirmation hearing on three nominees to the Federal Communications Commission. The three nominees Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Brendan Carr were approved by the subcommittee. Pai is a renomination by President Trump, tapping him for his second term as Chairman of the FCC. Rosenworcel is another renomination by Trump. Carr currently serves as the FCC’s General Counsel and has worked in the FCC for many years.
- On July 17, 2017, APPA filed consolidated reply comments on two issuances from the Federal Communications Commission related to broadband infrastructure deployment that could possibly impact public power pole attachment rates and processes.
- On July 14, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office released its re-estimate of President Trump’s budget proposal. The re-estimate slashes the original outlook that the deficit would shrink to a $16 billion a year surplus by 2027 and instead projects that a $600 to $700 billion deficit per year over the next decade. Factoring in lost tax revenue under President Trump’s tax reform proposals, the CBO projections of the deficit could swell to $1 trillion a year, and possibly as high as $1.7 trillion a year over the next decade.
- On July 13, 2017, the White House announced the nomination of Kevin McIntyre as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. McIntyre is currently a partner at the Jones Day law firm. He awaits a confirmation hearing from the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee.
- On July 13, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2018 which allocates $9.6 billion in non-defense Department energy programs. It is a $1.7 billion cut from the previous years funding and will negatively impact both the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and r the Advanced Research Projects Agency/Energy.
- On July 13, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2018 which will provide $248 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This is a slight $2 million drop in their funding from FY 2017.
- On July 13, 2017, the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services released their 2018 appropriations which includes a $3.39 billion allocation to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The overall bill is $165 in appropriations, a $5 billion drop from FY 2017.
- On July 12, 2017, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed the nominations of Annie Caputo and David Wright to be members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They also passed the nomination of Susan Bodine as the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance of the Environmental protection agency. Captuo received a comfortable margin of 15-6, while Wright and Bodine both received a razor thin margin of 11-10. Both nominations are to go to the full Senate sometime before or slightly after the August recess.
- On July 11, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee released the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill for the 2018 fiscal year. The bill contains three major impacts to the Endangered Species Act. The bill would provide $68.9 million for on-the-ground sage grouse conservation, prioritize funding ESA delisting backlog under the Fish and Wildlife Service, and delays further ESA status reviews of the sage grouse for a year.
- On July 11, 2017, American Public Power Association staff released a comprehensive primer written to help educate Members of Congress, congressional staff, and others on the Federal Power Act.
- On July 11, 2017, the House Subcommittee on Energy announced it would start a series of hearings titled “Powering America”, with the hearings focused on electric power markets, generation, distribution, consumption, and the security of the electrical grid. The series kicks off on July 18 with a hearing on electric industry. APPA will be submitting a statement for the record. The second hearing of the series will be on July 26, with a hearing on wholesale electricity markets.
- On July 11, 2017, President Trump submitted two nominees for undersecretary positions in the Department of Energy. Mark Menezes, VP of federal regulations at Berkshire Hathaway Energy, has been nominated as Undersecretary of the DOE. Paul Dabbar, managing director of mergers and acquisitions at JPMorgan Chase, has been chosen as the Undersecretary for Science of the DOE. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will schedule a hearing for their nominations.
- On July 10, 2017, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to the heads of the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and others in the intelligence community asking for information on the apparent attempt of hackers to compromise U.S. nuclear power plants. The incident that this letter refers to was an attack on the Wolf Creek nuclear plant which did not result in any operational issues or impacts.
- On July 7, 2017, American Public Power Association filed comments in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule, 82 Fed. Reg. 26,017, June 6, 2017; EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819, which would postpone deadlines for the best available technology economically achievable (BAT) limits and pretreatment standards for certain waste streams.
- On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it was revisiting the regulations regarding “political subdivision” to further help determine whether an entity meets the requirements to issue a tax-exempt municipal bond.
- On July 7, 2017, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, released a statement calling for President Trump to perform an assessment of U.S. cyber vulnerabilities following a major cyber-attack targeting domestic nuclear facilities. She originally sent a letter on June 22, 2017 calling for greater protection for the U.S. energy sector.
APPA actively participates in FERC dockets, conducts studies, and advocates for reforms to the centralized power supply markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs). In recent years, these efforts have focused on the mandatory capacity markets.
PowerPAC (Public Ownership of Electric Resources Political Action Committee) is an organization of public power professionals from across the United States who recognize the importance of supporting Members of Congress who protect the interests of public power. PowerPAC, a political action committee, is an essential part of public power’s effort to increase our effectiveness in government affairs.
Percentage of Dues Used for Lobbying
The Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) requires all covered entities, which includes a number of APPA members, to report the amount they pay to other organizations for lobbying purposes. For covered APPA members, this would include some portion of the dues they pay to APPA. To assist our members in this regard, APPA has determined our own lobbying expenses. We then calculated the percentage of that amount paid from member dues. Due to changes to the reporting requirements under the LDA, we need to estimate the percentage for the entire year.
Thus, for 2017, the estimated amount of your APPA dues spent on federal lobbying is 5.55%.
To determine the dollar amount paid to APPA for lobbying in this quarter, simply take 5.55% of your annual APPA dues and report that dollar amount. If you have any questions, contact Desmarie Waterhouse, Vice President of Government Relations & Counsel, at 202/467-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.