Monday, July 6, 2015

Committee Hearings – Week of 07-05-15

Both the House and Senate are returning to Washington this week, back from a grueling week off for the 4th of July holiday. The committee hearing schedule is kind of light for both houses, but that may change as people get the offices up and running. Only two hearings this week that may be of specific interest to readers of this blog; oil exports and cybersecurity law.

Oil Export

 The Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing on Thursday on “HR 702, Legislation to Prohibit Restrictions on the Export of Crude Oil”. This is an information gathering hearing not a markup. The witness list has not yet been published.

I would not normally cover this type of bill but, as I noted in my post about the introduction of this bill, the broad language in §3 of the bill would seem to strip DOT and the Coast Gaurd of authority to enforce hazmat shipping laws when dealing with oil being exported. I don’t think that was the intent; just one of the unintended consequences of a general mistrust of this Administration. It will be interesting to see if this comes up in the discussions.

Cybersecurity Law

On Wednesday, the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on “Cyber Crime: Modernizing our Legal Framework for the Information Age Crime and Terrorism”. This hearing was rescheduled from last month and the witness list has not yet been published.

No details are available on what the actual topics might be, but given the propensity of Congress to overreact, this might be an interesting hearing in light of the recent IT breaches in the Federal government. I do not really expect control system security to get much attention here.

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