AAPL Governmental Affairs Weekly Report - 8/10/20

  • 1.  AAPL Governmental Affairs Weekly Report - 8/10/20

    Posted 08-10-2020 10:36
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    Following please find highlights from the AAPL Governmental Affairs Weekly Report for the week of August 10, 2020. The full report is attached to this post. The next report will be published on August 24.

    FEDERAL - LEGISLATIVE: Coronavirus Stimulus Legislation. Congressional lawmakers continue negotiations on the next coronavirus stimulus package and are expected to return to Washington, DC this week to work towards a consensus agreement even though lawmakers were originally scheduled to be on August recess and still remain far apart on any agreement. Congress failed to pass a bill before the federal $600 weekly unemployment supplemental benefit expired on July 31. According to a CNBC report, "A subset of workers - such as part-timers, low-wage workers, and some freelancers and [independent] contractors - will feel that cut more acutely than others." The Trump administration and congressional leaders have yet to reach an agreement on this provision ether. "Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating what to do, including whether to extend or replace the $600-a-week supplement." However, in late-breaking news on Saturday afternoon, President Trump announced he was signing four executive orders amidst the legislative stalemate. According to a report by Politico, "Trump laid out four actions that he said would cut taxes for workers through the end of the year, extend boosted unemployment benefits but at a reduced rate, renew a moratorium on evictions during the pandemic, and defer student loan payments and interest until further notice." According to Fox News, one order provides $400 in weekly unemployment supplemental benefits, rather than the $600 weekly federal benefit which expired on July 31. In signing the orders, Trump blamed Democrats for the coronavirus deal stalemate in Congress and said he was taking matters into his own hands. "Democrats are obstructing all of it,"
    said President Trump. "Therefore, I'm taking executive action...and we're going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers." Read more.

    STATE - LEGISLATIVE: Well Setbacks – California.
    (Update to 7/27/20 Weekly Report) In a victory for the oil and gas industry, on August 5, AB 345 died in committee. The Democratic bill – which AAPL has been actively monitoring for members since its introduction – would have amended existing law to direct the California Natural Resources Agency to create an environmental justice program, identify gaps in public safety, and establish minimum setback requirements, including considering a 2,500-foot buffer around sensitive areas around such places as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. Labor and industry groups said the bill would have been a job killer. "This is going to shed jobs at the worst time possible," said Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R). Currently, the state has a patchwork of local/state requirements for setbacks ranging from 300 to 1,500 feet depending on use location. According to Bloomberg News, bill sponsor, Asm. Al Muratsuchi (D), "said it was unclear if the bill would be brought up again and declined further comment. Other oil and gas states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming have statewide buffer zones, but California has no such regulation." Read more.

    STATE - REGULATORY: Well Setbacks; Regulatory Update – Colorado; Pennsylvania. On July 29, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) presented their latest podcast episode featuring Kathryn Klaber, founder and former CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, who joined the show to discuss the regulatory landscape in Pennsylvania and steps that energy producers have proactively taken to ensure the safety of their communities and how these realities differ from the story presented in a recent report by the state's attorney general. (Listen to the podcast here) IER also provided analysis of ballot initiatives in Colorado that once again seek to impose well setbacks in the state. Read more

    Russell Cohen
    AAPL Governmental Affairs