Congress returns this week from the President's Day recess to a changed landscape with the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia. The Supreme Court vacancy has important ramifications for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which was stayed by the Supreme Court earlier this month. The stay had led many to believe that the plan was in danger, but a 4-4 ideological split on the court until a successor is confirmed means that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia may be the final arbiter for the plan.
Meanwhile, Senate Energy and Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and their staff continued working to overcome an impasse on the bipartisan energy bill. While there is no break on the impasse yet, there are a number of hearings scheduled for this week at the various committees. Elsewhere, on February 17 the Department of Energy announced $3 million in 10 new projects to apply high-performance computing to manufacturing challenges. The same day, the agency issued a release touting “5 Big Wins in Clean Energy from the Loan Programs Office.” For more on the week in Washington, read this week’s update from ML Strategies!