JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, chair of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee, participated in a delegation of Southern state lawmakers to Washington, D.C., June 5-6, 2018, to engage in meetings with senior officials from the Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Interior (DOI). Senator Emery is vice chair of the Energy and Environment Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of The Council of State Governments, which sponsored the delegation.
“My thanks to SLC, Anne Roberts Brody and Colleen Cousineau for this well-planned series of meetings packed into a single day,” Sen. Emery said. “Federalism demands these types of interactions between federal and state governments, and under the current administration, they are becoming more common and more meaningful. There is a renewed respect for the state’s role in our republic.”
During the meetings, delegates received targeted briefings from high-ranking officials from the DOE, EPA and DOI. As the nation’s energy infrastructure becomes increasingly interconnected, cybersecurity concerns persist. Deputy Assistant Secretary Doug Little provided an update on the DOE’s cybersecurity initiatives and the outcomes of GRIDEX IV, a biennial exercise designed to simulate a cyber/physical attack on electric and other critical infrastructures across the country. Preston Cory, director of the EPA’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations, briefed delegates on the agency’s regulatory reform agenda, including the repeal of the Clean Power Plan and forthcoming revisions to the Clean Water Rule. Delegates also received a briefing from Todd Wynn, director of the DOI’s Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, on the agency’s proposed expansion of the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, as well as the newly created Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council. Through meetings and dialogue with these officials, delegates gained a deeper understanding of each agency’s policy priorities and shared their state’s perspective on pressing energy and environmental issues.