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The DC: Should the U.S. Invest in Energy Infrastructure for Allies, and... Should Congress Pay Its Interns and Staffers a ‘Living Wage’?

by Countable | 12.6.18

Welcome to Thursday, energy and salary consultants.

The European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2018 would authorize up to $1 billion in financing to catalyze U.S. public and private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in eligible countries from fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

It’d also authorize the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to spend $5 million per year on project feasibility studies, reverse trade missions, pilot projects, and technical workshops to support projects in early development.

Finally, it would encourage the State Department to ramp up its political and diplomatic support to eligible countries. Read more about it here, and let us know if you think the U.S. should invest in natural gas and electrical infrastructure for NATO allies.

On the Radar

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Tuesday that it was recalling 12 million pounds of beef after nearly 250 people in 26 states contracted salmonella. This latest move is an expansion of a previous, more limited recall from October 4. The USDA has labeled this a Class I recall, which means there's a reasonable chance that consuming the beef will result in “serious, adverse health consequences or death.” Click here for more on the growing frequency and severity of food contamination, and let us know if you think it's time to revisit food safety regulations.

Under the Radar

  • Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promised yesterday to pay her interns “at least” $15 per hour, and criticized other members of Congress for employing unpaid interns and not paying staffers a “living wage.” A 2017 report from non-profit group Pay Our Interns found that in the House, just 8 percent of Republicans and 3.6 percent of Democrats pay their interns. In the Senate, 51 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats do. Click here to let us know if you think Congress should pay its interns and staffers a "living wage."

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in D.C.

  • At 11:30am, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.
  • At 12:30pm, the president will have lunch with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
  • At 4:00pm and 8:00pm, the president will deliver remarks at Hannukah receptions.

The House of Representatives: In

  • The House is expected to pass an extension of government funding through December 21st by voice vote.
  • No other business is expected.

The Senate: In

  • Confirmation vote on the nomination of Bernard McNamee to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Confirmation vote on the nomination of Laura Kraninger to be Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • The Senate is expected to pass an extension of government funding through December 21st by voice vote.

What You're Saying

Here are some of your answers to Should the U.S. Invest in Natural Gas & Electrical Infrastructure For NATO Allies?

(Follow Michael S's comment here.)

(Follow Robert S's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Is banning the shark fin trade a good idea?

Marine life activists have long sought to end shark finning, the practice of cutting the fins off of a shark and discarding its body at sea, where it generally drowns, bleeds to death, or is eaten alive by other fish.

The practice itself has been illegal in the U.S. since 2000, but the trade in shark fins remains legal.

While virtually all stakeholders with an interest in fisheries conservation agree that shark finning is cruel and wasteful, they debate whether or not banning the shark fin trade would ultimately help or hurt shark populations on the whole. Learn more about the issue here, and let us know whether you think a shark fin trade ban would help or hurt shark populations.

Happy Put On Your Own Shoes Day and Microwave Oven Day. May we reflect on the overlooked value of modern conveniences.

—Sara E. Murphy

Countable

Written by Countable

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