October 6, 2017
Capitol Update

In this issue:


WASHINGTON INTERNSHIPS FOR STUDENTS OF ENGINEERING (WISE) PROGRAM IS ACCEPTING 2018 APPLICATIONS, ONE ASME INTERN SOUGHT

Since 1980, ASME has sponsored over 50 Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) interns with students applying from colleges and universities all over the country. The WISE Program is ranked as one of the best internship opportunities in the U.S. by the Princeton Review, and sponsoring societies select outstanding engineering students from among their memberships to participate in the nine-week WISE program in Washington, D.C. 

During the program, students discover how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues, while at the same time learning how engineers and scientists can contribute to the legislative process and regulatory decision-making.  For 2018, ASME will select only one applicant to be an ASME WISE intern. This individual will serve from June 4 - August 5, 2018, and be required to write a policy paper on a topic of interest to the student and ASME.

The application deadline for the 2018 program is December 31, 2017.

To read more about the program, please visit:
https://www.asme.org/about-asme/get-involved/advocacy-government-relations/washington-internships-for-students-of-engineering

Applications are available here: http://wise-intern.org/application/index.html


CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING HELD ON THE CRITICAL ROLE OF WATER FOR MANUFACTURING

Arizona State University, ASME, and the House Manufacturing Caucus hosted a Congressional briefing recently on the critical role of water for manufacturing.

Chuck Podolack, a senior professional staff member from Senator Jeff Flake's (R-AZ) office, moderated the event. U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) opened the session with a discussion on the water needs in Arizona that are stretched, and how the U.S. is facing a huge “infrastructure deficit.” He also talked about the need for an infrastructure bill, and how the private sector needs to be engaged in addressing the water challenge, especially by bringing its technology into the process.

Following Congressman O’Halleran, Andy Bicos, a current ASME Congressional Fellow in the Office of Representative Tom Reed (R-NY), discussed how water is critical both to manufacturing and the environment.  Podolak then demonstrated how Arizona has found a way to decrease its water consumption, despite the growing population. At the Palo Verde nuclear plant, the plant is as an example of an innovative method of conserving water by reusing wastewater from Phoenix in its operations.

Another speaker was Steve Harper, Global Director of Environment and Energy Policy at Intel, who said that Intel has found ways to reduce its water consumption in semi-conductor manufacturing by using GE technology to help it recycle and reuse water. Jon Freedman, Vice President, Global Partnerships & Policy, GE Water & Process Technologies, also supported reusing more wastewater to help drought-proof U.S. manufacturing, but reminded attendees that there are economic and other barriers to increasing reuse and gave some suggestions of how to overcome those barriers.

Industry speaker Tim Finley, Global Water/Wastewater Technology Leader for Dow Chemical, provided his remarks on the importance of proactive water infrastructure investment. While Valri Lightner, Senior Technical Manager in the Advanced Manufacturing Office, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy (DOE), said that the agency is looking at the intersections between energy and water, including how water is used to generate energy, how water is used in manufacturing processes, and how produced water can be reused to extract oil and gas. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office is also exploring the creation of a Clean Water Hub, which will require Congressional funding.

Finally, John Sabo, the Director of Future H2O at Arizona State University, shared his insights on Arizona State’s water research portfolio, and discussed his focus on R&D to improve water-related manufacturing resilience in the U.S.

For additional information on this briefing, please contact Samantha Fijacko, ASME Government Relations Representative, at fijackos@asme.org.


DOE PROPOSES GRID RESILIENCY PRICING RULE ON TIGHT TIMELINE

On September 28, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry released a proposed rule for consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that directs the energy regulator to issue a final rule within 60 days that would allow generators with a 90-day supply of fuel on site—namely coal and nuclear facilities—to recover operating costs at “a fair rate of return.” DOE’s proposal would allow FERC to establish “just and reasonable” rates for wholesale electricity sales “to ensure that certain reliability and resilience attributes of electric generation resources are fully valued.”

In the days since the release of the DOE proposal, eleven energy industry groups, including association related to renewables, oil and natural gas, filed a joint motion to FERC urging the agency to deny the request for an interim final rule, initiate a technical conference, and allow for at least a 90-day comment period for initial comments in this proceeding. FERC issued notice this week that public comments are being accepted on the proposal until October 23, 2017.

The proposed rule is an extension of the DOE’s grid reliability study issued in August, which said that wholesale energy markets need to do more to compensate plants with on-site fuel supply for their ability to operate around-the-clock and in extreme weather. The proposal also cites recent disasters such as the Polar Vortex, Superstorm Sandy, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as justifications for whole electricity price adjustments. 

The full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available at: https://tinyurl.com/y7ubfnoy. 

The DOE Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability is available at:
https://energy.gov/staff-report-secretary-electricity-markets-and-reliability


CYBERSECURITY FOR MANUFACTURERS REPORT RELEASED ON CAPITOL HILL

MForesight recently celebrated the release of the report Cybersecurity for Manufacturers: Securing the Digitized and Connected Factory by giving a briefing in Washington, D.C. MForesight is a federally-funded consortium focused on enhancing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness by providing insights to decision makers on emerging technology trends and related priorities to inform policy and investments in advanced manufacturing. MForesight had chosen to address this critical topic due to the manufacturing-specific cybersecurity challenges facing the industry.

More than most industries, modern manufacturing depends on the flow of materials, parts, assemblies, energy, data, and people from many different sources. Additionally, the growing digitization of manufacturing production and increasingly complex information technology (IT) networks within and between factories introduces a growing number of potential vulnerabilities. The broad lifecycle diversity associated with both decades-old and new machinery and equipment poses an enormous challenge in effectively implementing security measures across the factory floor.

The Congressional briefing that accompanied the release of the report was hosted by the House Manufacturing Caucus in the Rayburn House Office Building. There, attendees learned about the main recommendations in the report and heard from expert panelists from academia, industry, and government. Some of these recommendations were that manufacturers need trusted third-party partners, and there is room for creating a new public-private partnership focused on manufacturing supply chain cybersecurity. Another recommendation was that public and private partners can expand and coordinate manufacturing cybersecurity in order to increase awareness of best practices and train key manufacturing personnel in risk mitigation.

The report and recommendations can be download at this site:
http://mforesight.org/projects-events/cyber-security-for-manufacturers/


GENERAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORTS ON ADVANCED DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURING FACILITY

In 2013, the Department of Defense (DOD) partnered with a private sector biopharmaceutical company to develop an Advanced Development and Manufacturing (ADM) facility with the capability to research, develop, and produce medical countermeasures against biological warfare threat agents, toxins, and endemic diseases. The ADM became fully operational in March 2017, and is capable of producing up to 1.5 million doses of medical countermeasures within 3 months of a federal government request and with a surge capacity of up to 12 million doses.

The Government Accountability Office recently concluded an analysis of the facility, titled Biological Defense: Additional Information That Congress May Find Useful as It Considers DOD's Advanced Development and Manufacturing Capability. The report includes:

  • a description of the ADM facility and its capabilities;
  • program goals, high-level performance metrics, and estimated completion costs;
  • a copy of a 2009 analysis of alternatives conducted for the Secretaries of Defense and Health and Human Services (HHS) that DOD states justifies the ADM capability;
  • independent analysis of the incremental cost and benefits, schedule, and performance of continued DOD investment in its ADM facility; and
  • DOD's medical countermeasures production plans for the ADM facility.

GAO also provides additional information related to the elements that may be useful to Congress in its oversight role.

To view the full report, visit: https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/685889.pdf


NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE ADVISORY COUNCIL REPORT ON SECURING CYBER ASSETS RELEASED

The new National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) report, Securing Cyber Assets, says it is time to move beyond studying our nation’s cybersecurity challenges and begin taking bold, decisive actions to improve our cybersecurity before we experience a major debilitating cyber-attack. A cyber-attack can deliver the same devastating damages as a kinetic attack; however, in a cyber-attack, private industry is at the frontline of defense, unlike other types of attacks on the nation.

The report lays out 11 recommendations reflecting a consensus of near term action items and names the entities responsible for taking them. Among the key recommendations for the President are the following:

  • Facilitate a private-sector-led pilot of machine-to-machine information sharing technologies. Sponsor a public-private expert exchange program to strengthen the capabilities of the nation’s cyber workforce.
  • Establish limited time, outcome-based market incentives to encourage the private sector to upgrade cyber infrastructure. Create protocols to rapidly declassify cyber threat information.
  • Pilot a task force of experts in government and in the electricity, finance, and communications industries.
  • Establish an improved cybersecurity governance model to direct and coordinate cyber defense, which points to the innovative governance models now in use in Israel and the United Kingdom, both of which created new offices to handle cybersecurity.
  • Task the National Security Advisor to review the recommendations included in this report and within six months convene a meeting of senior government officials to address barriers to implementation and identify immediate next steps to move forward.

To download the NIAC report, please visit:
https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/niac-cyber-study-draft-report-08-15-17-508.pdf

Visit the ASME Public Policy Education Center at http://ppec.asme.org/ for daily news and policy developments, including the following:
Coalition Letter Supports DOD Basic Research and S&T Program Budget
http://ppec.asme.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/PS-17-17-CNSR-FY19-Budget-Letter.pdf
Celebrate National Manufacturing Day with AMO on October 6!
http://ppec.asme.org/home/celebrate-national-manufacturing-day-with-amo-on-october-6/
3D printing: Build a Dream House that Slots Together like Lego
http://ppec.asme.org/latest-news/3d-printing-build-a-dream-house-that-slots-together-like-lego/
Puerto Rico Eyed As Electricity Grid Innovation Testing Ground http://ppec.asme.org/latest-news/energy-news/puerto-rico-eyed-as-electricity-grid-innovation-testing-ground/

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ASME Government Relations
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 810
Washington, DC 20036
Website: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/advocacy-government-relations