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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Week Ahead: House Committees to Focus on Energy Issues, Senate Homeland Security Committee to Look at Extreme Weather

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Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will testify June 18 before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on DOE's science and technology priorities.

As detailed in a May 21 Energy and Climate Report article, Moniz, who formerly headed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's energy program, said his agenda, among other things, will include promoting “American leadership” in science and clean energy technology innovation.

House Subcommittee to Hold Panel Discussion

On June 18, the House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold two panel discussions on "U.S. Energy Abundance: Regulatory, Market, and Legal Barriers to Export."

The first panel will include Christopher Smith, principal deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary for Fossil Energy at DOE; Jeff Wright, director of the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Jennifer Moyer, acting chief of Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The second panel will include Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas; Ross Eisenberg, vice president of Energy and Resources Policy for the National Association of Manufacturers; Lucian Pugliaresi, president of the Energy and Policy Research Foundation; Harold Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association; Mike McGinn, Mayor of Seattle; and KC Golden, policy director for Climate Solutions.

Senate Committee to Hold Hearing

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing June 19 on "Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared."

Shenzhen to Launch Trading Program

On June 18, the south China city of Shenzhen is expected to launch a carbon emissions trading platform. As detailed in a May 22 article, trading will likely be minimal at first while regulations are developed for governing transactions. 

The cities of Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing, and the provinces of Guangdong and Hubei also are to launch pilot trading systems.

European Parliament Environment Committee to Hold Vote

The European Parliament's Environment Committee will vote June 19 on a proposal to boost the price of emission allowances on the EU carbon market before passing the dossier to the full European Parliament for a vote during its July 1-4 session.

As detailed in a June 13 article, the proposal is intended to temporarily curb oversupply of allowances in the world's biggest emission-trading program and help prices rebound from record lows.

United Nations to Address Ocean Acidification

The United Nations General Assembly will consider the impacts of ocean acidification during its Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea June 17-20 in New York.

According to the United Nations, oceans have become 30 percent more acidic since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and by 2050 ocean acidity could increase by 150 percent. Acidification, which is mainly caused by absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, has been found to have varying impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems.

EIA to Host Conference

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will hold its 2013 energy conference June 17-18 in Washington, D.C. The conference will cover the global outlook on natural gas, renewable storage, grid integration, world hydrocarbon resources, energy consumption and building efficiency, and other related topics.

Keynote speakers include Moniz and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska).

National Academies to Release Report

On June 20, the National Academies will release a report, Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A May 23 article includes remarks by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) who said carbon tax remains an option being considered as part of comprehensive tax reform.

Also, legislation (S. 332) introduced in February by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would require several thousand coal, oil, and gas producers to pay an initial fee of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide content, which would be increased by 5.6 percent each year, compounded over a 12-year-period.

FHWA to Hold Webinar

To help transportation agencies assess the vulnerability of infrastructure to climate change and extreme weather events, the Federal Highway Administration will hold a webinar June 20 on "Hurricane SandyLessons Learned." The webinar will focus on extreme weather preparations, emergency response, recovery, and planning for long-term resilience.

Other Energy, Climate Events

On June 19, the Green Business Roundtable, International Society of Sustainability Professionals, and Sustainable Enterprise Institute will host a symposium in Washington, D.C., on "Endowment Management in an Era of Climate Change." The symposium will address college and university endowments and the risks associated with their investment in non-sustainable enterprises.

The Wilson Center will hold an event June 21 in Washington, D.C., on "Energy Reform in Mexico: Implications for the United States." Mexico is expected to present an energy reform initiative in August which is expected to include measures that will "radically alter" the legal framework for oil production, according to the center.

Bloomberg BNA Webinar

On June 19, Bloomberg BNA will host a webinar on "The Global Reporting Initiative G4: What Does the Latest Version Mean for You?" G4 is GRI's fourth generation of sustainability reporting guidelines.

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