Friday, January 24, 2014
by Regina Cline
Will President Barack Obama
highlight clean energy and climate issues during his State of the Union address
It appears likely. For example, Obama unveiled a Climate Action
Plan in June 2013 for addressing climate change, laying out a timetable for the
Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power
plants for the first time and pledging action on a number of clean energy
fronts. As covered in an Energy and Climate Report article, Obama said, in releasing the plan, “The levels
of carbon pollution in our atmosphere have increased dramatically. That's
science, accumulated and reviewed over decades. As a president, as a father and
as an American, I'm here to say we need to act.”
More recently, as
covered in a Jan. 21 article, the White House briefed top Cabinet officials on
a report, "Powering Forward: Presidential and Executive Agency Actions to
Drive Clean Energy in America.” The report covers executive actions Obama
could take using his existing authority to reduce regulatory barriers for
clean energy and address climate change.
House Committee to
Vote on H.R. 3826
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is
scheduled to mark up and vote on the Electricity
Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826) during Jan. 27-28 sessions.
As detailed in a Jan. 14
article, H.R. 3826, introduced Jan. 9 by Rep. Ed
Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, would
halt the EPA greenhouse gas emission rules for new power
plants until carbon dioxide-reducing technologies—such as carbon capture and
storage—are commercially demonstrated at six different sites for at least a
Also, the EPA's rules for existing plants could not go into effect
under Whitfield's bill until Congress gives the go-ahead.
is also scheduled to mark up and vote on the Better Buildings Act (H.R. 2126),
which would require the General Services Administration to issue model leasing
provisions to encourage investment in cost-effective energy efficiency
Senate to Address Oil Export Ban, Nuclear Power,
On Jan. 30, the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the effects of lifting
restrictions on crude oil exports. As detailed in a Jan. 16 article, the hearing comes on the heels of a white paper
issued by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the panel's ranking Republican,
supporting the removal of the 39-year-old crude oil ban either by
administrative action or legislation.
The Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee and Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold an
oversight hearing Jan. 30 on "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's
Implementation of the Fukushima Near-Term Task Force Recommendations and Other
Actions to Enhance and Maintain Nuclear Safety."
On Jan. 28, the
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the
Critical Mineral Policy Act of 2013 (S. 1600). As covered in a climate.bna.com blog, critical minerals are vital in the
production of wind turbines, electric vehicle batteries, fuel cells and
energy-efficient lighting. They are also important in the production of dozens
of other high-tech products, like computers, cell phones and medical
CARB to Hold Workshop on Draft Climate
The California Air Resources Board will hold a public
workshop Jan. 27 in San Francisco on a draft "Safeguarding California Plan."
As detailed in a December 2013 article, the draft plan outlines key actions needed to
prepare the state for the long-term impacts of climate change such as rising
sea levels, extreme heat and less snowpack and rain.
Energy, Climate Events
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is
scheduled to give a keynote address Jan. 30 at the 14th
National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment
in Arlington, Va. The theme for the conference, which runs Jan. 28-30, is
"Building Climate Solutions."
The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held Jan. 27-28, also in
Arlington. The summit will focus on the billions of dollars being spent on new
energy projects by federal, state and local governments as well as private
The Edison Electric Institute and the American Bar
Association will hold an event in Washington on "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations for the Power
Sector." Joe Goffman, senior counsel in the EPA's Office of Air and
Radiation, will give opening remarks.
On Jan. 28, the Environmental
and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing at the Rayburn House Office
Building in Washington on "Public Attitudes About Climate Change and Clean Energy."
Joe Krosnick, a Stanford University professor and senior fellow for the Woods
Institute for the Environment, and Phil Sharp, president of Resources for the
Future, are the featured speakers.
The Canada Institute, the Kennan
Institute and the European Studies Program will host the launch of a new publication, "In Search of Arctic Energy,"
Jan. 29 in Washington. The paper covers the implications that Arctic energy
exploration will have for the region and the world's energy economy.
Jan. 29, Resources for the Future will hold a panel discussion in Washington on
"Considering the Contributions of Forests in the Management of
Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Panelists include David A. Cleaves, climate
change adviser for the U.S. Forest Service; William Stewart, cooperative
extension forestry specialist at the University of California, Berkeley; and
Robert Malmsheimer, professor at New York State University's College of
Environmental Science and Forestry.
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