Monday, July 23, 2012
by Regina Cline
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week turns its attention to transportation fuels, and more specifically the use of natural gas to power vehicles. The July 24 hearing will examine opportunities for the expanded use of natural gas as a fuel for transportation. The committee also will review the current level of investment and barriers to expansion. Some auto industry officials believe natural gas can be an important part of the fuel mix as the industry shifts away from petroleum-based products to alternative fuels. An article in World Climate Change Report July 17 cited remarks by Daniel R . Frakes, General Motors Corp.’s manager of vehicle fuels and advanced technology policy, who said the Detroit automaker is developing vehicles that will use natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells as well as hybrid electric and all-electric ones. Future vehicles will likely be powered by an array of fuel sources, Frakes told a forum organized organized by the American Council on Renewable Energy. Among the witnesses scheduled to testify at the July 24 hearing are Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the American Gas Association; Michael Gallagher, senior adviser at Westport Innovations in Vancouver, B.C.; Reg Modlin, director of regulatory affairs for the Chrysler Group; David Greene, a corporate fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Paul Cicio, president of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America.
House Panel to Mark Up Solyndra Bill
Also on July 24, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will try again to mark up the No More Solyndras Act.
The subcommittee will meet for opening statements and will reconvene July 25 to consider the draft legislation. The act would phase out DOE’s loan guarantee program under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The draft bill had been scheduled to be voted on July 18, but the subcommittee pulled the bill from the agenda to day of the markup.
Hearing on the Water/Energy Nexus
On July 25, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a hearing on the role of water use efficiency and its impact on energy use. Witnesses will include Henry L. Green, president of the National Institute of Building Sciences; Daniel W. Bena, senior director of global sustainable development for PepsiCo Inc.; Russ Chaney, chief executive officer of the IAPMO Group; and Mary Ann Dickinson, president and chief executive officer of the Alliance for Water Efficiency.
Atlantic Council Looks at Climate, Extreme Weather
On July 24-25, the Atlantic Council, along with the Energy Department's Office of Policy and International Affairs, and the National Renewable Laboratory, convenes a forum on "Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment of the U.S. Energy Sector: Building a Secure and Sustainable Energy Future.'' The council says it will hold a dialogue with government, industry, and non-governmental experts to examine the U.S. energy sector vulnerabilities and identify potential improvements to the resilience of the energy system. Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Rich Engel, director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at the National Intelligence Council, delivers luncheon keynote remarks on July 25. On July 26, the Atlantic Council hosts another forum to investigate current domestic carbon and oil market dynamics, examine the potential for carbon capture and storage for enhanced oil recovery, and address the challenges of implementing large-scale enhanced oil recovery with carbon capture and storage. Guest speakers are Vello A. Kuuskraa, president and chairman of the board of Advanced Resources International Inc., and Michael Moore, executive director of the North American Carbon Capture and Storage Association and vice president of business development and external affairs for Blue Strategies LLC.
House Science to Examine Vehicle Technology
The House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing July 26 titled “Review of the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program Management and Activities: Assuring Appropriate and Effective Use of Taxpayer Funding.” Witnesses will include Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, and Gregory H. Friedman, the Energy Department’s inspector general.
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