Shimkus Faces Primary Challenge; Flint Leaders Testify on Hill in the Week Ahead

Rep Shimkus

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) is expected to get the gavel as the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee next year, if he survives a Republican primary first in his district on Tuesday.

Bloomberg BNA reporter Ari Natter reports that Shimkus is facing the wave of anti-establishment sentiment that has sent Donald Trump to the head of the Republican presidential primary race. For Shimkus, it’s the first serious primary challenge in his 20-year political career, and he faces opposition from the powerful Washington-based Club for Growth.

The conservative, Washington-based group calls Shimkus “the epitome of what’s wrong with Congress” and dubs his Republican opponent Kyle McCarter “a real economic conservative.”

Some other events to watch this week:

FLINT WATER: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee calls in some key officials who had responsibility for the response to the lead-tainted drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich. Former emergency manager for the city Darnell Earley, former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and former EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman testify at 10 a.m. Tuesday. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will testify at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

ENERGY DEPARTMENT: House Appropriations Energy, Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee holds a hearing on the budget for environmental management by the Energy Department, with testimony from Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management Monica Regalbuto. 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

PROTECTED LANDS: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing Tuesday to discuss the Nov. 3, 2015, presidential memorandum “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” The Natural Parks Subcommittee meets at 3 p.m. Thursday to discuss 24 bills that add or remove land or make other changes to parks and monuments.

RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD: House Oversight’s Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules Subcommittee and Interior Subcommittee hold a hearing on the renewable fuel standard, 2 p.m. Wednesday.

RENEWABLE ENERGY POLICY: EPA air office head Janet McCabe is among the speakers Thursday at the American Council on Renewable Energy’s policy forum.

GEOTHERMAL ENERGY: The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the Geothermal Energy Association host a briefing on geothermal energy use by industry, with Sakari Oksanen, deputy director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, among the speakers. 2 p.m. Wednesday.