Week Ahead: Environment and Energy Events for the Week of Feb. 1-5


Cruz caucus

One question the Iowa caucuses raise tonight is whether Iowans will throw support to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) even though he wants to phaseout the renewable fuel standard. The mandate for corn ethanol provides jobs in Iowa. The latest poll from Bloomberg Politics shows Donald Trump, who declared his support for the RFS, is leading Cruz 28 percent to 23 percent.

Amendments to end or reshape the ethanol mandate have been filed and could end up on the Senate floor in the debate over the broad energy bill (S. 2012) this week. Bloomberg BNA’s Ari Natter reported that as of late Thursday more than 100 amendments had been filed. Some have bipartisan support, including a measure by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) that would require the Energy Department to prioritize the development of advanced nuclear reactors (adopted 87-4).

The energy bill is the first major rewrite of energy policy since 2007. It includes language to expedite the federal approval process for liquefied natural gas exports and increase cybersecurity protections for the electricity grid.

Here are other energy and environment events happening this week:

FRACKING: The Science Advisory Panel to the Environmental Protection Agency holds teleconferenced meetings all day Monday and Tuesday to discuss the peer review of the agency’s draft report on hydraulic fracturing’s impact on drinking water resources.

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE: The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power holds a hearing on eight infrastructure bills: five on hydroelectric power, one to amend the Natural Gas Act to accept data from aerial surveys; and two others related to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

CLIMATE AGREEMENT: The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology holds a hearing the Republican majority has titled Paris Climate Promise: A Bad Deal for America, 10 a.m. Tuesday, 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY: The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power also meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday to consider H.R. 3797, which would shield the coal refuse industry from compliance costs with certain regulations, and the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act.

ENERGY SECURITY: BP technology director David Eyton and Energy Department Policy Director Melanie Kenderdine participate in an Atlantic Council event on technology and energy security, 9 a.m. Wednesday, 1030 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

STREAM PROTECTION RULE: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing on the Stream Protection Rule, 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

NATURAL RESOURCES: The House Committee on Natural Resources marks up 18 bills, including conservation and Indian trust management issues. 10 a.m. Wednesday, 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

WATER: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds its first hearing on the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., at 9 a.m. Wednesday, 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.

By Renee Schoof, rschoof@bna.com