The Week Ahead: EPA Spending on House Agenda, Senate to Vote on FERC Nominees


A fiscal year 2015 bill to fund the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and related agencies is scheduled to be marked up July 15 by the House Appropriations Committee.

As detailed in a July 9 Energy and Climate Report article, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies approved the billwhich would cut EPA spending by 9 percentby voice vote last week.

FERC Nominees on Senate Agenda

On July 15, the Senate is expected to approve two nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

As covered in a July 10 article, the renomination of FERC Acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur appears to have broad bipartisan support, but the nomination of Norman Bay to fill a vacancy on the five-member commission has prompted a partisan battle over White House plans to designate him as chairman.

Republicans say Bay's glaring lack of utility regulatory experience makes him less than qualified for the chairmanship. They want LaFleur, a former utility executive, to be promoted to the head of FERC.

Murkowski to Meet With Commerce Secretary

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is expected to meet with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during the week of July 14 on plans to ease the ban on U.S. crude oil exports.

In remarks covered in a July 9 article, Murkowski said, “I've been laying out very clear road maps on the path forward. The administration has the authority to move on its own without statutory changes.”

Murkowski said she also was pleased by remarks made by Pritzker at a recent event to the effect that it would be a mistake to think that the administration isn't giving “serious consideration” to what the right policy should be for U.S. oil exports

California to Hold Hearings on Fracking

The California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources will hold public meetings July 15 in Santa Maria and July 17 in Long Beach over revised proposed rules for oil and gas well stimulation activities, including hydraulic fracturing, which it released last year.

As detailed in a June 18 article, the updated version of the proposed regulations would require, among other things, the tracking of seismic activity during and after well stimulation and more detailed information about the use of water sources and the disposition of recovered water after well stimulation occurs.

Additional hearings are scheduled for July 21 in Sacramento and July 23 in Salinas and Bakersfield.

NASA to Hold Forum

On July 17, NASA will host an Inter-Agency Forum on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations in Washington. The agenda includes presentations by Laurens van der Tak, vice president of CH2M Hill; Christina Hudson, department manager for sustainability and strategic risk management for Leidos, a Reston, Va., consulting company; and Amy Trace, an urban planner for the National Capital Planning Commission.

Other Climate, Energy Events

On July 17, ICF International will hold an event at the National Press Club in Washington on "Existing Source Performance Standard (ESPS)Regulations: They're Out, but What Do They Mean?" Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, will be the featured speaker.

The Air & Waste Management Association and the Women's Council on Energy and Environment will hold an event July 17 in Washington on "Industry View of Recent Supreme Court Decisions on Air Rules." Roger Martella, former EPA general counsel and partner at Sidley Austin LLP, and Linda Kelly, vice president and general counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers, will discuss Supreme Court decisions on the regulation of greenhouse gases and the EPA's Cross State Air Pollution Rule. 

The Environmental Law Institute and Duke University's Nicholas Institute will hold a workshop July 14 in Washington on "EPA's Proposed Clean Power/Clean Air Act Section 111(d) Rules. Joseph Goffman, acting assistant administrator and senior counsel for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, will give a keynote luncheon address. 

On July 15, the EPA will hold a webinar on "Supply Chain Sustainability and Green Power Use."

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing July 17 in Washington on "Climate Impacts in the Midwest: Becoming More Resilient."

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will hold its annual conference in Washington July 14-15.


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