The Week Ahead: EPA's McCabe to Testify on Power Plant Rule, Senate Committee Vote on Keystone Expected


Janet McCabe, the Environmental Protection Agency's assistant administrator for air and radiation, will testify June 19 on proposed carbon limits for existing power plants before skeptical Republicans during a hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), the subcommittee's chair, and other committee members, have criticized the proposal as a regulatory overreach that will increase electricity prices, threaten grid reliability and cost jobs.

As detailed in an Energy and Climate Report article, the proposal, released June 2, is expected to reduce power plant emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

Keystone Vote, Hearings on Senate's Agenda

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to vote June 18 on a bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The committee also is expected to hold a hearing later in the week on a bill to expedite natural gas exports.

As covered in a June 12 article, Senate Energy Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said that there are enough votes on the committee, both Republican and Democratic, to approve a bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. After that, it will be up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to decide whether he will allow the full Senate to conduct an up-or-down vote on the measure.

On June 18, the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing on "Climate Change: The Need to Act Now."

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee will hold a hearing June 17 on "Grow It Here: Creating Jobs Through Bio-Based Manufacturing."

Votes for House Leadership Expected

Following the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in a primary election, leadership changes are expected to be voted on June 19.

As detailed in a June 11 article the shakeup is unlikely to make much of a difference for energy and pro-environment bills already blocked by House Republicans, but it could end up with two House Energy and Commerce Committee members—Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)—serving in leadership posts.

Also in the House, the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing June 18 on "American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for States and Localities."

State Department to Host Ocean Conference

Secretary of State John Kerry will host a conference June 16-17 in Washington on "Our Ocean 2014." In a press release, the department said the conference will have from 350-400 participants from more than 80 nations, including government officials, scientists and leading international institutions to discuss sustainable fisheries, marine pollution and ocean acidification and "chart a path forward."

On June 17, conference speakers will include Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Chesapeake Bay Accord Signing

On June 16, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, six governors and the mayor of Washington, D.C., are expected to sign a new Chesapeake Bay watershed agreement that includes climate resilience goals.

As covered in a May 8 article, the agreement, which also includes a toxics reduction goal, would establish priorities for the EPA and actions by Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., to meet mandatory and aspirational bay restoration goals.

DOE Events on Agenda

The Department of Energy's Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) team will hold a public meeting June 19 in San Francisco on "The Water-Energy Nexus."

As covered in a May 8 article, the QER team is charged with developing “actionable recommendations” to improve energy infrastructure by addressing vulnerabilities, including climate change, cyber security, physical threats, interdependencies and supply-demand shifts.

The review was ordered by the White House, which has redefined the word “quadrennial” by deciding to break the review into four installments, allowing for one report each year over four years. The first review is scheduled to be released Jan. 31, 2015.

From June 16-June 20, the Energy Department's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Office will hold an annual meetingin Washington during which DOE-funded projects will be presented and reviewed for merit.

Other Energy, Climate Events

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association will hold a briefing June 18 in Washington on "Innovative Technologies to Strengthen the Grid." Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) will give opening remarks.

On June 17, Concord 51, the Conservation Leadership Council and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions will hold an event in Washington on "Waking up to America's Future." Sen. Rob Portman (D-Ohio) will be the keynote speaker.

The Hill will hold a discussion June 17 in Washington on "Energy in Crisis? A Policy Discussion on Energy Costs, Electric Reliability & Environmental Regulations." 

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will hold a webinar June 19 on "Partnership Between Water and Energy Utilities to Address Water/Energy Challenges."

The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold a webinar June 18 on "The Cost of Capital for Mid-Market Renewable Energy: Terms and Conditions Apply."


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