The Week Ahead: House to Vote on Trio of Energy Bills, Congressional Hearings on Agenda


The House is scheduled to vote the week of June 23 on a trio of bills that would expand oil and natural gas drilling (H.R. 4899), expedite the review of applications to export liquefied natural gas (H.R. 6) and speed the review of the Keystone XL pipeline (H.R. 3301).

As covered in a June 19 Energy and Climate Report article, while the bills are not expected to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate, House Republicans are using the votes to put a spotlight on increased gasoline and energy costs under the Obama administration.

Other House Hearings on Agenda

On June 25, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations will hold an oversight hearing on "Increasing Carbon Soil Sequestration on Public Lands."

Another oversight hearing will be held by the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources June 24 on "American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Education."

On June 26, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade will hold a hearing on "The New Domestic Energy Paradigm: Downstream Challenges for Small Energy Businesses." Witnesses include Jared Blong, CEO and president of Octane Energy; Russell Smith, senior vice president of Quantum Energy; and Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners LLC.

Senate Hearings on Agenda

The Senate Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing June 24 on "The Economic Impact of Increased Natural Gas Production." Witnesses include Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Inc.; Jim Bruce, vice president of corporate public affairs for the United Parcel Service; Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; Elgie Holstein, senior director for strategic planning at the Environmental Defense Fund; and Charles Meloy, executive vice president for U.S. onshore exploration and production for Anadarko.

On June 25, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a hearing on S.1971, a bill that would coordinate efforts by the Department of Energy and Department of Interior on issues related to energy and water production, use and efficiency.

International Developments

European Union leaders will hold a summit June 26-27 in Brussels. The agenda includes discussion of proposals for a climate and energy framework for the bloc through 2030.

As covered in a June 12 article, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, proposed a 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction target using 1990 as a baseline and a goal of meeting 27 percent of its energy use through renewables.

EU leaders have said they will adopt an agreement on the targets by October, prior to end-of-year climate talks by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima.

Also, as covered in a May 28 article, EU leaders are expected to consider a plan to reduce energy dependency on Russia that highlights the need to expand gas transmission networks in the bloc, as well as diversify foreign supplier sources.  

New Jersey DEP to Hold Hearings

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will hold public hearings June 25 in Long Beach and June 26 in Trenton on a proposal to merge two sets of land use rules that apply to development projects in the state's coastal areas.

As detailed in a June 12 article, DEP said consolidating the Coastal Permit Program rules, which provide the processes for permit reviews, and the Coastal Zone Management rules, which establish compliance criteria for permit approval, will make the regulatory process clearer and more predictable and eliminate red tape.

However, environmental groups disagree, claiming the consolidation proposal doesn't include steps to reduce the impact of development in environmentally sensitive areas or areas vulnerable to sea rise.

A third public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for July 9 in Tuckerton.

CARB to Hold Board Meeting

The California Air Resources Board will hold a meeting June 26 in Sacramento that will include an update on federal climate activities and the board's role in coordinating state and federal programs. Among other items on the agenda is a proposal to allocate $200 million from the state's greenhouse gas reduction fund for low-carbon transportation projects.

Other Climate, Energy Events

The Environmental Protection Agency's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership program will hold a webinar June 24 on "Climate Leadership Awards: A Review of 2015 Categories, Eligibility, Criteria and the Application Process."

The EPA will also hold a webinar June 26 on "Keeping Your Cool: How Communities Across the Country Are Reducing the Heat Island Effect."

David Gardiner and Associates will host a webinar June 24 on "Combined Heat and Power: A Winning 111(d) Compliance Solution."

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute will hold the following two events June 24 in Washington:

On June 25, the Center for Strategic & International Studies will host Didier Houssin, director of the Directorate of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology for the International Energy Administration who will discuss IEA's report on "Energy Technology Perspectives 2014."

Resources for the Future will host a seminar June 26 in Washington on "A Discussion of the Independent Risk Assessment for Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States."

The Environmental Law Institute will hold a webinar June 24 on Flood Insurance, Finances and Climate Change: The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act."


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