The Week Ahead: House to Hold Hearing on Clean Power Plan, Senate to Focus on Crude Oil Ban

On March 17 the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing , consisting of two panels, on “EPA’s Proposed 111(d) rule for Existing Power Plants: Legal and Cost Issues.”

As covered in March 11 Energy and Climate Report article, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said the agency remains on track to issue a Clean Air Act final rule this summer to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

Witnesses on the first panel include Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School; Richard Revesz, law professor and director of the Institute for Policy Integrity for the New York University School of Law; and Allison Wood, partner with Hunton & Williams LLP.

Witnesses on the second panel include Art Graham, chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission; Kelly Speakes-Backman, a commissioner on the Maryland Public Service Commission and chairman of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; Craig W. Butler, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; and Donald van der Vaart, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Senate to Hold Hearing on Crude Oil Ban

The Senate and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing March 19 on the crude oil export ban, which has been in place since 1975, following the Arab oil embargo.

As covered in a March 11 article, lifting the ban, which could raise an estimated $1.3 billion in government revenue, is being considered by some congressional Republicans as a way to raise money for the Highway Trust Fund.

Budget Hearings on Agenda

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies will hold a hearing March 17 on the Energy Department’s Applied Energy Programs budget.

Witnesses include the following DOE officials:  Franklin Orr, undersecretary for science and energy; David Danielson, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy;  Peter Lyons, assistant secretary for nuclear energy; Christopher Smith, assistant secretary for fossil energy; and Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary for electricity delivery and energy reliability.

The subcommittee also will hold a hearing March 17 on the Energy Department’s budget request for its Office of Science. In addition to Orr, Patricia Dehmer, deputy director for science programs at the department, is scheduled to testify.

Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Grid

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing March 17 on “The State of Technological Innovation Related to the Electric Grid.”

Witnesses scheduled to testify include Lisa Barton, executive vice president for AEP Transmission; Lisa Edgar, commissioner for the Florida Public Service Commission and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; Michael Howard, president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute; Peter Littlewood, director of Argonne National Laboratory; and Jeff Taft, chief architect for Electric Grid Transformations Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

EPA Science Bill

The week of March 16 the House is expected to take up the Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1029), which would alter the structure and duties of the EPA advisory board and require full disclosure of data behind agency actions.

As detailed in a March 3 article, the White House said President Barack Obama would veto H.R. 1029, or a similar bill, such as the Secret Science Reform Act (H.R. 1030), that was reported to the House by the rules committee March 3.

Regulatory Reform Bill

On March 19 an inaugural meeting on regulatory reform is scheduled to be held by members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management.

As covered in a March 10 article, the discussion is expected to cover legislation that would speed permit approvals for energy and infrastructure projects.

Africa on Senate Committee Agenda

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing March 19 on “The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Seven Months Later: Progress and Setbacks.”

As covered in an Aug. 4 news brief, during the summit, the U.S. Agency for International Development   and the Rockefeller Foundation announced a $100 million Global Resilience Partnership to help African and Asian regions become more resilient to climate change.

Other Climate, Energy Events

On March 16, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which advises the EPA, will hold a public meeting to discuss—among other rulemaking and policy issues—the Clean Power Plan rule.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will be the featured speaker at an event in Washington hosted the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She will discuss the department’s energy priorities for the next two years. 

The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Climate Change Resilient Development project will host a symposium March 16-19 in Washington. CCRD is a four-year project in support of USAID’s Global Climate Change Office. CCRD activities have taken place throughout Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Women's Council on Energy and Environment will hold an event March 18 in Washington on "How Will Energy Storage Change Our World?” Katherine Hamilton, policy director for the Energy and Storage Association, will be the featured speaker.

The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold a webinar March 18 on "Trends in Clean Energy Finance."

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