The Week Ahead: Senate to Hold Hearing on Nominee for Interior Secretary, Other Congressional Climate, Energy Hearings on Agenda


The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing March 7 to consider the nomination of Sally Jewell to be Department of Interior Secretary.

For the last eight years, Jewell has been the CEO of REI, widely regarded as an environmentally conscious retailer. Previously, she worked as an oil energy expert in Colorado and Oklahoma and as an energy expert in banking.

As detailed in a Feb. 26 Energy and Climate Reportarticle, if confirmed, Jewell faces automatic federal spending cuts that went into effect March 1. Current DOI Secretary Ken Salazar said the cuts would require furloughing thousands of permanent employees as well as other moves that will have “devastating impacts” on the agency.

House to Hold Climate, Energy Hearings

On March 6, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on "PolicyRelevant Climate Issues in Context."

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing March 5 on "America's Offshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and Lowering Prices."

The role diverse electricity generation plays in U.S. energy security and innovation will be the subject of a hearing March 5 by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

On March 6, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing on "Our Nation of Builders: Powering U.S. Automobile Manufacturing Forward."

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies will hold a budget hearing March 5. Bill Binkman, acting undersecretary for the Energy Department, will provide testimony.

EPA to Hold Hearing on Renewable Fuel

On March 8, the Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public hearing in Ann Arbor, Mich., on its proposed renewable fuel standard volume requirements for the nation's fuel supply in 2013.

As detailed in a Feb. 20 article, EPA proposed a volume requirement of 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be available in the U.S. transportation fuel supply in 2013. The rule also would require 2.75 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, which includes cellulosic ethanol, in the fuel supply. Under the rule, renewable fuels would account for 9.63 percent of the nation's fuel in 2013.

California to Hold Reserve Auction

The California Air Resources Board will hold its first greenhouse gas reserve auction March 8 under the state's emissions trading program. Under the program, reserve auctions, which are required to be held six weeks after each quarterly auction, serve as a "buffer" to help ensure prices of allowances will not rise too high. The allowances will be offered in three price tiers ranging from $40 to $50 per metric ton.

Other Climate, Energy Events

The Woodrow Wilson Center's Canada Institute will host a panel discussion March 7 in Washington, D.C., on "Meeting the North American Energy Infrastructure Challenge." 

The Energy and Climate Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host "The U.S.-China Coal Value Chain Exchange Conference" March 6-7 in Washington, D.C.

On March 6, the Pew Charitable Trusts will release a report, Advantage America: The U.S.-China Clean Energy Trade Relationship, detailing the multibillion dollar trade between China and the U.S. in clean energy products.

Also on March 6, the Carbon Trust and CRedit360 will host a workshopin London on "How to Achieve Effective Carbon Management in Your Supply Chain."

The group, As You Sow, which promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility, will host a webinar March 7 providing "an overview of environmental, social, and governance shareholder resolutions filed for 2013."