The Week Ahead: Senate to Focus on EPA Budget, House on Science Budget


The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold an oversight hearing March 26 on the Environmental Protection Agency's fiscal year 2015 budget.

As covered in a March 4 "Energy and Climate Report" article, President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget includes a request for a new $1 billion climate resilience fund, which the president first announced in February, to help coastal areas and other regions prepare for severe storms, drought and other weather events that could be intensified by climate change.

House Hearings in the Week Ahead

John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, will testify March 26 before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Obama's 2015 budget request for science agencies.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing March 25 on "The Geopolitical Potential of the U.S. Energy Boom."

The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing March 26 on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement strategy on its approach to enforcing wildlife protection where it involves energy producers. As detailed in a March 12 article, the subject has been a special concern in light of political support for wind farms, which often kill eagles and other birds.

IPCC Report Due

On March 25, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to release its second section of its "Fifth Assessment Report" covering Earth's vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

The release of the first section on policy issues, as detailed in a Jan. 30 article, concluded it is “extremely likely”—defined by the IPCC at 95 percent to 100 percent certainty—that human activity is the principal cause of climate change.

A third report on how to mitigate the impacts of climate change is scheduled to be released April 7. A final "synthesis" report is expected to be released in October.

EPA Advisory Committees to Meet

The EPA's Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee and Local Government Advisory Committee will hold public meetings in Washington March 26 and March 28, respectively, on a host of environmental topics.

The small communities meeting will mostly cover wastewater-related issues, while the local government committee, in addition to water issues, will discuss topics related to climate and energy, including resiliency and sustainability.

Other Climate, Energy Events

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are scheduled to speak at the American Council on Renewable Energy forum March 27-28 in Washington.

On March 24, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will hold a webinar on "The California Drought and Related Climate Science Needs." The featured speaker will be Jeanine Jones, interstate resources manager for the California Department of Water Resources.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing March 28 in Washington on "The 2015 Budget: Impacts on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy."

On March 26, the Brookings Institution will hold an event in Washington on "Offshore Oil and Gas Governance in the Arctic: A Leadership Role for the United States."