The Week Ahead: Senate Democrats Invite Republicans Again to the Floor to Discuss Climate Issues


Senate Democrats will set aside several hours of floor time June 9 in hopes of enticing their Republican colleagues to discuss climate change issues, one week after the Obama administration unveiled its proposal to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.

As covered in a June 5 article, Democrats, including Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Ed Markey (Mass.) and Bernie Sanders
(I/D-Vt.), announced the plan to give Republicans another shot at an extended floor debate on climate change three months after a similar overnight session failed to attract a single taker from the minority party.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrat Joe Manchin from West Virginia is scheduled to meet White House senior counselor John Podesta over the power plant proposal, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the existing fleet of fossil fuel-fired power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Manchin's remarks about the meeting, along with Republican criticism of the power plant proposal, are included in a June 3 article.

House Hearings on Agenda

On June 10, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will mark up the fiscal 2015 energy and water bill.

As covered in a March 25 article, last year, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $24.6 billion fiscal 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2609).

On June 12, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on "American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Innovation." 

International Meetings on Agenda

The United Nations will hold its second week of climate talks June 9-15 in Bonn where negotiators hope to make progress toward getting a global climate change deal finalized in Paris in late 2015.

However, as covered in a June 3 article, a smaller-than-usual ministerial-level contingent led some delegates to say they are worried that it could signal an erosion of interest at the highest levels of government. Australia, Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa and the U.K. are the largest countries that did not send high-level delegations to the talks.

On June 12, European Union environmental ministers will meet in Luxembourg to discuss proposals for a climate and energy framework for the bloc through 2030. The meeting is in preparations for negotiations that will be continued by EU leaders at a June 26-27 summit in Brussels.

As covered in a May 15 article, EU leaders have said they will adopt an agreement on overall emissions and energy targets by October, prior to UN end-of-year climate talks in Lima. 

Federal Advisory Committee to Meet

The Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science will hold a public meeting June 11 in Fairfax, Va. The committee advises the Department of Interior on operations concerning the U.S. Geological Survey's National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the DOI's Climate Science Centers.

Other Climate, Energy Events

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is scheduled to give two keynote speeches in the week ahead. On June 10, she will address the Western Governors' Association's annual meeting that runs June 9-11 in Colorado Springs, Co. On June 12, McCarthy will speak before the U.S. Energy Association's annual energy efficiency forum at the National Press Club in Washington. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also will address the WGA's meeting June 9. 

USEA will hold another event June 10 in Washington on carbon capture and storage on "The Role of CCS in Diverse Energy Chain Developments and the Global Significance of Offshore Storage."

Also on June 10 in Washington, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a discussion on "Electric Transmission 301 - Grid Resilience, Gas-Electric Coordination, and New Business Models."


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