The Week Ahead: Spending Bills on Agenda, Hearing on State v. Federal Policy Issues to Be Held


A $34 billion energy and water appropriations bill (H.R. 4923) is expected to be considered by the House floor the week of July 7.

As detailed in a June 23 Energy and Climate Report article, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act would provide $27.3 billion for the Energy Department, $5.5 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $1 billion for Interior Department programs and funding for several independent agencies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment and Related Agencies is scheduled to markup a spending measure, which will include funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, July 9 for fiscal year 2015.

Other Hearings on Agenda

On July 11, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and Economy will hold a hearing on "Constitutional Considerations: States vs. Federal Environmental Policy Implementation." 

Also on July 11, the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on "Fusion Energy: The World's Most Complex Energy Project." Witnesses include Frank Rusco, director for Natural Resources and Environment at the Government Accountability Office; Pat Dehmer, deputy director for Science Programs at the Department of Energy; Robert Iotti, council chair for the ITER (originally an acronym for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor); and Ned Sauthoff, director of the U.S. ITER Project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

New Jersey DEP to Hold Hearing

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will hold the last of three public hearings July 9 in Tuckerton 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.

The other hearings were held June 25 in Long Beach and June 26 in Trenton. 

German Upper House to Hold Vote

On July 11, Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundersrat, is expected to vote on far-reaching amendments to the country's renewable energy law.

As covered in a June 27 article, the lower house, the Bundestag, voted in favor of the amendments to the Renewable Energy Resources Act that would cap renewable energy subsidies and introduce surcharges on new power plants for self-consumed power.

Other Climate, Energy Events

On July 8, the Environmental Law Institute will host a webinar on "The End of Sustainability?" The webinar will focus on "whether the concept of sustainability works as a governance goal; what role resiliency should play as a goal; and the interplay between resiliency, sustainability and traditional environmental law approaches in environmental governance."

The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a webinar July 8 on "The Effects of Clean Air Act Section 111(d) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order 745 on Demand Response and Smart Grid Technology."



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