OVERNIGHT ENERGY: GOP’s Capitol Hill messaging sprint begins

And here’s a rundown of some of the other events coming up this week.


NEWS BITES:

Paul Ryan pressed green car loans in '08


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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the GOP’s VP hopeful, and other Republicans have been plenty hostile to federal loan and grant programs aimed at spurring green energy.

But back in 2008, Ryan joined a trio of Wisconsin Democrats in offering the Energy Department advice on how to dole out loans from DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program.

The program, created in a 2007 energy law, is aimed at spurring domestic manufacturing of efficient vehicles and components. The Washington Times has more on Ryan’s advocacy here.

House Dems ask, again, for climate hearing

House Democrats aren’t giving up in their public quest for an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on climate change this year.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) sent a letter Monday to the committee’s GOP leaders requesting a hearing about how climate change will affect the operation of power plants, citing “growing indications” of harm.

“The record-breaking heat and drought conditions are forcing power plant operators to operate hydroelectric projects with less water and to cool fossil and nuclear power plants with less water,” states the letter from Waxman, who is the committee’s top Democrat, and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

“There have been several cases of nuclear power plants being forced to shut down because cooling water was either too warm or too scarce,” it states.

GOP takes aim at Energy Secretary Chu

The House Natural Resources Committee will discuss an administration plan that would increase electricity rates for some rural customers at a Tuesday hearing.
 
The hearing will delve into a March memo sent by Energy Secretary Steven Chu that directed four federally operated utilities to upgrade their electric grid infrastructure. It has faced stiff opposition from members of Congress in both chambers and the electric power industry.
 
The order riled electric co-ops that said it amounted to a top-down mandate from the White House. They said it will raise the price of electricity for thousands of customers while extending service to areas that had not previously paid into the electric grid infrastructure.
 
The administration contends the improvements are necessary to meet national electric reliability standards and to incorporate more distributed wind and solar power. The Energy Department would also use the four power marketing administrations, as the utilities are known, as “test beds” for cybersecurity technologies.
 
Lauren Azar, senior policy adviser to Chu, will testify at the hearing. She is heading DOE’s efforts on the project. Mark Crisson, president and CEO with the American Public Power Association, will also testify, along with several other representatives from electric power organizations.

Green group to push wind credit in new reports

Environmentalists furiously pushing Congress to extend wind energy tax credits will roll out reports Tuesday that make the economic case for the incentives.

“The reports detail each and every job created in the 14-step supply chain that goes into a typical wind farm. They also detail specific benefits that wind energy are pumping into communities across America, from manufacturing hubs in Central Ohio to wind farms in Northern Oregon,” states an advisory about the Natural Resources Defense Council reports coming out Tuesday.

They’re part of a much wider push for renewal of the production tax credit that’s slated to expire at the end of the year. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these E2-Wire items that ran Monday, and a bit of our coverage from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., too.

- Groups push for Senate tax credit vote during ‘wind week’
- Obama official neutral on naming US waters after Reagan
- Wind group boots utility over tax incentive
- NOAA: Summer third-hottest on record
- Obama: Climate change is not a hoax
- Obama, Dems flex muscles on energy at Dem convention

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Zack Colman, zcolman@thehill.com.

Follow E2 on Twitter: @E2Wire, @Ben_Geman, @zcolman