Hastings bolsters bid to claim energy jurisdiction

“Energy deserves the concentrated attention of one Committee with full jurisdiction over this sweeping issue,” the new presentation states. “Transition from Minority to Majority offers [a] unique opportunity to make bold changes to improve how the House operates and to better serve our Nation.”

But Republicans on the Energy and Commerce panel are trying to crush the proposal, and senior Democrats on the energy committee oppose it as well.

The GOP’s Steering Committee — which is deciding who will chair various committees — and the wider House GOP conference could make decisions about jurisdictional lines as soon as this week.

Hastings’s presentation seeks to show that he will effectively hold the Obama administration’s feet to the fire.

It notes that Hastings quickly criticized a potential Interior Department proposal last week to increase regulation of a controversial natural-gas drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing. He called on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to appear before the panel next year.

The presentation points out that Hastings’s letter to Salazar came two days before senior Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans pressed the Interior Secretary on the matter and attacked the potential rules.

Similarly, it notes that Hastings “was the first Member of Congress to publicly condemn the Administration’s decision to re-instate a moratorium on offshore drilling.”

The administration announced last week it was scrapping plans to sell oil-and-gas leases off the Atlantic Coast and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The document also notes that Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) has signaled his intention to probe offshore drilling policy if he wins the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship. Politico reported on the document earlier Monday afternoon.

“Hastings was simply reinforcing his previous arguments made in his original presentation using recent examples of the current split energy jurisdiction and why it makes sense to have one, consolidated energy committee,” Hastings spokesman Spencer Pederson said Monday in an e-mail.