By Andrew Restuccia - 04/11/11 12:07 PM EDT
The week will also include a hodgepodge of hearings on three major energy policy issues: natural-gas drilling, nuclear power and oil and gas development.
Amid fears that a natural-gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing could harm public health, two congressional panels plan to take a closer look at the issue.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the health and environmental concerns associated with the practice, commonly called “fracking.” And the House Science Committee will hold a hearing Thursday to review fracking technology and practices.
Meanwhile, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on lessons learned from the nuclear crisis in Japan. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko will testify. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on tsunami preparedness in light of the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will continue its ongoing series of hearings on the American Energy Initiative, the Republican energy plan. And the House Small Business Committee on Thursday will examine “the crushing effect of high gas prices on small business."
There are a number of other events of interest on Capitol Hill:
- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider the nomination of Peter Lyons to be the Energy Department’s assistant secretary for nuclear energy
- The Senate Commerce Committee will consider pipeline safety legislation Tuesday
- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on ethanol and advanced biofuels Wednesday;
- The House Science Committee will take a look at “green jobs and red tape” on Wednesday
- The House Appropriations Committee will spend two days (Thursday and Friday) considering the administration’s fiscal 2012 Interior and Environment proposed budget
- And the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and House Natural Resources Committee will hold a joint hearing Friday on the intersection of border security and the environment.
Off Capitol Hill, the Environmental Protection Agency will hold a meeting Monday and Tuesday on developing a strategy for conducting oil spill research.
The Bipartisan Policy Center will announce “a new energy project” at an event Wednesday with national oil spill commission co-chairman William Reilly and former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), among others.
And oilman-turned-natural-gas-cheerleader T. Boone Pickens will tout natural-gas vehicles on Wednesday.