OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior to take drilling-safety push global Thursday

A spokeswoman for Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorWhat to watch for in Comey’s testimony Trump nominates two new DOD officials Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes MORE (R-Va.) tells E2 that the measures should be on the House floor next month. 

"I hope the full House will soon consider these bills to unlock our energy resources in order to lower energy costs, create good-paying jobs and strengthen our national security," Hastings said in a statement after all three passed. The bills drew support from Democrats Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Dan Boren (D-Okla.), but other Democrats on the panel cast the legislation as a reckless rush to drill that will do nothing to lower energy costs.

Bravery in Japan’s evacuation zone: CNN chronicles volunteers’ efforts to rescue pets that were abandoned inside the evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two paragraphs from their story:

" 'I understand the nuclear danger and everything, but they're just being left to starve to death, basically,' said Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support."

"Gallaon-Aoki and others like her have been slipping into the 20-km radius around Fukushima Daiichi to retrieve pets and feed livestock left behind when their owners were forced to evacuate. Pet owners have sent her group their addresses, accompanied by pleas to rescue their animals, left behind when they fled for what was supposed to be a short time."

Grading the ‘clean energy standard’: The respected environmental think tank Resources for the Future answered the call when the leaders of the Senate Energy Committee asked for input on a “clean energy standard.”

That’s the White House plan to require 80 percent of U.S. electricity to come from low- or no-carbon sources like renewables, nuclear, natural gas and others by 2035.

Some highlights from RFF's response:

“Between 2013 and 2035, a CES would achieve cumulative CO2 emissions reductions of roughly 30 percent, or 20 billion tons, relative to a baseline. This is 41 percent of the needed CO2 reductions to meet the U.S. pledge as part of the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in Copenhagen and Cancun.”

Some coal- and gas-fired power plants would be put out to pasture, the think tank concludes. A bit more from RFF:

“Nuclear capacity expansion is the economically preferred approach to meeting the 2035 standard with or without existing nuclear and hydro crediting. If new nuclear deployment is constrained, coal gasification plants with carbon capture and sequestration take up the slack.  When all of these are constrained, wind becomes the preferred approach.”


Here are a few of the notable events around town ...

House, Senate likely to approve CR that cuts EPA funding, blocks ‘wild lands’: Votes are expected in both chambers on the continuing resolution to fund the government through September.

The spending deal struck last week includes a deep cut in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, and a provision that prohibits funding for the Interior Department’s “wild lands” program, designed to conserve public lands that Congress hasn’t official deemed wilderness.

Check out our story here.

House Energy Committee to review coal-waste bill: The House Energy and Commerce Committee is continuing its assault on what Republicans call on overly zealous EPA regulatory agenda.

An Environment and Economy subcommittee hearing will dissect legislation to prevent tough federal rules governing disposal of a waste product from coal-fired power plants.

Check out our story on the proposed rules governing “coal ash” and the bill to block them here. Witnesses at the hearing include EPA’s top solid-waste official, state regulators and others.

Forum to probe the future of nuclear power: The National Press Club’s Newsmaker program will host several experts to discuss what’s next for nuclear power amid the Japanese reactor crisis. The event features former Rep. Phil Sharp (D-Ind.), Jim Riccio of Greenpeace and analyst Kevin Book of Clearview Energy Partners.

Energy Department to tout cutting-edge research: Arun Majumdar, the head of the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, will join with power industry officials to make a clean-energy research announcement. “Dr. Majumdar will discuss how ARPA-E projects are helping spur innovation to grow the economy, promote energy-saving choices for consumers, and win the future,” an advisory states.

ARPA-E is a program that funds so-called high-risk, high-reward projects to spur “breakthrough” technologies. The White House is pushing for increases in clean-energy R&D.


Here’s a quick roundup of Wednesday’s E2-Wire coverage:

The Boston Globe is attacking Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) vote against climate change rules
— Shell Oil is backing House GOP efforts to speed up permitting for Arctic drilling projects
— BP’s partnership with Russia’s Rosneft appears to be collapsing
— Democratic budget plans call for ending oil industry subsidies
— Environmentalists are asking tough questions about Obama's green record

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