The week ahead: Oil and gas prices, subsidies to dominate energy agenda

The bills, part of a three-bill oil-and-gas production package introduced by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc HastingsRichard (Doc) Norman HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE (R-Wash.), are expected to pass the House, but they face major hurdles in the Senate.

Republicans and some Democrats claim that increased domestic oil-and-gas production will lower prices. But energy analysts say increased production in the United States will have almost no effect on the cost of gas.

Meanwhile, expect continued debate on an Obama administration proposal to eliminate billions of dollars of oil-industry tax breaks.

Republicans have generally criticized the proposal, arguing it would add burdens on the oil-and-gas industry that would be passed on to consumers. But Democrats have seized on to the apparent willingness of two top Republicans to eliminate some tax breaks.

House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio) indicated in a recent interview that he could support repealing some of the tax breaks, but quickly walked back his comments. And House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE (R-Wis.) said he is in favor of eliminating the tax breaks.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle MORE (D-Nev.) said this week that he hopes to hold a vote on the proposal as soon as possible. A Reid spokesman said Friday that the timing of the vote is dependent on the small-business bill that has been lingering on the Senate floor for weeks.

There will be a series of other energy-related events in Congress this week.

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on natural-disaster preparedness. The committee will also consider pipeline safety legislation, among other bills, during a Thursday session.

Also Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on a proposal to establish a Clean Energy Deployment Administration. The administration would provide loans and financing for clean-energy projects.

The House Natural Resources and Agriculture committees will hold a joint hearing Tuesday on “the costs of federal regulatory dysfunction.” The director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide program and the head of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service are slated to testify.

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the role of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “in the nation’s energy future.” The hearing comes amid the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan and continued questions from some lawmakers as to the safety of the U.S. nuclear fleet.

The committee will hold a hearing Thursday on alternative fuels and vehicles.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on mine safety Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee will hear about the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy budget from the office’s director, John Holdren.

On Thursday, the House Transportation Committee will look into how EPA mining policies affect jobs.

And there is a slew of events scheduled off Capitol Hill this week.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will give the keynote address Monday at the conclusion of the National Science Bowl, in which science students from across the country conduct a series of science experiments.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko will speak at Public Citizen on Monday.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, among others, will speak at an event Tuesday and Wednesday hosted by the Earth Day Network, the Carbon War Room and the American Council on Renewable Energy.