The week ahead: Energy hearings galore as Chu travels to Russia

The panel will hear from two senior Energy Department officials and other experts.
On Thursday, the committee will meet to review three bills devoted to various alternative fuel and energy efficiency issues.
A second hearing Thursday will delve into bills aimed at preventing shortages and ensuring U.S. supply of rare earth minerals and other elements that are crucial to an array of clean energy technologies.
There’s more on the hearings here.
Something else to watch: June 6 is the deadline for submitting comments to the State Department on its updated environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The proposed pipeline to bring oil sands crude from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries is generating fierce opposition from environmental groups, while House Republicans — who back the project — are pushing legislation to expedite the administration’s decision on the pipeline.
The American Petroleum Institute has scheduled a press conference Monday to discuss its comments on what the oil industry trade group calls “one of the biggest job-creating projects in America.”
More action off Capitol Hill: On Monday, Jacques Besnainou, CEO of nuclear giant AREVA Inc., will brief reporters at a National Press Club breakfast.
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit President Obama at the White House. Germany is phasing out its nuclear power plants in coming years, while the Obama administration remains supportive of nuclear energy, so the subject could come up.
Tuesday also brings a look into the battle over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) air toxics standards for utilities, better known in energy circles as the “Utility MACT” after the Clean Air Act’s “maximum achievable control technology” requirements.
An Environmental Law Institute event will hear from environmental groups and industry representatives about the proposed rules. The event comes as some House Republicans are looking to scale back or delay the utility MACT and other EPA air pollution rules, which they called burdensome.
Wednesday brings a major event on the role of natural gas. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host Nobuo Tanaka, head of the International Energy Agency, for an event titled “Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas?”

CSIS has a busy day Wednesday. Its Global Security Forum 2011 has a panel titled “Tectonic Shift: Security Implications of the New Energy Landscape” that will feature guests including Michael Froman, the White House's deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.

The Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a Wednesday forum called "Enhancing Public Engagement in Climate Change: The 2011 Climate Change Communicators of the Year." It will feature Naomi Oreskes, author of Merchants of Doubt, as well as other experts.

And way off Capitol Hill, Energy Secretary Chu will travel to Russia this week to discuss clean energy and nuclear power, among other things.

Highlights of the six-day trip include a visit to the All-Russian Institute of Experimental Physics, which the Energy Department compares to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Chu will also chair a meeting Tuesday of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Bilateral Commission’s Energy Working Group.