The week ahead: Jaczko heads to Capitol Hill amid criticism over Yucca handling

The report says Jaczko broke no laws, but alleges that the chairman “strategically” disseminated partial information to the NRC commissioners about his intentions to comply with the administration’s plan to close Yucca Mountain.

On the other side of the Capitol, House Republicans are planning to blast Jaczko during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing Tuesday on the NRC report. While Jaczko is not scheduled to testify, Republicans will hear from the author of the report, NRC Inspector General Hubert Bell.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), the chairman of the panel's Energy and Environment subcommittee, called the report a “disturbing glimpse” into Jaczko’s efforts to abandon Yucca Mountain.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee is slated to vote Wednesday on a fiscal 2012 spending bill that slashes renewable energy funding by 27 percent and seeks to reverse the Obama administration’s decision to abandon Yucca Mountain. The spending bill is expected to pass the committee.

On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Water and Power subcommittee will examine pipeline safety issues. The hearing comes after the Keystone pipeline, which carries Canadian oil sands from Alberta to Oklahoma, sprang two leaks last month, raising the ire of environmental groups.

House Republicans have floated a bill to force President Obama to make a decision on an extension of the pipeline to Texas by Nov. 1.

Also on Thursday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) will hold a hearing on his legislation to expand and expedite oil production in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.

Here are some other hearings of interests:

- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will examine wildfire management Tuesday.
- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will take a look at “the Clean Air Act and public health.”
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will testify at a House Energy and Commerce hearing Monday on legislation to re-enrich and sell depleted uranium.
- The House Science Committee will host Assistant Energy Secretary for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow and White House Office of Science & Technology Policy John Holdren on Tuesday to discuss domestic critical minerals supplies.
- The House Science panel will hold a hearing Wednesday on the Energy Department’s clean technology programs.

At the federal agencies, the Energy Department will host another meeting Monday of its Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) Natural Gas Subcommittee. This time the panel, which is looking into a controversial natural-gas drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” will meet at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will spend Sunday and Monday in California, where she’ll talk to businesses and students about “how innovation and clean technology can protect Americans’ health, strengthen our economy and create jobs,” an agency statement says.

And there are also a couple of key energy events off Capitol Hill this week.

- Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) will speak at a clean energy discussion hosted by the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers on Tuesday.
- Johnson Controls and the U.S. Energy Association are hosting a forum on energy efficiency Wednesday and Thursday. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) will speak at the forum Thursday.