OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Republicans to press NRC staff on Jaczko

Republicans are certain to press NRC staff for details about Jaczko’s handling of Yucca, which the Obama administration said it would abandon last year.

Friday's hearing is part of a broader effort by Republicans to blast the Obama administration over its decision to kick Yucca to the curb. The decision, Republicans argue, is more about politics than policy.

Republicans on a panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee bashed Jaczko at a hearing on the report last week.

Jaczko defended his tenure at the NRC at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, which was also held last week.


NEWS BITES:

Koch steps up fight against natural-gas bill

Koch Industries, the refining company helmed by billionaire brothers active in conservative causes, is stepping up its campaign against House legislation aimed at spurring conversion to natural gas in the trucking industry.

The Kansas-based company sent a letter to Senate lawmakers Thursday urging them to oppose the bill on the heels of their vote against a major ethanol industry tax break that the company also opposes.

“We do not believe government should be picking ‘winners and losers’ in the marketplace based on which industries or products it chooses to subsidize,” writes Philip Ellender, the company’s president for government and public affairs, in the letter to Senators.

“Right now, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act would provide sizeable and expensive preferential tax treatment to subsidize virtually all aspects of the natural gas industry, including the production, use and purchase of natural gas vehicles (NGVs).  Such action is poor tax policy and unnecessary given the fact that natural gas currently is both abundant and cheap,” states the letter from the company that’s also active in polymers and other sectors.

A collection of conservative groups — including groups with Koch backing — are pushing lawmakers to oppose the bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.).

More than a dozen House Republicans have withdrawn their sponsorship in recent weeks.

But Sullivan remains bullish on the prospects for the bill, which is backed by billionaire energy magnate T. Boone Pickens.

White House strategic oil release roils Capitol Hill

Check out The Hill’s print edition Friday for our piece on the surprise White House decision to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.


ON TAP FRIDAY:

• The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing on the White House Office of Management and Budget’s role in the Energy Department’s loan-guarantee program.

• The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing called, “Running Roughshod Over States and Stakeholders: EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) Nutrients Policies."

• A group of top Obama administration officials will hold a press conference at a park in Baltimore to unveil a plan for cleaning up waterways in major cities. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley are slated to attend.

• Paul Anastas, assistant administrator at EPA’s Office of Research and Development, will speak at the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment summit.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Here’s a quick roundup of Thursday’s E2 stories:

— Obama to release oil from strategic reserve
— Browner, former White House climate czar, joins green group board
— Senior Republicans bash White House oil release as political move
— Dems: Oil release a blow to speculators
— Administration leaves door open to releasing more oil
— Senate kills measure to defund policy 'czars'
— Energy panel approves bill to speed up Keystone XL decision
— Murkowski mulls bill to set criteria for strategic oil releases

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Andrew Restuccia, arestuccia@thehill.com.

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