The week ahead: Light bulb, energy-spending battles dominate agenda

On Monday and Tuesday the House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up two bills. One would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating coal combustion wastes under the hazardous waste title of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The second would mandate a new interagency analysis of the economic effects of several EPA rules.

Opening statements will be Monday, and they’ll get down to amendment battles Tuesday.

On Tuesday the House Appropriations Committee will mark up the fiscal 2012 spending bill for EPA and the Interior Department.

The measure makes deep cuts to conservation and environmental programs and would freeze EPA climate change rules.
 
On Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on bills to boost solar power, geothermal power and other issues. The committee will mark up several bills Thursday, but it’s not yet clear what’s on the table.
 
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will gather Tuesday to review EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act efforts.
 
On Wednesday the House Natural Resources Committee will mark up several bills.
 
They include a measure to expedite oil-and-gas drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and several bills to knock down what Republicans call red tape impeding renewable energy projects on federal lands and offshore. Copies of the bills are available here.

On Thursday a panel of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will examine EPA policies to limit environmental damage from mountaintop mining operations.

Republicans have set up the hearing to attack what they call burdensome restrictions — the title of the session is “EPA's Appalachian Energy Permitorium: Job Killer Or Job Creator?”
 
On Friday, the House Natural Resources Committee will hear from the Michael Bromwich, the Interior Department’s top offshore drilling regulator, at a hearing on the regulatory overhaul that followed the BP oil spill.
 
Also Friday: A House Energy and Commerce Committee panel will review the Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act of 2011. The hearing comes amid increased focus on pipeline safety in the wake of Exxon’s oil spill in Montana and other incidents.
 
The hearing also comes as the Obama administration weighs whether to approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.
 
There will be plenty of events in Washington beyond the hearings, markups and votes.
 
Monday brings the national launch of the Troops to Energy Jobs program that aims to connect returning military vets with jobs in the energy sector, which is facing a worker shortage.
 
Thomas Farrell, the president of the Dominion power company and chairman of the Edison Electric Institute, will roll out the program. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will also take part in the Center for Energy Workforce Development event.
 
On Tuesday several lawmakers will join industry executives, state officials and others to launch a new initiative that promotes enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using carbon dioxide. EOR can boost production from existing oil fields through CO2 injections that sequester the greenhouse gas underground. The Great Plains Institute and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change are facilitating the initiative.
 
Also Tuesday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosts a forum on Arctic oil-and-gas development. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), the top Republican on the Senate’s Energy Committee, will appear, as will Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Hayes.
 
Wednesday brings the National Summit on Energy Security, convened by the group Securing America’s Future Energy. Experts appearing include Dennis Blair, the former director of national intelligence, FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Bush-era White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and others. More info here.
 
Wednesday also brings the opening of the two-day National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid. Speakers include FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). More info here.
 
CSIS has another event Friday, this one on the Defense Department’s recently unveiled Operational Energy Strategy. Sharon Burke, assistant secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs, will appear.
 
Outside Washington, Wednesday brings the second meeting of the Interior Department’s Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee. This time the panel — which was established as part of the federal response to the BP oil spill — will gather in New Orleans.