The week ahead: EPA officials face grilling

Senior Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials will be in the hot seat this week during back-to-back House hearings on Thursday.

EPA's Janet McCabe will testify before the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on power Thursday morning about the agency’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants.

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She’s the agency’s top air pollution regulator.

House Republicans have assailed the proposed rules and argue the administration's climate agenda amount to a "war on coal."

The subpanel will review legislation from Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) aimed at scaling back the carbon emissions rules for new power plants.

The bill would also block the EPA from setting rules for existing plants unless Congress passes legislation to set the effective date of the regulations.

Up next on Thursday is EPA chief Gina McCarthy, who will testify before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The committee plans to grill her about the agency's transparency and accountability.

Also on Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider the nominations of Steven Croley to general counsel and Christopher Smith as assistant secretary of fossil energy at the Energy Department.

Esther Kia'aina's nomination as assistant secretary for insular areas at the Interior Department will also be reviewed.

A Senate subcommittee on Thursday will look to reauthorize legislation on annual catch limits and accountability measures for fisherman and fisheries.

Rounding out the agenda on Thursday is an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that will delve into the Keystone XL pipeline debate.

David Manning, a representative of oil-sands-producing Alberta, will join the panel discussion.

Speaking of Keystone, Alberta Premier Alison Redford will be in Washington, D.C. this week for meetings with Obama administration officials as she lobbies for White House approval of the project.

There will be action on climate change overseas as U.S. officials meet with over 190 nations in Warsaw for the latest round of United Nations climate change negotiations.

The talks run from Nov. 11-22. Negotiators hope to lay the groundwork to reach an international climate accord in 2015 that would come into effect in 2020.

Back in Washington, the Cato Institute will hold its own meeting to discuss the future of climate science on Wednesday, while the Society for International Development will hold a talk on lessons in "climate resilience" on Thursday.