By Ben Geman and Laura Barron-Lopez - 11/13/13 06:22 PM EST
EPA IN THE HOT SEAT I: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will face a grilling in the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Thursday.
The hearing is about boosting “transparency and accountability” at the agency — attributes that GOP lawmakers say are lacking.
EPA IN THE HOT SEAT II: The agency’s planned carbon emissions standards for power plants will come under fresh attack in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Janet McCabe, the EPA’s top air pollution regulator, will appear at the Energy and Power subcommittee hearing on the regulations.
The panel will also review draft legislation by its chairman, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), that would weaken emissions standards for new power plants and halt rules for existing plants.
McCabe, in prepared testimony, has unkind things to say about the bill that Whitfield sponsored with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who will also testify.
THE REST OF THURSDAY’S AGENDA
Obama nominees face Senate committee
A Senate panel will review pending Energy and Interior Department nominations Thursday.
President Obama nominated a number of people for both departments recently. On Thursday, Steven Croley will be considered for a post as general counsel, and Christopher Smith will be considered as assistant secretary for fossil energy at the Department of Energy.
Esther Kia'aina will also face the Senate panel for her nomination to be assistant secretary for insular areas at Interior.
GOP legislation aims to block mining rule
Rep. Bill Johnson's (R-Ohio) bill that aims to halt President Obama's rewrite of a stream protection rule will likely be approved by the House Natural Resources Committee Thursday during a markup.
The bill would prevent the Interior department from toughening regulation on mountaintop removal coal mining projects in Appalachia.
US Energy markets and Keystone XL in focus
The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a forum on North American oil-and-gas infrastructure.
The event will explore “changing North American energy markets and how existing policies and regulations will shape the development of the newly emerging oil and gas resources.”
Guests include David Manning, Alberta’s envoy to the U.S. The forum arrives as officials in the Alberta and Canadian national governments are strongly pushing the White House to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
The event will be streamed live on the CSIS website.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire on Wednesday ...
– Arizona lawmakers seek Grand Canyon re-opening dollars
– Senate panel clears energy, climate nominees
– Senate duo seeks permanent Arctic refuge protection
– CBO: Carbon tax chops $1 trillion from deficit
– Carney uses oil import news to tout climate plan
– White House takes credit for crude oil milestone
– Poll: Majority support curbing greenhouse gases
– Former White House climate czar’s latest move
– EPA, Manchin spar over power plant climate bill
– Dems use typhoon to push for climate hearing
– Lawmakers upbeat over chemical safety fix
– House GOP taps new leaders for spending panels
Report claims Wal-Mart lags on green pledge
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) pledged to rely fully on renewable energy and sell products that sustain the environment.
Eight years later, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer is failing to carry out its environmental pledges, according to a report an environmental group released today.
Check out the whole story here.
Report: Biodiesel boosts economy
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) released a study Wednesday that concludes the industry supported 62,000 jobs and provided $2.6 billion in wages.
The group used the report to argue that the EPA should not scale back the nation’s biofuels blending mandate in an upcoming rule, which a recently leaked draft showed the EPA might do.
“The negative impact of that proposal is clear — it would force biodiesel plants to close and put people out of work,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the NBB. “The EPA and the Obama Administration can avoid that by supporting a strong 2014 standard that is at least consistent with this year’s production.”
Report: Climate change jeopardizes wildlife
The National Wildlife Federation released a report on Wednesday saying climate change is threatening big game wildlife.
The report details how extreme weather events and rising temperatures are creating growing uncertainty for the outdoor economy.