Week ahead: House GOP to scrutinize Obama's clean-coal programs

Congressional Republicans will zero in on the Obama administration’s clean-coal agenda this week.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday will hold an oversight hearing on the Energy Department’s clean-coal programs.

ADVERTISEMENT
GOP members have not shied away from expressing their doubts with the clean-coal technologies the Obama administration has used to back up its climate regulations on coal-fired power plants.

Energy and Commerce members will question the Energy Department’s deputy assistant secretary on clean coal, and the acting director for the National Energy Technology Laboratory at the hearing.

Separately, a House panel will take another look at the West Virginia chemical leak that left hundreds of thousands without clean water for days last week.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing Monday on the leak, which angered members of both parties.

A Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee looked at the issue more broadly last week, focusing on both the policies and procedures that exist for responding to spills and leaks like the one in West Virginia.

On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on extreme weather events and the costs associated with not being prepared.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security will testify at the hearing, which will also examine ways the federal government can help build communities’ resilience while saving money.

Later on Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing examining state policies on efficiency and renewable programs, which could prove helpful in crafting federal regulations, according to the panel’s advisory.

On Thursday, a Senate Commerce subpanel will dive into rail safety and the current challenges facing passenger and freight railways.

Recent accidents involving crude oil trains will be a point of discussion during the hearing.

Off Capitol Hill, the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation will begin its seventh “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” conference on Monday.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Sierra Club Director Michael Brune will speak about climate change and jobs in the 21st century.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will deliver Monday’s keynote addresses.

Later on Monday, crude oil exports will be a hot topic at two separate events. The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a conversation on the subject and the Cato Institute will look at the impacts of export restrictions on the U.S. oil-and-gas boom.

On Tuesday, the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation will continue its conference with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).

Former Obama climate czar Carol Browner on Tuesday will speak at an Aspen Institute event on energy and climate change cooperation between the U.S. and India.

And on Thursday the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a discussion on managing climate risks in the Southwest.