Week ahead: Congress mulls Obama's energy budget

The House and Senate are holding a series of hearings this week to sort through the energy proposals in President Obama's 2015 budget.

First up is a Senate Armed Services subpanel that on Wednesday will examine the Defense Department's request for energy projects and environmental initiatives.

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Witnesses will include John Conger, acting deputy Defense undersecretary for installations and environment, and Dennis McGinn, the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy and the environment.

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) budget request will come before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. EPA chief Gina McCarthy will be the sole witness.

McCarthy spent time on Capitol Hill this week testifying before the House Appropriations Committee, where she defended a newly proposed waterways rule in the face of Republican criticism.

When McCarthy appears before the subpanel on Wednesday she will likely field questions on the agency's coal-fired power plant rules and the administration's sweeping strategy for targeting methane emissions.

Also on Wednesday, a House Appropriations subcommittee will hear testimony from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on his department's 2015 budget proposal.

Moniz will likely spend a good portion of his time discussing the natural gas investments in the budget, which have become a hot topic thanks to the crisis in Ukraine.

On Wednesday afternoon, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on U.S. energy trade policy.

If the title "The Crude Truth" is any indication of what will be discussed, it’s likely crude oil exports will be a hot topic, especially with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) testifying before the subcommittee.

Murkowski has been an outspoken advocate of repealing the ban on crude oil exports and sending natural gas exports to Eastern European countries that are now dependent on Russia for most of their supplies.

On Thursday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz returns to the House to testify on the department's 2015 budget proposal before an Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

The House Appropriations Committee will hold two hearings on Thursday about the Energy Department's budget proposal for its National Nuclear Security Administration.

Wrapping up the events on Capitol Hill, the House will vote as early as Tuesday on a bill that would require National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to focus on predicting storms, not climate change.

On Friday, a House Appropriations subpanel will evaluate parts of the Interior Department's budget proposal for next year. Witnesses will include Tommy Beaudreau, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Also on Friday, a subcommittee of House Natural Resources will examine California's dependence on foreign oil and opportunities to reverse it.
 
Off Capitol Hill, the Atlantic Council is hosting a discussion on Thursday about the crisis in Ukraine, specifically the energy issues at play.

State Department special envoy for international energy affairs Carlos Pascual will talk about the ongoing skirmish with Fred Kempe, the president of the Atlantic Council.