OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama takes center stage with speech


E2-Wire will be watching to see if Obama brings any major new proposals to the table — follow the blog Tuesday evening and into the night for coverage of the speech and the reaction on Capitol Hill.

Obama’s White House rivals will get their shots in early ...

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The GOP candidates will debate in Florida Monday night ahead of that state’s upcoming primary.

Look for continued energy-related attacks. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have both hit Obama in recent days over his rejection of the Keystone oil sands pipeline.

The Hill's Cameron Joseph sets the table for the debate here.


NEWS BITES

Dems want Koch witness at Keystone hearing

House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats say this week’s hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline won’t be complete without a witness from Koch Industries, the refining company helmed by the billionaire Koch brothers who back conservative causes.

A subcommittee hearing on Wednesday will review legislation aimed at effectively forcing a permit for the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline that the White House rejected last week.

California Rep. Henry Waxman, the panel’s top Democrat, sent the committee’s GOP leaders a letter Monday arguing a Koch witness should appear Wednesday or at another hearing before the bill moves through the committee.

“We make this request so that Committee members can understand whether Koch is positioned to be a 'big winner' if the pipeline is approved, as some news accounts have reported,” states the letter from Waxman and Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, the top Democrat on the Energy and Power subcommittee that’s holding the hearing.

The letter went to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), who chairs the Energy subcommittee.

Check out the whole letter here.

Obama taps ND regulator for open FERC slot

President Obama has tapped a North Dakota regulator for the open seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to an announcement from the White House.

Obama will nominate North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark for the open seat, which was vacated recently by Republican Marc Spitzer.

“Tony is a highly capable commissioner, and he will bring a great amount of knowledge and expertise to this position. North Dakota has benefitted from his leadership, and now is the time for him to take a national advisory role,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said in a statement before the White House announcement was released.

Hoeven worked with Clark when Hoeven was governor, the senator. He recommended Clark to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who in turn recommended him to Obama, according to Hoeven’s office.


ON TAP TUESDAY

Brookings forum to explore gas exports

The Brookings Institution will hold an event to explore the prospects for U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas. More here.

State Department climate official to provide update


Jonathan Pershing, the State Department’s deputy special envoy for climate change, will speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and “provide an update on the latest round of climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,” according to an advisory.

DOE’s cutting-edge research under review


The House Science, Space and Technology Committee panel will examine the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which seeks to foster breakthroughs in cutting-edge technologies.

Energy security, transportation in focus

The Energy Security Leadership Council — a group of CEOs and retired military brass — will hold a press briefing Tuesday to discuss a report titled “Congestion in America: A Growing Challenge to U.S. Energy Security.”



The group is seeking to influence lawmakers crafting the next big multi-year transportation bill.



“This report focuses on the challenge of U.S. oil dependence, the dynamics of worsening road congestion in America’s cities, and identifies a range of options available to policymakers to improve traveler mobility, and reduce wasted time and fuel,” an advisory states.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ...

Oil industry group says SEC must pull back transparency rule
US officials praise EU sanctions on Iran
Feds slash natural-gas resource estimate; production to keep rising
The Hill Poll: Slight majority opposes Obama on Keystone XL
White House rushes to define Keystone message ahead of Republicans
Boehner mulls tying Keystone approval to payroll tax extension
CRS report: Congress can require Keystone oil pipeline approval

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Andrew Restuccia, arestuccia@thehill.com.

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