Week ahead: EPA chief hits the road for emissions rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will mount an aggressive campaign this week to promote the proposed emissions rule for power plants, with EPA head Gina McCarthy scheduled to make another round of public appearances.

McCarthy won’t be as busy as she was last week, when the agency first unveiled the rule, but she’s clearly putting an emphasis on reaching out to a wide range of interest groups.

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Only McCarthy’s Thursday event will be in Washington, D.C. On that day, she’ll give the keynote speech at the Energy Efficiency Forum, an annual event sponsored by the United States Energy Association and Johnson Control Inc.

The forum will also feature Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), along with numerous scholars and energy stakeholders.

McCarthy will head out to Las Vegas on Monday to speak at the annual convention of the Edison Electric Institute, the main lobbying group for electric utilities. The next day she’ll be in Colorado Springs, Colo., to speak at the annual meeting of the Western Governors’ Association, and on Wednesday she’ll be in New York City to join a panel at Goldman Sachs’s North American Energy Summit.

Back on Capitol Hill, the House will return and host a slate of markups and hearings related to energy.

On Monday and Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider the Promoting New Manufacturing Act, which the panel said is meant to ease and speed the Clean Air Act permitting process for new factories and other energy intensive projects.

The Appropriations Committee’s subpanel on Energy and Water will mark up its fiscal year 2015 bill on Tuesday.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will host a hearing Wednesday on the proposed rule by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to redefine the agencies’ jurisdiction over water and land under the Clean Water Act. Republicans have almost universally panned the rule, calling it a land grab by the federal government, and some Democrats have leveled similar criticism.

The panel will hear from EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy. It will also hear from state water agency officials and representatives of agriculture, homebuilders and the American Sustainable Business Council.

The Natural Resources Committee’s subpanel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hear Thursday about opportunities for innovation in energy jobs, and the Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will discuss energy priorities in that region.

On the Senate side, the Environment and Public Works Committee’s subpanel on Environmental Health will hold a Tuesday hearing on speeding up Superfund clean-ups. The senators will hear from two EPA officials, as well as stakeholders and local officials from New Jersey and Oklahoma.

Off Capitol Hill, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will hold a Wednesday event on the past and future of energy policy. It will feature former Sen. and Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee Bennett Johnston (D-La.), former Obama climate czar Heather Zichal and a number of other former government officials in energy and environment policy.

The day before that, the CSIS will hold an event to discuss the possibility of lifting the federal ban on exporting crude oil, featuring two leaders from IHS Global Insight, which has studied the issue.

The American Gas Association will hold its monthly Natural Gas Roundtable discussion Thursday. The group has invited Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.), ranking member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and other senators to attend.