The Week Ahead: Drilling, Everglades in focus

But the Senate version of the bill does not approve construction of the pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Stay tuned.
 
More Capitol Hill action: On Thursday a House Natural Resources Committee panel will hold a hearing on a suite of new bills aimed at boosting onshore energy development.
 
The bills would set a floor on the amount of acreage that must be leased for oil-and-gas drilling and other projects, ensure streamlined environmental review and limit the Interior Department’s ability to withdraw or cancel leases.
They also set new deadlines for acting on drilling permit applications and create new limits on judicial review of energy projects, among other provisions. Click here for copies of the bills:http://bit.ly/JgwnUx

It’s one of several energy-related hearings this week.

On Wednesday the House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to approve  two energy bills. One requires an increase in federal lands offered for oil and natural gas drilling if the administration decides to draw oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The second delays several EPA air pollution rules while a new interagency panel reviews how they will cumulatively affect gasoline prices.
 
Also on Wednesday, a House Judiciary Committee panel will examine legislation to streamline the environmental permitting process for developers.

On Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on “weather-related electrical outages.” It continues a panel effort to explore the nexus between energy, weather and climate. The committee gathered experts last week to explore the effect of rising sea levels on energy and water-related infrastructure.
 
Also Thursday, a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee panel will take a look at maritime industry regulations and whether they can improve environmental safety while protecting jobs.
 
The Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing called “Gas Prices in the Northeast: Potential Impact on the American Consumer Due to Loss of Refining Capacity.”

On the federal spending front, committees in both chambers will mark up fiscal year 2013 Energy Department appropriations bills this week.

On Tuesday the Senate Appropriations Committee's energy subcommittee will hold its markup, while the full House Appropriations Committee gets to work Wednesday.

Off Capitol Hill this week, the White House will tout its conservation and green agenda on two fronts Monday.
 
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Everglades National Park in Florida and give remarks about the administration’s restoration efforts.
 
Also Monday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley will appear at a Washington, D.C., elementary school to announce the first “Green Ribbon” schools.
 
“The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are recognized for reducing their energy use and environmental impact, creating healthy learning environments, and providing effective environmental education that prepares students to succeed in the 21st century,” an advisory states.
 
The events come after President Obama, on April 20, designated federal lands within the former Fort Ord in California as a national monument. The former military base provides more than 86 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, according to the White House.
 
On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will speak at the National Press Club, and is expected to address offshore drilling and other energy matters.
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will meet Wednesday to discuss changes to regulations aimed at ensuring nuclear power plants can deal with a loss of power.
 
The changes are part of a series of new rules being put in place in the aftermath of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

In addition, the National Energy Marketers Association is holding a conference Tuesday and Wednesday. Speakers include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Reps. Ed Whitfield (Ky.) and Lee Terry (Neb.), who are two of the top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
 
On Thursday the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host remarks by Nick Akins, CEO of utility giant American Electric Power.

High oil prices will boost oil companies that are reporting their first quarter profits this week.

ConocoPhillips will unveil its earnings Monday, Chevron’s report arrives Thursday while Exxon Mobil’s tally will be announced Friday.

Look for Democrats to revive calls to strip industry tax breaks as the profit reports roll in.