The week ahead: Coal, climate at center of House battle

It would nix the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and take aim at other air pollution rules; restrict planned EPA rules governing management and disposal of coal ash, a waste product from coal plants; and restrict potential Interior Department rules on coal-mining wastes; among other provisions.

Many Democrats and environmentalists say Republicans are seeking to prevent or roll back vital public health protections. They argue that headwinds facing the coal industry stem from low costs and large supplies of natural gas, not federal regulation.
 
A vote is expected Friday, September 21, according to a House GOP leadership aide.
 
Elsewhere in Congress, a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel will meet Thursday for a hearing on coal-related legislation.
 
Rep. David McKinley’s (R-W.Va.) bill would prevent EPA from imposing carbon emissions standards on coal-fired power plants until federal officials determine carbon capture and storage technology is “technologically and economically feasible.”
 
This week also brings action off Capitol Hill.
 
On Tuesday a number of groups will jointly host a half-day conference on nuclear energy.
 
Speakers include Kristine L. Svinicki, a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who headed the federally chartered Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future; and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.).
 
The event is hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Idaho National Laboratory and Third Way.
 
Also Tuesday, Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer will speak at an event hosted by the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
 
Doer is an outspoken proponent of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

On Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will host a forum on the role of energy in the presidential race.
 
Participants include Frank Verrastro, who is a top analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith, Michael Mandel, who is an economist with the Progressive Policy Institute, and API President Jack Gerard.