OVERNIGHT ENERGY: CEOs gather in Houston amid DC action

In addition, some green organizations are starting to argue White House approval for Keystone could deflate the Democratic base, carrying implications for the 2014 elections. 


House panel to probe energy science funding

A House Appropriations Committee subpanel will gather Tuesday to review the Energy Department’s (DOE) science programs funding.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research into physical sciences in the United States, according to the agency’s website.

Bill Brinkman, the acting under secretary for science at DOE, will testify.

House panel to look at electricity portfolios

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power will discuss the need for a diverse electricity portfolio during a Tuesday hearing.

The witness panel includes a broad spectrum of interests of the electric utility industry. They will talk about the impact of environmental regulations on generating coal-fired power, integrating renewable energy, keeping power prices low and reducing blackouts.

Some of the witnesses, such as American Electric Power, are big coal and natural-gas proponents. Others, such as Xcel Energy, have made sizable investments in renewable energy.

Witnesses include Mark McCullough, executive vice president of generation with American Electric Power, Benjamin Fowke, president and chief executive with Xcel Energy, and Rob Gramlich, interim chief executive with the American Wind Energy Association.

For more on the 10 a.m. hearing, which will be webcast, click here.

Offshore drilling in spotlight for House hearing

House Republicans will discuss federal offshore oil-and-gas drilling and wind energy projects during a Tuesday hearing.

The House Natural Resources Energy and Minerals subcommittee will host the panel.

The full committee has been the primary House advocate for opening more federal waters to offshore drilling, saying such activity would create jobs.

Democrats want to keep many of those areas off-limits because of environmental concerns.

Witnesses for the 10 a.m. hearing include Brian Kroll, senior economist with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and Bob Mitchell, chief executive of the Atlantic Wind Connection.


Check out E2-Wire’s recent coverage of the new White House nominees for top second-term energy and environmental roles:

– Obama taps McCarthy for EPA, Moniz for Energy chief
– Senate Energy chief Wyden previews Moniz’s confirmation hearing
– Wyden readies questions for Interior nominee Jewell
– Some environmentalists critical of new Energy pick


Witness: BP left out discussion of safety test

A witness in the federal civil trial over BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill said the oil firm’s initial investigation omitted a key discussion between two executives.

Mark Bly, a BP executive who led the probe, said the company’s report didn’t include a conversation regarding a well pressure safety test that played a role in the 2010 explosion.

From Bloomberg:

The test indicated the well was unstable, but neither (BP executives Donald) Vidrine nor (Mark) Hafle took steps to shut down drilling operations after discussing the results, plaintiffs in the case allege.

Report blames climate change for Australian woes

The New York Times
reports from Sydney:

Climate change was a major driving force behind a string of extreme weather events that alternately scorched and soaked large sections of Australia in recent months, according to a report issued Monday by the government’s Climate Commission.

Check out the whole story here.

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