OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Ernest Moniz is in the House

Click here for more on the 10 a.m. hearing, which will be webcast.


Chemicals regulations in focus

A federal law that authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to test and manage chemicals and hazardous substances is the subject of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.

The law is the Toxic Substances Control Act. There’s a bipartisan effort in the Senate to strengthen it by allowing the EPA to test more chemicals.

Based on testimony submitted ahead of the hearing by witnesses, it appears the House subpanel believes the law already provides the agency sufficient oversight capabilities.

“I believe the law to be well and clearly drafted. It is a compact and almost elegant statute,” said Charles Auer, a former EPA employee who is now runs consultancy Charles Auer & Associates.

Kathleen Roberts, vice president of B&C Consortia Management, said the regulatory process outlined in the law “is logical and simple.”

Click here for more on the 10:15 a.m. hearing.

House panel reviews federal mining program

A subpanel of the House Natural Resources Committee will take a look at management of federal mines during a Thursday hearing.

The title of the hearing is “Mining in America: The Administration’s Use of Claim Maintenance Fees and Cleanup of Abandoned Mine Lands.”

Witnesses include Jamie Connell, acting deputy director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, and Steve Moyer, vice president of government affairs with Trout Unlimited.

Click here for more on the 10 a.m. hearing.

Sen. Wyden headlines energy efficiency event

The Energy Efficiency Forum will bring a host of lawmakers, regulators, federal officials and private sector executives to the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: DHS gets new cyber chief | White House warns lawmakers not to block ZTE deal | White nationalists find home on Google Plus | Comcast outbids Disney for Fox | Anticipation builds for report on FBI Clinton probe Senate confirms Trump Homeland Security cyber pick Hillicon Valley: Judge approves AT&T-Time Warner deal in blow to DOJ | Dems renew push to secure state voting systems | Seattle reverses course on tax after Amazon backlash | Trump, senators headed for cyber clash | More Tesla layoffs MORE (D-Ore.) takes top billing at the conference. He’s been pushing Senate leadership for floor time for comprehensive energy efficiency legislation that sailed through his panel last month.

Other speakers include Reps. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSessions floats federal law that would protect states that decriminalize marijuana RNC mum on whether it will support Trump-backed Corey Stewart Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Dems see midterm advantage in new ObamaCare fight MORE (R-Colo.), Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchLawmakers have sights on middlemen blamed for rising drug costs Dem letter calls for rolling back move targeting drug companies Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump hits federally funded clinics with new abortion restrictions MORE (D-Vt.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), as well as Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D).

Click here for more on the event.


Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Wednesday ...

— House panel sends trio of energy bills to floor
— GOP warns of $1T EPA regs
EPA nominee in limbo as Republicans press for documents
— Green groups slam Interior coal leasing program
— Sen. Portman: Reid's Keystone comments 'very positive' for energy efficiency bill
— Democratic senator calls Keystone pipeline 'the Kim Kardashian of energy' 


Sen. Murkowski says energy bill will get to floor

An energy bill will get to the Senate floor "very shortly," Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Spending bill targets Pruitt | Ryan not paying 'close attention' to Pruitt controversies | Yellowstone park chief learned of dismissal through press release Senate committee targets Pruitt scandals in spending bill GOP chairman seeks ‘sufficient’ funding for EPA watchdog office MORE (R-Alaska) said Wednesday at a Washington, D.C., event.

Odds are that legislation is an energy efficiency bill sponsored by Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenMembers of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit Overnight Defense: Trump hopes to normalize relations with North Korea | Senate defense bill would limit help for Saudis in Yemen | US to honor temporary Taliban ceasefire Senate defense bill includes limits on US support for Saudi campaign in Yemen MORE (D-N.H.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHarvard biz school honors Wilbur Ross GOP senators blast White House aide over trade remarks Community development impact remains clear with NMTC post-tax reform MORE (R-Ohio). The bill has broad support both on and off the Hill, and is currently awaiting floor action.

From the Houston Chronicle:

The measure is bipartisan and well-liked; similar legislation won the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s approval last year by a vote of 18-3. But that doesn’t mean it will sail through the Senate.

Instead, supporters are worried the measure will become a magnet for loosely related proposals on such divisive issues as the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and climate change. The risk is that the otherwise popular energy efficiency bill could sink if it is weighed down by provisions on such polarizing topics.

Click here for the full story.

Keystone XL opponents plan protest

Opponents of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline announced they would risk arrest next week in a demonstration at the State Department’s downtown Chicago office.

Organizers hope the sit-in will nudge President Obama toward rejecting the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, which is currently under review at State.

“Next week’s action in Chicago is a preview of what's to come if his State Department recommends approval of the pipeline,” said Becky Bond, the political director with mobile phone firm CREDO.

CREDO is one of a handful of groups that’s spearheaded Keystone protests at Democratic fundraisers and other events attended by Obama.

The actions of those groups illuminate a divide between more liberal Democrats and Organizing for Action (OFA), the political organization that was built from Obama’s reelection campaign.

OFA has not taken a stance on the pipeline, despite some environmental and left-leaning groups pressuring it to do so.

Markey breaks green group funding record

The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund said Wednesday that Rep. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyLawmakers prep for coming wave of self-driving cars Trump taps Hill veteran for White House environment job Dems unveil push to secure state voting systems MORE’s (D-Mass.) campaign has attracted a record-breaking $256,000 in donations to its GiveGreen program.

Environmental groups have toutEd MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyLawmakers prep for coming wave of self-driving cars Trump taps Hill veteran for White House environment job Dems unveil push to secure state voting systems MORE’s green record in his Senate race to replace Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryGOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system Democrats conflicted over how hard to hit Trump on Iran In Iraq, the US State Department has a religious blindspot MORE. The top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, Markey has been a critic of offshore drilling and an advocate of taking action on climate change.

Green contributions to Markey’s campaign have attracted criticism from GOP operatives who say he’s beholden to the environmental agenda.

The League of Conservation Voters has led the pack when it comes to outside contributions from green groups.

“It’s a sign that the environmental community is engaged in this campaign like never before and is committed to helping Ed Markey win this race,” Gene Karpinski, president of LCV Action Fund, said in a statement.

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