OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA takes climate push on the road

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke Monday at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in West Virginia, and excerpts are available here.

OTHER TUESDAY AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS:

Senate panel goes nuclear as Moniz testifies

A bipartisan bill to overhaul how the nation handles its stockpile of nuclear waste will go under the microscope Tuesday at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

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Three of its four architects sit on the committee, including Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and ranking member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). And Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who will testify, served on the independent panel that drafted the plan on which the bill is based.

The legislation sets conditions for moving nuclear waste to intermediate storage sites, while also allowing state and local governments to apply to permanently store the waste. E2-Wire has more on that here.

That approach differs from the one preferred by many Republicans — especially those in the House — who say the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is the nation’s sole permanent repository, as outlined in a 1982 federal law.

President Obama, with the support of Yucca opponent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), pulled the plug on plans to store waste at Yucca in 2010.

Other witnesses for the 2:30 p.m. hearing include Marvin Fertel, chief executive with the Nuclear Energy Institute; David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety project with the Union of Concerned Scientists; and Geoffrey Fettus, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Senate committee likely to clear Commerce enviro official

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will gather Tuesday to vote on several bills and nominees.

They include Mark E. Schaefer, the nominee for assistant secretary of Commerce for oceans and atmosphere.

Several environmental bills are before the committee. Click here for the full agenda.

Lawmakers to explore climate-wildfire nexus

The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change will hold a morning “Climate and Wildfires Forum” on Capitol Hill, with witnesses including Dave Cleaves, who is the U.S. Forest Service's adviser on climate.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Monday and over the weekend ...

— State Dept.: Keystone XL jobs impact 'negligible'

— Obama rebuked for Keystone claims

Markey vows climate focus from new Foreign Relations Committee perch

— Interior chief slams ‘short-sighted’ GOP cuts

— Watchdog: DOE grants to car charging company were 'overly generous'

— Rep. Terry, TransCanada knock Obama’s Keystone jobs claims

— EPA’s McCarthy: No ‘war on coal’ and no comment on Keystone

— The week ahead: Senate nears first big energy bill since 2007

— Report: Internal EPA doc warned of gas well water pollution

— GOP lawmaker warns Interior’s fracking rule could lead to cascade of new regs

Obama criticizes pro-Keystone pipeline jobs, gas price claims

— Top Interior officials, offshore drillers to meet in wake of latest accident


NEWS BITES:

Murkowski floats energy trust fund draft

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is pushing legislation that would steer some federal royalty money from oil-and-gas production into green energy R&D.

Murkowski released a draft of her “Advanced Energy Trust Fund” bill for comment Monday. The plan would use revenues from opening up currently off-limits federal lands and waters to drilling.

“My draft Trust Fund offers a simple, straightforward framework through which we can take advantage of those opportunities, develop an energy policy that pays for itself, and generate enduring benefits for American families and businesses,” said Murkowski, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

(E2-Wire previously noted Murkowski's intent to push the bill here.)

President Obama also has a legislative proposal to steer oil-and-gas revenues into alt-fuels and vehicles R&D. But ... his plan uses revenues from production in offshore areas where it’s already allowed, so politically there’s a huge gap between their ideas.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell declined to comment on Murkowski's proposal in a Monday media call, saying she hadn't seen the draft.

BP makes public case on spill claims

The Houston Chronicle reports on what could be a risky PR strategy for BP. From their story:

BP’s unrelenting attacks against how the Gulf oil spill civil settlement it agreed to is being handled aims to win over the public, but the strategy risks antagonizing a key constituent who is following every word — the federal judge overseeing the case.

Legal experts question the wisdom of BP’s biting newspaper ads, social media commentary, television interviews and newspaper opinion pieces at a time when U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans is weighing whether the British oil giant should face billions of dollars in punitive damages.

Click here for the whole thing.

Climate ad in Va. gov race

The Washington Post looks at a climate change controversy in the Virginia governor’s race:

The newest TV ad in the Virginia governor’s race focuses on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s legal battle with a University of Virginia climate scientist.

Titled “Witch Hunt,” the commercial recalls a two-year effort by Cuccinelli, the GOP nominee for governor and a climate change skeptic, to obtain records from Michael Mann, then a U-Va. researcher.

Click here for the rest of the story on Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s ad against Cuccinelli.


Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Zack Colman, zcolman@thehill.com.

Follow E2 on Twitter: @E2Wire, @Ben_Geman, @zcolman

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