Week ahead: House GOP looks to revamp Energy Department

Week ahead: House GOP looks to revamp Energy Department
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House lawmakers will return from their holiday vacation and kick off their efforts to reorganize the Department of Energy (DOE).

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's energy subcommittee has scheduled a Tuesday hearing to gather input on "modernization" of the DOE. 

GOP lawmakers say that they want to transform the department, bringing it out of the energy scarcity focus from decades ago and enabling it to solve 21st century problems in the energy sphere.

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The committee has been working since early last year on the DOE reorganization effort, with Rep. Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonThe Hill’s Morning Report: Michael Cohen’s big day in court 'Diamond & Silk' offer chance for bipartisan push back on social media censorship Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker MORE (R-Texas) taking the lead.

"The nation's energy landscape has changed dramatically since the Department of Energy was created in the 1970s amid energy scarcity and global market turmoil," subcommittee Chairman Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonLive coverage: Zuckerberg faces second day on Capitol Hill Russian attacks on energy grid spark alarm Bipartisan 'No Labels' group aims to protect moderates in primary fights MORE (R-Mich.) said in a statement.

"It's time we flip the script on the department and ensure its mission can meet 21st Century challenges — from its continuing nuclear security responsibilities to the geopolitical benefits of energy abundance to the emerging threats of the cyber age," he said. "I'm looking forward to next week's hearing as the committee continues to examine ways to modernize DOE through mission alignment and appropriate authorizations."

The hearing will be organized into two panels, one of administration officials and one of outside experts.

The Trump administration will be represented at the event by Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes.

Elsewhere in the House, the Natural Resources Committee will start debating a proposal to lock in President Trump's decision last month to greatly reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument, with a Tuesday hearing.

The bill by Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) would codify the two national monument units that remain after the rollback — about 15 percent of the original size — and make them their own monuments: Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument.

It would also formalize a role for a council of nearby American Indian tribal representatives to help manage the monuments and would prohibit mineral development in the area. The coalition of five tribes that pushed for the original Bears Ears monument oppose the bill

 

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