This week in transportation: Shuster's first meeting

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Shuster has already announced his picks as lieutenants on the Transportation Committee, tapping Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Lou Barietta (R-Pa.), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Rep. Jenn Denham (R-Calif.) and Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) to run the panel's six subcommittees.

Shuster was himself chairman of the Transportation Committee's Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee before taking over the gavel of the full panel.

Shuster's appointment to replace himself on the rail subcommittee, Denham, is causing some heartburn among supporters of Amtrak and high-speed rail programs. The California lawmaker is a vocal opponent of a proposed railway in his state.

Denham told The Hill last week on the eve of his ascension to the rail panel chairmanship that he did not want to see "one more penny" of federal money go to the California high-speed rail proposal.

Aviation industry officials will also be on edge this week as the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) grounding of the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" airplane enters its second week.

Boeing has promised to quickly address the FAA's concern about the potential for electrical fires that could be sparked by lithium batteries that are used to power the new long-distance airplanes.

The FAA said last week that it was ordering U.S. airlines to stop flying the 787 because two of the airplanes that were being used by airlines had battery failures that "resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes."