OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOE, Interior nominees go before Senate

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: A chunk of President Obama's latest nominees to the Interior and Energy departments will go before a Senate committee on Thursday.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider nominations for Franklin Orr to be the Department of Energy’s (DOE) undersecretary for science, Jonathan Elkind to be assistant secretary of international affairs for the DOE, Rhea Suh to be assistant secretary of fish and wildlife for the Interior Department and Tommy Beaudreau to be assistant secretary for policy, management and budget for Interior.


It will also vote on the nominations of Steven Croley to be general counsel for the DOE, Christopher Smith to be an assistant secretary of fossil energy for the DOE and Esther Kia’aina to be an assistant secretary for insular at Interior.

The nominations mark a near complete reshuffle and turnover of Obama’s upper brass on energy and environmental issues.

ON TAP THURSDAY: Two sub-panels of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Nuclear Regulatory Commission management and whether there is a need for legislative reform.

The subcommittees will dive into the agency's safety review of the application for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility.

The House GOP is eager to see the safety evaluation report being prepared by the NRC, in the hopes that it will put arguments to rest about the facility's safety.

Also on Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the Endangered Species Act to assess the law's strengths and weaknesses.

The committee is scheduled to hear from local government officials, conservationists and business executives about the so-called "sue and settle" process, whereby regulators enter into legal settlements to speed up endangered species' reviews.

Critics say that the tactic amounts to secretive regulation done behind closed doors, but conservationists say they're merely forcing federal officials to comply with the law.


Rest of Thursday's agenda ...

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrat asks Barr to preserve any records tied to environmental hacking probe Democrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list Key Democrat accuses Labor head of 'misleading' testimony on jobless benefits MORE (D-R.I.) and Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court upholds permit for B pipeline under Appalachian Trail | Report finds NOAA 'Sharpiegate' statement 'not based on science' but political influence | EPA faces suit over plan to release genetically engineered mosquito Report finds NOAA 'sharpiegate' statement 'not based on science' but political influence Democrats call for green energy relief in next stimulus package MORE (D-N.Y.) will speak at the Defense, National Security and Climate Change Symposium.

The event is being hosted by the Association of Climate Change Officers at The George Washington University. The conference focuses on expanding the efforts of U.S. defense, intelligence and national security communities on assessing and responding to climate changes.

Also on Thursday, the American Petroleum Institute will release a new national poll on enhancing U.S. energy infrastructure and its impacts on American jobs and energy security.


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

- WH: Podesta sidestep on Keystone XL not a 'recusal'
- Rep. Capito: EPA should be listening to 'West Virginia, not China'
- Vitter chided over 'Obama phone' attack
- US-China competition fosters action on climate
- EPA: Ethanol limit 'has been reached'
- Podesta to recuse himself from Keystone
- Deal includes US-Mexico drilling pact


Bloomberg reports the hydraulic fracturing boom has pushed U.S. oil output to a 25-year high.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports on new Yellowstone study, which reveals that the national park is being rapidly transformed by changes in climate and human pressures.


Please send tips and comments to Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com