Week ahead: GOP spotlight on EPA rules, crude oil ban

House Republicans will hold a slate of hearings challenging some of the Obama administration's main environmental rules.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on energy and power is planning a Tuesday hearing to attack the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon rules for power plants.


The hearing will focus on what the subpanel, chaired by Rep. Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldBottom Line Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? MORE (R-Ky.), sees as major legal and cost issues with the proposal.

The star witness for Republicans will be Laurence Tribe, a Harvard University Law School professor who once taught President Obama and later served as his adviser.

In comments commissioned by coal giant Peabody Energy Corp., Tribe last year challenged the EPA’s legal grounding for the rule. Other legal experts and representatives from states will also testify.

Also Tuesday, the Science, Space and Technology Committee will challenge the EPA’s proposal to reduce ground-level ozone in a hearing entitled “Reality Check: The Impact and Achievability of EPA’s Proposed Ozone Standards.”

The committee will hear from air quality and health experts, in addition to business leaders.

Republicans have not opposed the EPA’s final rule on coal ash disposal as vocally as some of the Obama administrations’ other environmental rules. But they have proposed legislation they say would increase certainty for utilities and other businesses dealing with the rule.

That bill will get a hearing before a House Energy and Commerce subpanel on Wednesday.

The energy subpanel of Energy and Commerce will meet Thursday to discuss a bill to delay efficiency standards for grid-connected water heaters.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee is planning a Thursday hearing on the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time Manchin, Murkowski call for bipartisan Voting Rights Act reauthorization White House: Biden committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Miss. case MORE (R-Alaska), the panel’s chairwoman, has made it a priority to find ways to loosen the ban with domestic oil production at historic levels.

That committee will also hold a Tuesday hearing on innovation in the electric grid.

Committees all over Capitol Hill will be busy next week with a full slate of hearings on specific agencies’ budget requests for fiscal 2016.

The hearings will look in detail at requests from the Energy Department, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the EPA and many other agencies.



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