Sep 15, 2014

The Hill: Week ahead: House GOP prepares barrage of energy votes

THE HILL | September 15, 2014

House Republicans will try to make Senate Democrats squirm next week by voting again on a laundry list of energy bills that the Senate has not considered.

The energy package, which will come to the floor Thursday, will contain 13 bills aimed at lowering energy prices through avenues such as the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and increases in oil and natural gas drilling.

Another piece of the package includes legislation to speed up natural gas exports.

The objective is to remind voters that Republicans disagree with President Obama’s energy policies and want to reverse them.

Several of the bills aim to block the administration’s signature climate change rules for new and existing power plants, which the GOP says will eliminate coal jobs across the country.

“We must enact policies that encourage an American energy revolution,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a memo to House Republicans earlier this month.


“That is why we will send to the Senate a single, common-sense energy plan comprised of House-passed bills focusing on production, infrastructure, reliability and efficiency,” he wrote.


Still, Senate Democrats aren’t expected to budge, as a majority of them support the president’s energy agenda. There are dissenters, however, including a few red-state senators who are locked in tight reelection races.

House Republican won’t stop at floor votes in their battle against the administration’s climate policies.

On Wednesday, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on Obama’s climate plan.

White House science adviser John Holdren will testify, along with the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, Janet McCabe.

Expect Republicans to drill the two administration officials, who are at the forefront of the president’s climate push.

Also on Wednesday, the House Commerce subcommittee on power will examine the 21st century energy workforce and job opportunities for women and minorities.

On the Senate side, the Finance Committee on Wednesday will dive into reforming the “outdated energy tax code” in the U.S. Industry and economic experts will testify.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has promised there will be a vote to extend renewable tax credits before the end of the year.

It will be a busy week around Washington as stakeholders ready for the United Nations climate summit in New York on Sept. 23.

On Monday, the Institute for Policy Studies will hold a webinar on what to expect from the People’s Climate March and U.N. summit.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) will host a similar conversation on the summit, which Obama is scheduled to attend.
Officials from the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s climate team will speak at the CAP even on Wednesday. Climate envoy from the World Bank, Rachel Kyte will also participate.

On Tuesday, the Heritage Foundation will host a talk with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and the group’s president, former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), on how to make the U.S. an energy superpower.

Also on Tuesday, NASA will hold briefing on its recent campaign in the Arctic on climate change.

Finally, on Wednesday the Farm Foundation will host a conversation on the administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule, which seeks to clarify federal jurisdiction over wetlands and streams.