If President Barack Obama's goal in adding MIT professor Ernest Moniz to his cabinet was to tamp down Republican anger about his green energy policies, the plan is working.
In his first appearance before Congress as head of the Energy Department, newly installed Secretary Moniz on Thursday was charming and deferential to Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, even when he was giving little ground on climate change and renewable energy.
House Republicans are moving to show their support for natural gas exports and opposition to planned hydraulic fracturing regulations on federal lands.
The House Natural Resources Committee scheduled a hearing for May 8 that called the Interior Department's expected fracturing regulations a "recipe for government waste, duplication and delay." Separately, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is to hold a hearing on May 7 to stress the economic benefits of liquefied natural gas exports.
The latest Republican bill to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline advanced Tuesday in a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, the first stop in a push by GOP lawmakers to pass legislation by Memorial Day.
The 17-9 roll-call vote in favor of the Northern Route Approval Act by the Energy and Power Subcommittee set up a vote on Wednesday in the full committee, which is also expected to easily pass the bill by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. Just two Democrats voted for the bill: Rep. Gene Green of Texas and Rep. John Barrow of Georgia.
House Republicans plan to hold their first hearing Friday on draft legislation that would block any new Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would raise energy prices or cost jobs, their latest bid to thwart the Obama administration's efforts to cut pollution from coal.
House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., scheduled the hearing on the draft, titled the Energy Consumer Relief Act.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are staying the course on an energy agenda that emphasizes more domestic oil and gas production on federal lands and relaxed environmental regulations.
The six-point blueprint released Thursday by Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., also calls for Congress to force approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, support coal use and fight efforts to limit hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells.
House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield holds media teleconference to discuss major policy areas he will examine in the 113th Congress. Subcommittee vice chairman Rep. Steve Scalise to join.
The Congressional Research Service says gains in domestic oil and gas production from 2005 through 2012 came from non-federal lands, but it cautions that more access on government lands does not guarantee more production.
"Having more lands accessible may not translate into higher levels of production on federal lands, as industry seeks out the most promising prospects and highest returns," CRS said in a report released Tuesday.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., pledged to push a vote to complete the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moves to limit filibusters, Roll Call reports.
The Renewable Fuels Association questioned the point of a planned protest of motorcycle owners against the E15 ethanol brand, as the fuel is not approved for motorcycles, Ethanol Producer Magazine reports.