Congress to Examine Modernizing Energy and Environmental Policy

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is turning its attention to the modernization of energy and environmental policies.  Its Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Environment will hold separate hearings, and both of these hearings will address, among other topics, the challenges and opportunities facing U.S. infrastructure.  This will give the House a chance to weigh in on the hot topic of infrastructure, on which the Trump administration and Senate Democrats recently offered their ideas.

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Modernizing Energy and Electric Delivery Systems: Challenges and Opportunities to Promote Infrastructure Improvement and Expansion.  The House Subcommittee on Energy’s hearing will consist of two panels, with witnesses representing the energy industry, workers, and both sides of the dispute over the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The hearing will begin at 10:00 A.M. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building and will address topics ranging from cyber threats to transparency, accountability, and predictability in the energy infrastructure permitting process.

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, the Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on Modernizing Environmental Laws: Challenges and Opportunities for Expanding Infrastructure and Promoting Development and Manufacturing.  The hearing will explore possible reforms to environmental laws (including, but not limited to: the Clean Air Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; and the Toxic Substances Control Act) to encourage investment in infrastructure and domestic manufacturing.  Witnesses at this hearing will include representatives from the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a Flint, Michigan, community organization, as well as the Mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts.  The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 A.M. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Not to be left out, the Senate is also looking at environmental policy this week.  The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is holding a hearing on the narrower topic of Oversight: Modernization of the Endangered Species Act.  This hearing will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 10:00 A.M. in room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and witnesses will include, among others, the Governor of Wyoming, the President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, and the President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

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