OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Lobbyists, GOP get cracking on ‘embryonic’ energy platform

State of Play: GOP lawmakers, aides and an array of energy industry lobbyists huddled at Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters Monday to lay the groundwork for the party’s official energy platform at August’s national convention.

Multiple attendees said work on the platform is in the early phases. “It is very preliminary at this point,” Rick Shelby, a lobbyist for the American Gas Association, told The Hill as he walked out of the meeting. “Embryonic stage in every respect.”

Another attendee said the meeting included aides with House GOP leadership offices and lobbyists for industry sectors including coal, oil, gas, wind and electric utilities.

“It was a very casual discussion that really didn’t get into much other than kind of defining issues,” the attendee said. “It was defining and scoping. That was the focus here. They were asking folks what was on their agenda and why.”

The RNC is hosting a series of these issue briefings ahead of meetings in Tampa, Florida next month to craft the overall party platform, the committee said. The Republican National Convention is in late August in Tampa.

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said there was a “very eclectic mix” at the late afternoon meeting. “Everyone just kind of threw in a pitch. There were a lot of different people up there,” he said afterward.

Terry is a top Capitol Hill advocate for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

“I listened. I might have thrown in an XL pipeline comment here or there, but that was about it,” Terry said after the meeting. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves on anything.”

E2-Wire also reported on the meeting earlier Monday.

ON TAP TUESDAY:

New NRC chairwoman to face Congress

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will meet Tuesday for a hearing with four of the five Nuclear Regulatory Commission members, including new Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane. It will be her first appearance before the lawmakers as head of the NRC.

Click here for the prepared testimony.

Senate committee looks at natural gas vehicles

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will look into opportunities for using natural gas as a transportation fuel during a Tuesday morning hearing.
 
The hearing will discuss current investment in that technology. It also will highlight the obstacles to using natural gas as a transportation fuel.
 
Witnesses include: Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the American Gas Association; Michael Gallagher, senior adviser for Vancouver-based Westport Innovations; Reg Modlin, director of regulatory affairs with Chrysler; David Greene, corporate fellow with Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Paul Cicio, president of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America.

Senate environment committee explores EPA chemical oversight

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will gather Tuesday for a hearing on Environmental Protection Agency steps to curb exposure to toxic chemicals.

The hearing will unfold ahead of a Wednesday markup of Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-N.J.) bill that would toughen EPA regulation of chemicals. More on that here.

‘No More Solyndras,’ Take II

A House Energy and Commerce Committee panel will begin its markup of Republicans’ “No More Solyndras Act” Tuesday, a bill that would sunset the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program and impose several new restrictions.

The markup had been scheduled last week but was pushed back.

Click here and here for more on the bill.

Tuesday will bring only opening statements. The real action will arrive Wednesday.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Monday:

- GOP ex-lawmaker: Facts will ‘overwhelm’ GOP opposition to climate change

- Report: Claims drilling led to health problems based on inaccurate science

- Senate committee to vote on chemical policy overhaul

- GOP lawmakers, RNC huddle on energy policy for convention platform

- Citing drought, livestock groups push bill to limit production of ethanol

- White House threatens to veto House GOP drilling bill

Quote of the Day: “We never think of the Senate as a problem. That was humor, by the way.” – Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.).

He
floated the latest GOP bill Monday to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, legislation that faces huge Senate
hurdles.

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