EIA chief to brief Senate lawmakers on 2015 energy outlook 

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 13, 2015

The U.S. Energy Information Administration chief will discuss the agency’s 2015 energy outlook Thursday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will brief lawmakers on updated data and forecasts for domestic fossil fuel and renewable energy production, oil prices, and the nation’s energy future.

The Energy Department’s independent research arm typically publishes the energy study each April and will likely release its 2015 report ahead of Sieminski’s appearance before the committee.

In a short-term study published last week, EIA predicted that gasoline prices between April and September would average $2.45 per gallon, down from $3.59 per gallon during the same time last year.

The analysis also forecast that domestic coal production would fall 7.1 percent this year as utilities continue transitioning to natural gas.

In addition to providing new energy sector forecasts Thursday, Sieminski will also likely address the brewing debate on Capitol Hill over lifting the decades-old crude oil export ban.

Republicans in both chambers are pushing to lift the 1970s-era ban, which they say is outdated in a new age of domestic energy abundance. Critics of the proposal argue that lifting the ban could lead to higher gas prices and hurt U.S. oil refiners.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced legislation in February to lift the ban, but a House subcommittee last month postponed plans to take up the legislation.

Sieminski weighed in on the issue at a House hearing last month, pointing to EIA studies that have shown that lifting the ban could lead to lower gas prices.

Schedule: The hearing is Thursday, April 16, at 10 a.m. in 366 Dirksen.

Witness: Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski.