Moniz to headline packed day of hearings

Source: By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will headline a packed slate of climate change hearings Wednesday, as House Democrats continue the long slog to workshop ideas for climate policy.

Moniz will testify at a House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee hearing examining the Department of Energy’s role in combating climate change, an area of bipartisan interest in recent months.

The Obama-era DOE chief’s research nonprofit, the Energy Futures Initiative, focuses on tackling climate change via energy innovation.

Moniz has made himself into an outspoken advocate on that front, honing in on issues such as carbon capture and the role of natural gas in decarbonization, while spurning progressive wishes for a 100% renewable energy grid (Energywire, Feb. 6).

Appropriators have made sluggish progress on fiscal 2020 spending bills and are set this week to punt talks until December with another continuing resolution when stopgap funding expires on Nov. 21.

But Moniz’s testimony could nonetheless provide some insight on where lawmakers want to go with DOE energy research programs in the coming years and just how much money Democrats think they should get.

Moniz will also testify alongside another familiar face on Capitol Hill: Clearpath Executive Director Rich Powell.

Republicans on various House panels have brought Powell in a number of times this year to serve as their witness in climate change hearings, and his organization has been a prominent voice in promoting innovation policies and clean energy research dollars.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill that day, the Energy and Commerce Committee will continue its efforts to develop a plan for a 100% clean economy with a Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing examining challenges in frontline communities.

It’s likely to feature the environmental justice emphasis that has colored many of the Democratic climate efforts this year.

And later Wednesday afternoon, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will meet to delve into climate risk and resilience, a favorite topic of ranking member Garret Graves (R-La.).

Among other witnesses, the panel will hear from Craig Fugate, who led the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Obama administration.

Schedule: The Appropriations subcommittee hearing is Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 10 a.m. in 2362-B Rayburn.

Witnesses:

  • Ernest Moniz, former Energy secretary and CEO of the Energy Futures Initiative.
  • Vi Lyles, mayor of Charlotte, N.C.
  • Rich Powell, executive director of ClearPath.
  • Bob Keefe, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs.

Schedule: The Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing is Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 10 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn.

Witnesses: TBA.

Schedule: The select committee hearing is Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. in 1334 Longworth.

Witnesses:

  • Chad Berginnis, executive director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers.
  • Craig Fugate, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • Alice Hill, senior fellow for climate change policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.