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Week ahead: Lawmakers put spotlight on energy infrastructure

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Week ahead: Lawmakers put spotlight on energy infrastructure

A House panel is turning its attention to the state of the country’s energy infrastructure in a hearing in the coming week.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, led by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is hoping for a broad discussion about pipelines, transmission lines, hydropower and , and what Congress should do to improve the infrastructure.

“Modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure should play an integral role in any sort of infrastructure plan moving forward,” Upton said in a statement.

“I look forward to learning about the current state of our energy infrastructure and what we can do to make meaningful improvements both now and in the future.”

Many lawmakers, along with the energy industry, hope that as Congress considers President Trump ‘s infrastructure plan unveiled earlier this year, they’ll include provisions to spur building and improvement of energy infrastructure.

Infrastructure in general gets bipartisan support, but Democrats and the GOP are likely to clash over issues like changing environmental review procedures and financing.

The hearing is set for Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Committee’s energy and mineral resources subpanel, chaired by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), will discuss liquefied natural gas exports and their impact on geopolitics.

The administration has identified gas exports as a key element of Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda. The administration wants to increase energy exports and use the exports to further United States geopolitical goals.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has frequently stated that the administration believes when the United States exports gas, it’s “exporting freedom.”

On Wednesday, the Energy Committee’s oversight panel will examine the state of Puerto Rico’s electric grid rebuilding. It’s been five months since Hurricane Maria devastated the island and its grid. Many communities are still without power. 

On the other side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on rebuilding infrastructure. 

It is the panel’s first meeting on the matter since Trump put out his infrastructure plan, so the focus is likely to be on Trump’s proposals.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has its own hearing on Thursday, looking into the state of cybersecurity in the nation’s critical energy infrastructure.

 

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