Although Congress is in recess for the month, absence from Washington has not precluded them from working throughout August. In addition to several letters being sent to administration and international officials, members have hosted events and have been making tours of energy and environment hotspots. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) visited Canada to promote the Keystone XL pipeline. Congress has also been preparing for when it returns: this past week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced two hearings—one on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of Yucca Mountain and one on implementation of the President’s climate action strategy—for the second and third weeks of September, respectively. Additional announcements detailing fall activities for Congress and for various agencies are expected this coming week.

On the agency and department side, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz addressed Columbia University today, discussing energy infrastructure resilience. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will travel to Alaska this week. She is expected to visit Pebble Mine and to meet with officials in Fairbanks.