In times of such partisan politics, several energy bills continue to work their way through the legislative process. On May 8, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved five bills—four related to hydropower and the fifth involving energy efficiency—that will now be considered by the full Senate. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was to have marked up H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, last Thursday. However, the committee rescheduled the mark up to be this Thursday. The bill has already been approved by the House Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources Committees.
As for Cabinet nominations, the nomination of Dr. Ernest Moniz to be Energy Secretary is expected to be approved this week, while the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator continues to be delayed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will likely schedule a vote on Moniz’s nomination on Thursday. The Environmental and Public Works Committee vote on McCarthy’s nomination was scheduled for last Thursday, but Republican committee members refused to attend the vote, claiming McCarthy’s responses to their 1,000 written questions on agency transparency were insufficient. Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said she will reschedule the vote for this Thursday.