Administration officials used the week before the Labor Day holiday to undertake domestic public outreach events. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy hit the road to discuss the administration’s energy and environment priorities, often with other federal officials. Secretary Moniz addressed the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy and stressed the importance of energy infrastructure. On Tuesday, Administrator McCarthy held a community open house and met with tribal leaders in Alaska. On Friday, Secretary Jewell visited Izembek National Wildlife Refuge with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and the site of a proposed project that connects the King Cove community to Cold Bay airport by single-lane gravel road. She spent the weekend at the North Slope and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska with Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and saw the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She is expected to host a press conference in Anchorage and hold additional meetings with officials today.
When Congress returns next week, the focus will undoubtedly be on Syria. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that since the Senate will consider a resolution authorizing American strikes in Syria before beginning debate on the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency legislation, which was scheduled to be considered on the floor September 10, the energy efficiency debate will be delayed. At the same time, President Obama is expected to formally nominate Janet McCabe to serve as Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator of Air and Radiation; she is currently acting assistant administrator for the clean air office.