Oklahoma Reps busy with energy hearings this week on Capitol Hill

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As Congress returns to work this week following the Easter break, those Senators and Representatives from Oklahoma will be busy with some hearings at which top Biden administration officials will testify.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin and other members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear Thursday from Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. She is to testify in defense of Biden’s Department of Energy budget request for fiscal year 2023.

Her testimony will be in the morning while the afternoon hours will be spent by Granholm before the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. Rep. Tom Cole is a member of the full Appropriations Committee but not of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee.

However, Rep. Cole will have his opportunity to question two top Biden officials later in the week. On Thursday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will go before the full Appropriations Committee to discuss her department’s fiscal year 2023 budget request, one that includes a 25% increase over the 2022 omnibus.

On Friday, EPA Administrator Michael Regan will go before Rep. Cole and others on the committee to discuss his agency’s $11.9 billion budget request. It too carries a nearly 25% increase.

Congressman Cole will have a busy week because the Appropriations Committee will also review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation budget requests. The hearing will feature Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael Connor, Reclamation Deputy Commissioner of Operations David Palumbo, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon with the Army Corps, and Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Tanya Trujillo. The committee will also hear from the U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday.

The House Science and Technology Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to explore the research and infrastructure needs of the Department of Energy. Testimony will be given by Geraldine Richmond, the under secretary for Science and Innovation.

Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma is the ranking member of the committee and Congresswoman Stephanie Bice is also a member of the committee.

Lucas and Bice and others on the committee will also hold a hearing on Thursday to focus on climate change responses. The hearing is entitled “Now or Never: The Urgent Need for Ambitious Climate Action.”

Not to be left out, Sen. James Lankford, a member of the Senate Energy Committee will take part in a Committee vote on Thursday on the nomination of Kathryn Huff to be assistant secretary of Energy for Nuclear Energy.

He will also be a part of the committee discussions on other nominees including David Applegate to head the U.S. Geological Survey, Carmen Cantor to be assistant secretary of the Interior for Insular and International Affairs and Evelyn Wang as director of the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program.