Kate Mackenzie A big week for US energy policy; not quite so big in the UK

The US begins a rather epic week of energy-related Congressional hearings today; 54 witnesses are expected to testify at hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee.

They will be considering the carbon cap-and-trade proposal included in a bill outlined by Democratic congressmen Henry Waxman and Ed Markey three weeks ago.

The line-up includes EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, Transportation secretary Steve LaHood, energy secretary Stephen Chu, and… Al Gore. Industry representatives, including Duke Energy Chairman President and chief executive Jim Roger, are also expected to testify.

The House Science and Technology Committee will also hold a hearing on Wednesday on monitoring and measuring greenhouse gas emissions.

Ed Markey told Politico “In my 33 years on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I cannot remember a week of hearings quite like this one.”

The US hearings coincide with Earth Day on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the UK Budget will be delivered tomorrow and, as we wrote yesterday, the government will be hoping for some positive coverage from about £500m of green measures, including jobs, insulation and support for renewables.

Oil companies are also expecting some tax relief as falling oil prices have led to a dramatic decline in North Sea drilling. Oil companies are among the biggest sources of tax receipts in the UK, the other being the banking sector, meaning  slim pickings.

Related links:

Hill gears up for big climate week (Politico)
UK Budget: Not much of a green stimulus, but that may be a relief (FT Energy Source)
House to hear administration, industry on draft climate bill (Platts)
Crisis hits North Sea oil search