The Week Ahead: May 20-24

Happy Monday, Friends of the Planet!  We hope you had a great weekend.  It is the week before the Memorial Day long weekend (aka the unofficial beginning of summer) and looks like a busy one in D.C. because Congress will be in a district work period next week and they are trying to get through many budget request hearings, the bread, and butter of legislative work.  Here is are some of the highlights we anticipate for this week.

Congress:  Busy legislative days are ahead.  The House Natural Resources Committee will hold two big hearings this week, one on the budget request by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the lead authors of the UN’s recent “Extinction Report” including Bob Watson will testify before the Committee, making an interesting back to back discussion of species conservation work — too bad those are not in reverse order.  The House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday on Infrastructure.  On the Senate side, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Tuesday on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and the Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday on legislation to address the risks of PFAS water contamination, on which they cannot seem to agree.

Administration:  The highly anticipated Trump Administration re-write of the “clean car rule,” covering tailpipe emissions standards for automobiles that drive the sale of fuel-efficient cars is expected any day and California (which has the toughest state standards is bracing for a fight.  In addition, Treasure Secretary Mnuchin said last week that the Administration’s guidance on tax credits for carbon capture is expected to be released soon, possibly this week.  A number of announcements may come out on Friday, as it is the usual practice of the Trump Administration to release many decisions and actions on the Friday before a holiday weekend.

Hurricane Forecast:  Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1.  Ordinarily, the President receives the National Hurricane Center’s annual hurricane outlook briefing this week, and once that happens the public also gets a briefing.  The Weather Channel put out its annual forecast last week and it predicted an active season with 14 named storms but slightly less active than last year.

ICYMI: There was a blue moon on Saturday, also known as the Blue Flower Moon — because it’s No. 3 of four full moons this season and happens in May — it was also the last blue moon of the decade — the next one won’t happen until August 22, 2021.


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