OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama taps Interior official, grid resilience in focus, and more

BREAKING: President Obama will nominate Rhea S. Suh to be the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, Interior announced Tuesday evening.

If confirmed by the Senate, she would “oversee and coordinate policy decisions” for the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior said.

Suh has been Interior’s assistant secretary for policy, management and budget since mid-2009. She has held private sector jobs with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she worked on wilderness conservation.

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“Rhea’s extensive experience and depth of knowledge of natural resource management make her an outstanding choice for this key position on our departmental leadership team,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement. 

“She has guided the Department and our bureaus through increasingly austere budgets, helping find creative ways to continue to carry out our critical and diverse missions,” she said.

Click here for more information about Suh.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: A House subcommittee will hear from a trio of Energy Department officials on the agency's multibillion-dollar science programs.

They will testify Wednesday morning before the House subcommittee on Energy at a hearing titled "Providing the Tools for Scientific Discovery and Basic Energy Research: The Department of Energy Science Mission."

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: A year after Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast, policymakers and power companies are increasingly looking at making the U.S. power grid more resilient.

The Hill is hosting a briefing Wednesday morning titled “Powering Our Communities When Disasters Strikes” that will explore the latest federal and industry steps in this area.

Speakers include a senior Energy Department official and executives with ABB and PSEG. Check out The Hill’s E2-Wire tomorrow for coverage.

 

IN OTHER NEWS . . . 

Senators try again on green energy bill: The Senate's Udall cousins are once again pushing legislation that would force utilities to supply escalating amounts of power from renewable sources like wind and solar. 

The legislation announced on Tuesday would require that utilities generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) first started the campaign for an renewable energy standard in 2002, but their prior attempts fell short. 

The bill is not likely to get much attention soon, but they're trying to keep their idea in the Capitol's bloodstream. 

"The global clean energy race is increasingly competitive, and our bill is the best way to help America take the lead and build a thriving clean energy economy," Tom Udall said in a statement.

Keystone XL meeting: Russ Girling, the CEO of Keystone XL pipeline developer TransCanada Corp., met Tuesday with Kerri-Ann Jones, the State Department’s assistant secretary for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs.

TransCanada is pressing federal officials to greenlight the pipeline. State is reviewing the controversial project to bring Canadian oil sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries.

A State spokeswoman called the meeting no big deal.

"Assistant Secretary Jones and other State Department officials, of course, regularly meet with interested parties at their request. As you know, she's previously met with TransCanada, as well as with other interested parties, NGOs, groups of concerned landowners, Native American tribes," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

"This is just one of many consultations with a range of interested parties," she said.

Hurricane Sandy and climate change: Environmentalists are using the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy to press for action on climate change.

But President Obama’s statement marking the anniversary doesn’t link the issues, a departure from his June climate speech that did.

While Obama’s statement steers clear, the advocacy group born from his reelection campaign, Organizing for Action, held series of climate-related events nationwide to mark the date.

Speaking of Sandy:
 Time magazine has a piece that explores the "grave" threat of another Sandy hitting the coast.

"The storm was the inevitable consequence of piling more and more people along coasts that are threatened by rising seas," Time's Bryan Walsh reports. 

 

AROUND THE WEB:

Bloomberg reports on delayed federal pipeline safety rules.

Reuters reports on a hurdle facing China's efforts to curb its awful air pollution.

"A chronic shortage of natural gas is hurting China's plan to move away from burning coal to heat homes and offices, raising the prospect of more choking air pollution this winter and beyond," the news service reports.

The Houston Chronicle reports that energy company CEOs remain a "strikingly male" crowd. But the good news is that "many positions that lead to the top job increasingly are filled by women."

 

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, or Laura Barron-Lopez,  laurab@thehill.com