As part of "energy week," a House subcommittee has scheduled a hearing Wednesday to examine the effects of high natural gas prices on small businesses and present an overview of the gas supply picture.

The Small Business Subcommittee on Tax, Finance and Exports also will review the role of natural gas prices in the development of hydrogen fuel technologies, a spokesman for the House panel said.

The purpose of the hearing is to "set the stage to highlight our concerns with the hope of moving several pieces of legislation that are on the [House] floor right now," he said. The centerpiece of "energy week" will be the House Resources Committee bill that would give coastal states greater control over oil and gas leasing offshore and would give states a greater share of the royalties from production off their coasts (see Daily GPI, June 22). The full House is expected to take up the bill on Thursday.

":I'm sure this bill will come up in the hearing," the subcommittee spokesman said. The panel will hear testimony from two officials with the Department of Interior, which oversees the development of resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and on public lands.

Also testifying will be officials with Old Virginia Brick in Salem, VA, the American Gas Association and Air Products and Chemicals Inc., according to the subcommittee.

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