OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Clash over green energy spending hits House floor

July 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

ON TAP TUESDAY: The House will take up its proposed energy and water spending bill, a measure that takes a whack at the clean-energy priorities of President Obama and Democrats.

Tuesday starts what figures to be a free-wheeling amendment process and floor debate that could carry on for two days.

The GOP-crafted $30.4 billion fiscal 2014 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill is ideologically far apart from the budget Senate Democrats and the president have put together. House Republicans say the bill reflects a tighter fiscal situation, as Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) argued that it “gets back to the basics.”

The House bill nearly halves clean-energy spending from last year’s enacted levels. It also aims to restart using Yucca Mountain as the nation’s sole permanent nuclear waste repository — Obama pulled the plug on the Nevada site in 2010 — despite White House and Senate resistance.

Those differences will make it tough to negotiate a spending plan with the upper chamber, and Obama threatened to veto the House bill Monday. The House plan will probably pass regardless, with a bulk, if not all, of the support coming from Republicans.

Overall, the bill is $2.8 billion less than what was set aside for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other agencies in fiscal 2013 — and $4.1 billion less than what Obama recommended for 2014.


Coal mining in focus with Interior’s IG

A House Natural Resources Committee panel will gather Tuesday to explore the “benefits and challenges” of coal mining in the Powder River Basin region of Wyoming and Montana.

Witnesses include Interior Department Inspector General Mary Kendall.

The hearing will provide GOP lawmakers a platform to bash White House policy.

“Currently, coal and the jobs that go with it are under attack by the Obama administration with increased regulations and red-tape, and it’s important to continue to utilize this energy resource as part of a true all-of-the-above energy approach,” an advisory states.

Pipeline bill gets look in House committee

Legislation to fast-track federal regulatory approval of new natural-gas pipelines is under consideration Tuesday during a House Energy and Commerce subpanel hearing.

Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-Kan.) Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900) would force the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to act on pipeline permits within one year of application submissions.

Other agencies involved would get 90 days beyond FERC’s ruling to move on items under their jurisdiction. Failure to act would allow projects to move forward.

Witnesses for the 10 a.m. Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing include FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller; David Markarian, vice president of governmental affairs with NextEra Energy; and Rick Kessler, president of the board for the Pipeline Safety Trust.

The subpanel will begin marking up the bill at 4 p.m.

Click here for more.

New wind group CEO looks ahead

Wind industry representatives are storming D.C. for the American Wind Energy Association’s July 9-10 “Wind Power on Capitol Hill” event.

Tuesday’s action includes remarks by Tom Kiernan, the group’s new CEO.

Climate advisers assemble

Tuesday brings the start of a two-day meeting of the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, which helps craft a major, inter-agency federal report on climate change.

Click here for more on the meeting of the federal advisory panel.


Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire on Monday and over the weekend …

– Republican: Administration changing calculations to justify rules
– Keystone backers say Snowden bolsters case
– DOE toughens efficiency rules for new federal buildings
– EPA set to unveil host of new regs
– Obama channels his inner Al Gore in climate messaging shift
– Obama waves veto pen at GOP’s Energy Dept. spending bill


Murkowski presses mine developers for plan

The developers of a controversial planned Alaskan copper-and-gold mine need to file their formal blueprint with the Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Monday.

Murkowski said the Pebble Limited Partnership needs to submit its plan
for the proposed Pebble mine abutting southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay to
provide “certainty and clarity” for local residents.

“I understand the complexity of a project like this, and I appreciate
the investments that have been made in Alaska already. But a reliable
timeline has been missing and I hope that the companies will provide one
soon,” Murkowski, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s
top Republican, said Monday in a letter to the developers.

Republicans have criticized the EPA for using hypothetical mine scenarios to conduct environmental analyses in the absence of a formal plan.

The mine’s opponents, which include some native tribes, environmentalists and
commercial fishermen, say the agency has enough information to evaluate the
mine’s impact.

The EPA determined in an April draft assessment that the mine would destroy Bristol Bay’s salmon runs, which is home to nearly half the world’s sockeye salmon population.

The Pebble Partnership, a joint venture between Anglo American and
Northern Dynasty Minerals, has slammed EPA for its process. It says the
agency is moving toward “preemptively” vetoing a key permit before the
partnership has filed its blueprint.

Research predicts climate change will increase hurricanes

From USA Today:

The world could see as many as 20 additional hurricanes and tropical storms each year by the end of the century because of climate change, says a study out today.

The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), written by top climate researcher Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Click here for the whole story.

Oil companies rule list of corporate giants

From The Houston Chronicle:

Energy corporations dominate this year’s Fortune Global 500 list of the largest corporations in the world by revenue, with China’s oil and power giants rising in the ranks. China National Petroleum and Sinopec Group hopped over BP, as the British oil company struggles to pay for a legal settlement and environmental damages in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Click here for more.

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