TRP Clean Energy Report

June 16, 2014

Last week, a key Republican on the House Appropriations Committee said GOP lawmakers will seek to block the EPA’s proposed greenhouse-gas rule by denying the funding to implement it. According to Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), chairman of the House’s Energy-Water Appropriations subcommittee, said the funding ban will be included in the fiscal 2015 spending bill for the Department of Interior and Environment. Because the spending bill must pass to keep the Interior Department and the EPA running, it’s viewed as a viable vehicle for addressing the emissions issue.

Separately, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced legislation on June 3 to effectively block the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to enact carbon pollution regulations. Under McConnell's Coal Country Protection Act, the EPA administrator could not promulgate carbon dioxide emissions restrictions until criteria (unlikely to ever be achieved) can be demonstrated. Likewise in the House, Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) has introduced legislation (H.R. 4850) to block the emissions rules unless the federal government certifies they will not lead to unemployment or increased electricity prices. Another bill (H.R. 4813), sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (D-WV) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) would block the rule and bar EPA from making any similar regulations for at least five years without specific Congressional approval. President Obama supports the EPA proposal as a means to fight climate change, and top advisers say Republican efforts to block or restrict the rule stand no chance of enactment (Energy Voice/Bloomberg, Wallbank, 6/13).

Other key developments highlighted in this edition of the TRP Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Update include:

  • House GOP Advances $34 Billion Energy and Water Bill;
  • House Bill Would Overturn Corn Ethanol Mandate;
  • Democrats Halt Markup of R&D Bill to Protest Spending Cuts; and
  • Administration Taps Kerttula to Lead National Ocean Council.

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