Some of the biggest energy and environmental policy votes in years are set for Friday – or Saturday – on the House floor.
Votes expected include amendments to the continuing resolution on: EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; offshore oil and gas drilling permits; mountaintop mining removal; and expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline.
The headliner in the time agreement reached late Thursday night is an amendment from Texas Republicans:
- Ted Poe
- Joe Barton
- John Carter
to bolster the existing language in the bill that would handcuff EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases — Amendment 466: (page 66 of 220):
The Texas trio’s amendment appears to block funding for any EPA regulation of GHGs(Green House Gas Emissions) from stationary sources for the duration of the seven-month spending bill, while the existing language in the legislation bars such rules only if they are being regulated for their climate effects, according to a Clean Air Act attorney.
None of the Democratic measures that would strike the language in the spending bill that blocks federal funding for EPA’s climate greenhouse gas regulations were included.
There’s three big amendments on offshore drilling:
• Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise has one blocking federal funds “to further delay the approval” of offshore energy plans in federal waters, the latest volley in an escalating fight between federal regulators and oil-state lawmakers in both parties following last year’s BP spill.
• Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will offer an amendment that blocks funding for any new leases being granted to companies that own ones that are not subject to royalty relief limits. Markey has long fought to address Interior’s Gulf leases from the late 1990s that mistakenly omitted market-based price limits for the granting of royalty relief, which is meant to suspend such payments when oil prices are high.
• Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has one blocking federal funds for the rejecting of permits in federal Arctic coastal waters.
On ethanol, Republicans John Sullivan and Jeff Flake will get their chance to cut federal goodies for the ethanol industry. Sullivan’s amendment strips funding for implementation of EPA’s recent decisions to allow the use of E15 in passenger cars and trucks for model year 2001 and up.
Flake’s amendment would block funding for installing blender pumps at gas stations that would be used to carry ethanol-blended fuels.
Other major amendments that will come up Friday:
• Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) blocking funds to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
• Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) blocking funds for implementation of new EPA water-quality guidelines for mountaintop mining that toughened the issuance of permits in six Appalachian states.
• Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) blocking legal funds used to enforce the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act as well as funding for an Interior Department climate change adaptation initiative.
House sets up big energy votes
by Darren Goode,Josh-Politico