Green groups turn on Sen. Mark Kirk after carbon vote

The Hill

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., once seen as an ally for his vote in favor of cap-and-trade, is now among the top electoral targets for environmental groups in next year's election after he voted to block EPA carbon rules in a Senate funding bill, The Hill reports.

US sees progress on currency, cyberspace issues with China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States claimed progress Wednesday with China on currency issues and toward negotiating a code of conduct for cyberspace after two days of high-level talks that underscored sharp differences but paved the way for a visit by China's leader in the fall.

President Barack Obama rounded out the annual U.S.-China Security and Economic Dialogue by raising concerns to leaders of the Chinese delegation about Chinese cyber behavior and tensions over disputed seas of East Asia that have weighed on efforts by the two powers to forge a more cooperative relationship.

Environmental focus of federal dietary guidelines triggers political firestorm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans are pushing back against proposed dietary guidelines that urge Americans to consider the environment when deciding what foods to eat.

House and Senate spending bills say the guidelines must focus only on nutrition and diet. That's a clear effort to thwart a recommendation by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that eating a diet higher in vegetables and other plant-based foods is better for the environment than eating a diet based more on foods from animals.


House approves state opt-out for existing plant rule

Defying a White House veto threat, House Republicans moved forward Wednesday with a plan to block a key element of President Barack Obama's strategy for fighting climate change, approving the Ratepayer Protection Act by a vote of 247 to 180.

Lawmakers approved the bill, introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., which would allow states to opt out of the Obama administration's plan to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants if the state's governor determines it would cause significant rate hikes for electricity or harm reliability of service.

The bill also would delay the climate rule until all court challenges are completed.

Coal divestment measure progresses in California


A committee in the California Assembly has approved a measure that would require state pension funds to divest if a company gets at least half of its revenue from coal, Reuters reports.

Rooftop solar firms fighting to get share of California renewables

The Sacramento Bee

With ambitious new state renewable energy targets offering big opportunities in California, rooftop solar firms are gearing up to battle for a share of the business, The Sacramento Bee reports.

Obama renominates McCabe, Kopocis for EPA jobs

The White House on Wednesday renominated two stalled candidates to lead the Environmental Protection Agency's offices of Air and Radiation and Water, tasked with overseeing the most controversial of the agency's regulations.

Obama tapped Janet McCabe, currently serving as acting administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, to serve as full assistant administrator. She was first nominated in 2013.

LWCF faces rocky road for reauthorization


Although the Land and Water Conservation Fund has backers in both parties, disputes over the effort by senior Republicans, including Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to reform the program may delay its renewal until its expiration deadline at the end of September, E&E reports.

Office of Gov. Mike Pence

Pence to Obama: Change carbon rule or Indiana won't comply

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence threatened to make his state the second to boycott the Obama Administration's pending power plant carbon regulations, unless “demonstrable and significant” changes are made.

In a letter to President Barack Obama Wednesday, Pence, one of the country's most conservative Republican governors, said the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule for existing power plants would “fundamentally change the way electricity is dispatched," sacrificing affordability and reliability for the sake of emissions reduction.

GOP-led Congress prepared to let Export-Import Bank expire

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans are poised to deal a sharp blow to their traditional allies in the business community by allowing the federal Export-Import Bank to go out of business at the end of the month. But it may only be temporary.

The 81-year-old bank is a little-known federal agency created during the Depression that makes and guarantees loans to help overseas buyers purchase U.S. products, from airplanes to bridges to baby clothes. Over the past year it's also become a surprising test of GOP purity, as tea party-backed lawmakers and outside conservative groups have denounced the bank as crony capitalism and vowed to get rid of it, pressuring fellow Republicans to go along.


Subscribe to Politics