Climate change not ‘highest priority’ for Bush


Climate is changing, likely GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush acknowledged at a house party in New Hampshire Wednesday, adding that it was “really arrogant” to say that the science on the subject is decided, and the issue isn't his “highest priority,” CNN reports.

Denton to enforce drilling controls despite new state curbs


A spokeswoman for Denton, Texas says the town will still try to enforce local drilling regulations despite a new state law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott this week that restricts communities’ powers, UPI reports.

Office of Sen. Lamar Alexander

Alexander bats away changes as Senate moves energy funding bill

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., seemed determined to prevent any lethal amendments as he steered his bill to fund the Energy Department, the Army Corps of Engineers and Nuclear Regulatory Commission to strong approval by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The $35.4 billion package, which now goes to the full Senate, increases funding by $1.2 billion - but falls $668 million short of what the Obama administration requested.

Alexander, whose Energy and Water Development Subcommittee drafted the bill, fended off amendments to further increase the funding, to block the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule, and to restrict the use of eminent domain in siting power lines.

NC freeze on green energy standard draws fire from Duke ex-CEO

The Charlotte Observer

A measure approved by a North Carolina Senate committee to freeze the state's renewable fuel standard has been condemned by former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, The Charlotte Observer reports.

Obama's trade agenda clears key Senate hurdle

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's trade agenda cleared a key Senate hurdle and advanced toward likely passage on Thursday despite opposition from most Democrats.

The 62-38 vote capped a long, tense roll call on a measure that would allow Obama to negotiate trade deals that Congress can accept or reject, but not change. If opponents had garnered three more votes, they would have been able to block the legislation with a procedural move.

NH senators seek to grab renewable money to pay for security

Concord Monitor

New Hampshire's Senate Finance Committee has approved diverting $1.5 million from the state's renewable energy fund to pay for homeland security and emergency management, the Concord Monitor reports.

Oklahoma preparing to act against local drilling bans


Oklahoma lawmakers are moving to join Texas in blocking local controls on oil and gas drilling, although opponents have expressed concern about hampering the ability of communities to protect themselves against earthquakes, Reuters reports.

House passes bill to make research tax break permanent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Wednesday to make permanent a generous tax credit that rewards businesses for investing in research and development, setting the stage for another showdown over taxes.

The tax credit is part of a package of more than 50 temporary tax breaks that routinely expires every year or two, only to be renewed by Congress.

Obama's trade allies scramble to line up 60 Senate votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of President Barack Obama's trade agenda are scrambling to keep Senate foes from killing it Thursday before a full-blown debate even begins.

They need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to keep a mostly Democratic-driven filibuster from blocking further action.

GAO highlights issues with EPA science board policies

As Republicans press legislation that would overhaul the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of scientific advisory panels for crafting regulations, a government auditor is highlighting problems with the agency’s guidelines for responding to congressional requests for advice from the boards.

The Government Accountability Office said Wednesday the guidelines “lack clarity,” and that one of the boards isn’t being asked for advice on  the adverse effects of regulations.

Alfredo Gomez, GAO Natural Resources and Environment team director, told a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee panel that a preliminary investigation of the Scientific Advisory Board, or SAB, and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, or CASAC, revealed some potential issues with how the boards are currently operated.


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