Reforms to the nation's energy policies and efforts to upgrade infrastructure are set to dominate the agenda on Capitol Hill this week, as both the House and Senate energy committees make progress toward comprehensive energy bills.
Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee are working to produce broad legislation. taking on infrastructure bills this week. Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said last week she was in contact with her counterpart Chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., as their panels move their bills along.
Toothpaste and other personal care items that contain synthetic microbeads would be banned under legislation introduced by House Energy and Commerce Chair Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. and Ranking Member Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who are concerned about the effect of the microbeads on bodies of water such as the Great Lakes, National Journal reports.
A House committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would give states an avenue to opt out of complying with forthcoming regulations to cut power plant carbon emissions. Democrats on the panel complained that it represented a “just say no” and “climate change denial” policy.
The Ratepayer Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., focuses on the Environmental Protection Agency's rule for existing plants, which, when finalized, will require each state to file its own plan for meeting emissions reductions goals or face imposition of a federal plan. The bill would allow governors to opt out the filing requirement - and the federal plan - if, in consultation with state environmental and utility regulators, they deem it would threaten reliability or have an adverse effect on electricity rates.
A rare note of bipartisanship emerged Tuesday in response to the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review, in which the Obama administration proposes billions in new investments and programs aimed at updating and strengthening the expansive and aging U.S. energy infrastructure network.
Though often at odds with Obama administration energy policy, key Republicans indicated that the infrastructure focus of the report offers a chance for “common ground” for legislation to modernize energy transmission, storage and distribution systems.
A group of House lawmakers on Wednesday urged Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to give updates on the department’s emergency stockpile of crude oil, saying the shift in U.S. energy markets makes proper maintenance of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve more crucial than ever.
In a letter, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., Ranking Member Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. and other committee members pressed Moniz on a number of questions about the SPR and what the department is doing to make sure it is optimized for the current energy market.
Three senior House Republicans, including Energy and Commerce chair Rep. Fred Upton, have sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, demanding to know whether his department was planning any use for Yucca Mountain other than accepting nuclear waste, E&E reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled Congress approved a bill Wednesday to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a confrontation with President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the measure.
The House voted 270-152 to send the bill to the president, endorsing changes made by the Senate that stated climate change was real and not a hoax, and oil sands should no longer be exempt from a tax used to cleanup oil spills. Only one Republican voted against the measure.
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton on Monday previewed a legislative agenda that he said would lead to a "solutions-focused" package of energy bills that will be taken up by the Republican-led House later this year.
The agenda would target four areas he said will build on the domestic oil and gas boom: Pipeline infrastructure, minority workforce development, "energy diplomacy" -- including exports -- and energy efficiency.
Republicans in Congress got scant support from the Government Accountability Office in a new report released Wednesday for their claims the Obama administration has pursued a "sue-and-settle" strategy to justify new regulations on industry.
In the Dec. 15 report, originally requested in 2013 by three prominent House Republicans, GAO said seven settlements from 2008 to 2013 of Clean Air Act suits had only "limited" impact on agency rulemaking.
Committee chairs like Energy and Commerce chief Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., would be able to issue subpoenas for documents and witnesses without consulting the ranking Democrats on their panels – as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., did in the last Congress -- under changes being considered for the new session, Politico reports.
Plants would no longer be exempt from air pollution regulations when they’re starting up, shutting down or malfunctioning, under a new regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, The Hill reports.
A series of major energy and environmental regulations will be published by federal agencies between June and August, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules limiting power plant carbon emissions, the Interior Department’s rule protecting streams from mountaintop removal coal mining, and the Obama administration strategy for cutting methane emissions, The Hill reports.
A group of senators - 17 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders - has written to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, asking her to stop Royal Dutch Shell or anyone else from drilling in the Arctic, Reuters reports.
The reaction in Washington to this week’s oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara has been muted, National Journal reports, despite wishes expressed by environmentalists that the incident generate backing for policies moving the country away from fossil fuels.
A website set up by Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to collect grievances about federal regulation and bureaucracy has received complaints about a wide variety of the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending regulations, E&E reports.
Mississippi electric power cooperatives are backing away from a deal in which they would take 15 percent ownership of the Kemper County coal plant that will use carbon capture technology, because they said the power it generates would end up being too expensive, E&E reports.
A stronger dollar combined with the drop of only 1 oil rig in Baker Hughes’ weekly count sent crude prices sliding Friday. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude lost 1.6 percent, or $1, to settle at $59.72 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent was $1.17 , or 1.8 percent, lower, at $65.37, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Standard & Poor’s thinks oil companies that have managed to survive the slide in crude prices by borrowing more money may start running into trouble in the coming months, particularly if the price stays in the $50 range, FuelFix reports.
A new analysis concludes that wells in Mountrail and McKenzie counties in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale are productive enough to remain profitable even with oil prices around $60 a barrel, FuelFix reports.
With oil prices dramatically lower than a year ago, AAA predicts that more than 37 million people will travel more than 50 miles over the Memorial Day weekend - the most since 2005, The New York Times reports.