With a new Interior Department hydraulic fracturing rule looming, Sen. John Hoeven is seeking anew to rally Senate support for leaving such regulations to states.
Hoeven, R-N.D., intends this month to re-introduce the Empower States Act that he first unveiled last September. An aide said he will again have the backing of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, adding political heft to the push.
Two key Senate Republicans on Thursday held back endorsements of Interior secretary nominee Sally Jewell but also declined to name problems that could stop her confirmation, signaling she faces no major hurdles for now.
After a three-hour hearing confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, ranking Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Jewell came away as a credible nominee despite some unfamiliarity with public lands policy specifics.
Key Senate Republicans said Tuesday the wind industry's tax credit phaseout timeline could be scaled back from six to four years in the next Congress. The incoming chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, meanwhile, said the credit's future could be tied to breaks for other energy sources.
The statements showed the complicated outlook for the credit.
The American Wind Energy Association issued an analysis last week that said the industry could become competitive with a gradual end to the wind Production Tax Credit over six years, starting with a one-year extension through 2013.
The top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has thrown her support behind legislation that would create major new obstacles for any federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, co-sponsored legislation unveiled late Tuesday by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., that they said would effectively put states in charge of safety and environmental impacts from the fracturing of oil and gas wells.
Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a sweeping fossil fuel production bill that is designed to unify pro-drilling lawmakers and trade groups in the weeks before the November election.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-S.D, the lead sponsor, said he expects many parts of the legislation to make it into the Republican platform at next month's convention in Tampa where Mitt Romney will be formally declared the party's fall presidential nominee.
"I do believe you'll see a lot of what we have here in the platform, that I think on a broad basis not only Republicans support, but Americans support," said Hoeven, who is a co-chairmen of the committee that will draft a platform to be adopted at the Republican National Convention.
Hoping to reclaim the "all of the above" mantle from President Barack Obama, congressional Republicans plan to unveil sweeping legislation as early as Thursday that would combine multiple House bills that have stalled in the Senate.
Lead Senate sponsor Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., plans to introduce the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act with the backing of Republican colleagues and key House GOP oil and gas drilling advocates. "It's about having both House and Senate on a complete energy plan," he said.
President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans Thursday continued to fight over gas prices, even as the prospects for action in Washington remained uncertain at best.
Obama, on the second day of his four-state energy tour, used the oil pipeline hub at Cushing, Okla., as a backdrop to accuse Republicans of misleading consumers over his rejection of a permit for the proposed Keystone XL line from Canada to Texas.
Three Senate Republicans on Monday unveiled new legislation to give Congress authority to unilaterally approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, adding support in the chamber to similar bills pending in the House.
The Senate bill, by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., would transfer authority over the proposed line from President Barack Obama to Congress.
Their bill is a companion to one by Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, that would allow lawmakers to go around Obama's rejection earlier this month of a permit for the project. Another bill, by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., would transfer permitting authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and effectively mandate its approval.
House Republicans contend the Nuclear Regulatory Commission tripled space at its headquarters by using an appropriations bill to get around the congressional authorization process, the Washington Business Journal reports.
House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings and ranking Democratic Rep. Ed Markey called on the Interior Department to extend the public comment period for its proposed public lands hydraulic fracturing rule, FuelFix reports.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., was endorsed by 20 Democrats to replace Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., as ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee should Markey win election to the Senate, Politico reports.