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GOP continues assault on EPA rules

The GOP-led House has focused much of its attention recently on EPA proposals to fight climate change by limiting carbon dioxide pollution from power plants and to redefine the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. (The Trucker file photo)

By TIMOTHY CAMA
The Trucker News Services

7/14/2014

House Republicans will open a new chapter this week in their assault on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The House Appropriations Committee will meet Tuesday to consider the spending bill for EPA. The bill would block far-reaching EPA rules covering air and water pollution.

The GOP-led House has focused much of its attention recently on EPA proposals to fight climate change by limiting carbon dioxide pollution from power plants and to redefine the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, The Hill reported.

Republicans this week threatened to subpoena the agency for its refusal to disclose internal information about how it wrote some of its rules. They also introduced a spending bill that would block funding for some of the administration’s major environmental priorities and another bill to stop every regulation the EPA is working on.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the EPA, this week allowed the GOP spending bill that would block the agency’s power plant rules to move forward on a voice vote.

Democrats, however, have pledged to be tougher when it is considered by the full spending panel, and they promise amendments to remove the policy riders and defend the Obama administration’s priorities.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s water and wildlife subcommittee will mark up 11 bills at a Wednesday meeting. The bills would crack down on sewage dumping in the Great Lakes, improve the federal government’s ability to control invasive animal species and make it easier to comply with wildlife habitat rules when building infrastructure, among other provisions.

Two of the subcommittees of the House Science Committee will co-host a hearing Wednesday to check on reforms to the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System, the program the agency uses to evaluate the health effects of various contaminants.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup meeting Monday and Tuesday, when it will consider a bill to exempt certain service and repair parts for external power supplies from the Energy Department’s efficiency guidelines.

Off Capitol Hill, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its annual Energy Conference Monday and Tuesday. The keynote speakers will include International Energy Agency Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The EIA has invited a number of representatives from government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and other groups to speak. The agency said the discussion will cover international energy issues, crude oil exports from the United States, vehicle energy demand, biofuels and energy production trends.

There will be two events next week about the EPA’s power plant carbon rules unveiled in June. The Environmental Law Institute will host a workshop on the rules Monday, and the American Council on Renewable Energy will hold a Wednesday seminar about those rules as well as the EPA’s renewable fuel mandate.

The Atlantic Council will host a discussion on energy security in Latin America on Wednesday. The event will focus on Petrocaribe, the coalition of countries in South and Central America that buy oil from Venezuela, and the energy security of those countries moving forward.

Securing America’s Future Energy and the Foreign Policy Initiative will host their own event Monday on energy security, examining the need for the United States to improve its energy security. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will speak at the event.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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