Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Carbon Rule Goes to White House, Ryan Budget Attacks ‘War on Coal’

by | Apr 2, 2014

The White House has received the EPA’s draft regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants, according to Office of Management and Budget records cited by The Hill. President Obama set a June deadline for the proposal, a cornerstone of his climate change plan.

An EPA finding from earlier this month, released on Friday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, urges FERC to weigh indirect greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental effects when making decisions on Sempra Energy’s proposed liquefied natural gas export project. The DOE approved the exports in February, but the plant still needs FERC approval. Reuters called the EPA assessment “a fresh angle” in the LNG export debate.

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled his 2015 budget proposal, which seeks to cut about $5.1 trillion in spending over the next decade. The budget pushes for more oil and gas exploration in Alaska, the outer continental shelf and the west, and spends nearly two out of its 100 pages attacking the EPA’s carbon emissions rules as a war on coal, The Hill reports.

The House yesterday passed a bill that would require US weather agencies to focus more on predicting storms and less on climate studies. The bill’s prospects in the Senate are uncertain, the New York Times reports.

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy will appear today at a joint hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subpanels on energy and environment, speaking on the agency’s 2015 budget request.

Secretary of energy Ernest Moniz will testify tomorrow at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subpanel on energy and power, speaking on the DOE’s proposed 2015 budget request.

The House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on the Department of the Interior’s budget proposal for 2015. Interior secretary Sally Jewell and deputy secretary Michael Connor are scheduled to testify.

West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill yesterday requiring above-ground chemical storage tanks in critical areas near public water supplies to be registered with the state Department of Environmental Protection. The agency will perform annual inspections, Reuters reports.

The House Natural Resources Committee’s subpanel on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow on HR 69, which aims to strengthen enforcement of fishing regulations; HR 2646, which would direct the secretary of commerce to issue a fishing capacity reduction loan; and an unnumbered bill aimed at deterring illegal fishing through state measures.

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