Lauren Gardner

House, Senate Seek Careful Bipartisan Balance as Energy Bills Advance

The House and Senate are taking slightly different approaches to moving energy bills through their chambers, but both have the same goal — to get President Barack Obama to sign bipartisan legislation reflecting the United States’ newfound position as a major energy producer.

Iran Nuclear Deal May Give Americans a Break at the Gas Pump

The tentative deal designed to limit Iran’s nuclear program led to a quick — though modest — decline in oil prices, raising the possibility American drivers may see a prolonged break from high gasoline prices and creating an opening for Republican lawmakers to step up efforts to end a ban on exporting oil produced in the U.S.

Clyburn Slams Confederate Flag Amendment
 

Hours ahead of a vote on the fiscal 2016 Interior-Environment spending bill, Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina joined a chorus of Democrats Thursday lambasting an amendment to the legislation permitting Confederate flag imagery on graves on federal land in some circumstances.

“I’m calling upon all of my colleagues who come to this floor this afternoon to remember that it was on this date in 1868 that South Carolina … was the state that gave the votes necessary to ratify the 14th Amendment,” Clyburn said.

Uproar Over Confederate Flag Blocks Interior-Environment Bill

Republican leaders abruptly pulled the fiscal 2016 Interior-Environment spending bill from the floor Thursday in a highly embarrassing about-face after Democrats and moderate Republicans revolted against a planned vote to allow Confederate flag imagery to be displayed on cemeteries on federal land.

Republicans to Vote on Allowing Display of Confederate Flag

In a rapid and dramatic policy shift, Confederate flag imagery could be allowed to remain displayed on graves on federal land in some circumstances under a Republican-sponsored amendment that will be voted on in the House on Thursday.

Trucking Industry Faces Stricter Fuel Efficiency Standards

Medium- and heavy-duty fleet trucks would have to meet stricter fuel efficiency standards under a proposal by federal environmental and highway regulators, part of the Obama administration’s effort to reduce climate-warming pollution across the economy.

Court Signals Limits on Deference to Regulators

The Supreme Court’s recent decision on the EPA’s mercury rules may mark a re-evaluation of the deference that justices typically afford environmental regulators to interpret the laws they must carry out.

EPA Critics See Carbon Lesson in High Court's Ruling Rolling Back Emissions Regulation

Opponents of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan are pointing to the recent Supreme Court decision rejecting the EPA’s mercury regulation as a prime example of why Congress or the judicial branch should preclude implementation of the agency’s climate rules’ while they’re challenged in court.

Natural Gas Boom Prompts Questions in Congress on the Industry's Future

The domestic natural-gas boom couldn’t have come at a better time for President Barack Obama. His first term started amid a recession and with a legislative failure to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, but ended with natural gas hitting historically low prices that helped fuel an energy and manufacturing jobs comeback.

A Struggle for Harmony in the Energy World

Barack Obama began his presidency promising to rebuild the U.S. economy after a staggering recession, to achieve energy independence through an “All of the Above” embrace of sources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are changing the Earth’s climate. But despite substantial progress on each front, those goals are increasingly coming into conflict.  

Perhaps the biggest development on the energy front is the boom in domestic natural gas, largely from advances in enhanced extraction techniques known as fracking. Gas has hit historically low prices that helped to fuel an energy and manufacturing job comeback, and a fundamental shift in how electricity is produced domestically.  

State Carbon Pollution Standards Differ

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to finalize a suite of rules this summer limiting carbon pollution from new, existing and modified power plants. The regulations are all but guaranteed to solidify the country’s wholesale shift away from coal-fired generation to natural gas and renewables, a prospect that causes heartburn for states that are major coal producers and consumers.

The Yucca 'Albatross'

The consequence of a congressional stalemate is clearly visible in the nearly 75,000 metric tons of spent radioactive fuel piling up in pools of water and steel casks that rest in the shadows of the nation’s nuclear power plants.

Atlantic Drilling Back on Table After Spill Delay

President Barack Obama first put Atlantic drilling on the table in March 2010, as part of a strategy to bring more Republicans to the negotiating table for a comprehensive climate change bill in the Senate.

Maryland, Virginia Members Disagree on Atlantic Oil Drilling

The Obama administration’s recent proposal to lease oil and gas drilling in a swath of the Atlantic Ocean generated the expected mix of cheers and jeers on Capitol Hill, but local reaction was mostly divided along state borders rather than party affiliations.

Keystone Confrontation With White House Looms After Senate Passage

A veto showdown moved closer on Thursday after the Senate passed legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and yank the decision out of President Barack Obama’s hands.

Murkowski: WH Proposed Wilderness Regulations 'Unacceptable'

Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday again slammed an Interior Department proposal to block areas in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from future oil and gas exploration, a plan Murkowski called "unacceptable" and said violated the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

Keystone XL Debate Is No Longer Limited to Oil

Congress wasted no time this year getting back into the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, despite last voting on approving the project in November. Now with firm control of the House and Senate, Republicans are eager to contrast their energy policy with that of President Barack Obama, who has questioned the need for and the importance of the pipeline.

House OKs Keystone Bill as Nebraska Court Upholds Pipeline Route

The House passed legislation 266-153 Friday approving the Keystone XL pipeline, defying a White House veto threat and just hours after a Nebraska court upheld that state’s law agreeing to the builder’s proposed route.

Gas Tax Hike Not Ruled Out by Inhofe

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe said Wednesday that the GOP continues to look at a gas tax increase among other alternatives to cover shortfalls in transportation spending, characterizing the mechanism as a "user fee."

Ozone Rules Could Set Off Fight Between Environmental, Economic Interests

The Environmental Protection Agency is days away from proposing an updated air quality standard that Republicans are sure to target as they try to win concessions from President Barack Obama on his environmental agenda — and industry lobbyists think they have the upper hand.