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Lauren Gardner


Lauren Gardner covers energy and environment policy as a staff writer at CQ, following a two-year stint on CQ’s legislative action team tracking markups and floor votes. Before joining CQ, she covered the IRS for BNA’s Daily Tax Report. Lauren graduated from American University, where she received bachelor’s degrees in French/print journalism and international studies. A Philadelphia native with the accent to prove it, she currently lives in Old Town Alexandria.

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Stories by Lauren Gardner:

House, Senate Seek Careful Bipartisan Balance as Energy Bills Advance

July 27, 2015

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

July 17, 2015

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.

Uproar Over Confederate Flag Blocks Interior-Environment Bill

July 9, 2015

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

July 8, 2015

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

July 7, 2015

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

July 6, 2015

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

July 6, 2015

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

June 12, 2015

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.

State Carbon Pollution Standards Differ

May 8, 2015

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'

April 9, 2015

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

Feb. 27, 2015

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

Feb. 27, 2015

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

Jan. 29, 2015

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'

Jan. 27, 2015

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).

"What this administration is doing is moving forward into essentially de facto wilderness," Murkowski said. "What the president is doing is not unlike what we are seeing with the selective interpretation of the Affordable Care Act or immigration, where he is unilaterally acting. He is ignoring the law from 1980, ANILCA."

Keystone XL Debate Is No Longer Limited to Oil

Jan. 23, 2015

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

Jan. 9, 2015

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

Jan. 7, 2015

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

Nov. 18, 2014

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.

Keystone Dominates Senate Runoff, But Does Louisiana Care?

Nov. 13, 2014

Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy are facing off in one last legislative duel in which the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline is portrayed as so overriding an issue that it will drive votes at the Louisiana polls. Keystone has become important enough to grab a top spot on the agenda of the lame-duck Congress.

Chuck Grassley's Birthday Blizzard

Sept. 17, 2014

Sen. Charles E. Grassley plans to put a birthday present to good use to grab himself a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but he hasn’t quite decided on the flavor yet.

In a Partisan Climate, 2 Lawmakers Try to Talk Past Climate Change

Sept. 10, 2014

Two House lawmakers are about to find out whether Congress can solve a problem precipitated, in part, by concerns over climate change — without devolving into a fight over climate change.

Long-Term Climate Control Thwarted by Partisanship

June 17, 2014

President Barack Obama has called for a national commitment to controlling climate change, but the market approaches and limited regulatory measures the government has been capable of in the past won’t be able to deal with the problem fast enough to make much difference.

Aide: Democrats Offer Vote to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline — With a Catch

May 5, 2014

Senate Democrats are offering Republicans a vote on approving the Keystone XL pipeline, but are demanding an energy efficiency bill pass in return.

Environmental, Cost Concerns Drive Arctic Oil Exploration Reticence

April 29, 2014

The United States has become a global leader in developing previously inaccessible oil and gas reserves by revolutionizing drilling technology, but one area has remained just out of reach — the Arctic Ocean.

Increased Arctic Presence Would Put Pressure on Coast Guard Budget, Ice Breaker Fleet

April 29, 2014

The U.S. Coast Guard will need to expand its presence in the Arctic year-round as oil and gas exploration and general maritime activity increase in the region, researchers say, but paying for such a presence is likely to be difficult as Congress wrestles with austere budgets.

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