Elvina Nawaguna

Chao defends delayed 737 Max decision, to House appropriators
The FAA’s handling of the crash raises questions about how the agency operates

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao defended to House appropriators the administration’s decision not to immediately ground the Boeing 737 Max after an Ethiopian Airlines crash last month, even as other countries did so right away.

While Chao was appearing before the House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the administration’s budget request for her agency, Chairman David E. Price, D-N.C., and ranking member Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., both said they wanted to understand more about the Federal Aviation Administration's process for certifying the model of the Boeing plane.

An overeager legal strategy may endanger Trump’s energy goals
In haste to pass its “energy dominance” agenda, the administration has suffered dozens of losses in court

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was unhappy with an April 5 ruling by Sharon Gleason, a federal judge in Anchorage, Alaska, who found that President Donald Trump had unlawfully lifted a ban prohibiting drilling in the Arctic Ocean, dealing the president’s fossil-fuel energy agenda a major blow.

“I strongly disagree with this ruling,” said Murkowski, who wants to open her state’s land and water to increased oil and gas leasing. “I expect this decision to be appealed and ultimately overturned.”

Trump contradicts his own plan to slash Great Lakes preservation funds
His budget proposed a 90 percent cut to the initiative’s budget, but Trump told supporters he would fund the program

For the third year in a row, President Donald Trump has proposed nearly wiping out funding for the Great Lakes preservation program. And yet on Thursday night, less than a month after proposing to slash 90 percent the initiative’s budget, Trump told supporters at a rally in Michigan that he would fund the program.

The reality is, Congress controls the federal purse strings and has in the past disregarded his calls for those sharp cuts, instead continuing to approve the funding at higher levels. A key appropriator called Trump’s assertions that he supports the program “phony.”

Senate Democrats dodge vote on Green New Deal resolution
Republicans had hoped to force 2020 presidential hopefuls into a tight spot

Senate Democrats backed away from a Green New Deal resolution offered by Republicans, even though it copied the version introduced and cheered by many Democratic lawmakers, including those running for president.

With all Republicans voting in the negative on the procedural vote, the resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was thwarted, 0-57, preventing further action on the measure.

The ABCs of the Green New Deal
If climate change is the fulcrum propping up the plan, economic inequality is the foot stomping down on the raised end of the seesaw

Since the dangers of greenhouse gases became clear, American politicians have whittled away at climate change in incremental steps: energy-efficiency policies, U.N. climate treaties, basic research, fuel-consumption standards.

But they have not enacted a comprehensive plan to address climate change at the scale and with the speed climate scientists say is required to insulate humanity from what is to come.

This Democrat seeks GOP support with new climate action plan
Paul Tonko hopes to win over Republicans by tying solutions to job creation, technological advancements and other policies

A House Democrat hopes he can win over GOP support for a climate action by tying solutions to job creation, technological advancements and policies that do not create uncertainty for industry and families.

Rep. Paul Tonko who chairs the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, said Thursday he plans to tap into the apparent willingness of more Republicans recently to talk about climate change and come up with solutions both parties can agree on.

On the campaign trail, climate change can no longer be ignored
Democrats try to out-green each other as presidential race heats up

The 2020 elections are still many months away, but 17-year-old Michael Minsk is already following it closely as more candidates enter the race. Eager to vote for the first time next year, the high school junior is looking for a candidate promising bold action on climate change.

“Climate change is definitely one of the issues I will be voting on along with other social and economic problems,” said Minsk, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “I am tired of corruption in government that prevents politicians from acting on it, so I want someone that will stand up and make changes.”

Graves sees a positive role for GOP in new select climate committee
Louisiana Republican is optimistic some bipartisan ideas can come out of the panel

Rep. Garret Graves says he wasn’t keen on joining the select committee to address climate change formed by the new Democratic House majority in January.

But on Feb. 28, weeks after the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis had been formed and long after the Democrats had announced their roster, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed the Louisiana Republican as co-chairman.

Bipartisan lands bill protecting millions of acres and 650 miles of river to get House vote
The bill is expected to remain identical to what the Senate passed Feb. 12

A public lands bill that the Senate passed two weeks ago with overwhelming bipartisan support will get a vote in the House on Tuesday.

The bill is expected to remain identical to what the Senate passed Feb. 12. House Natural Resources Chairman Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona had promised Senate supporters that he would urge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to quickly bring up the package in the House if the upper chamber passed it without significant changes to a deal agreed to last year.

Green New Deal: Some Democrats on the fence
Top Democrats who would oversee legislation in the House are reluctant to endorse plan that would remake economy

A resolution outlining the goals of the Green New Deal capped off its first week of a somewhat messy rollout with mixed reviews, even from typically Democratic strongholds like labor unions.

In the House, the top two Democrats who would oversee any legislation that comes out of the plan have remained reluctant to fully endorse it, stopping at lauding the goals and the enthusiasm behind them. And Republicans quickly branded the Green New Deal as an extreme, socialist plan with unrealistic proposals to eliminate air travel and cows.

Some GOP lawmakers are thawing on climate change
‘There are some things I’m willing to look at,’ said House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows

Congressional Republicans seem to be thawing on climate.

Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who has denied the science behind climate change, told reporters Wednesday he was open to confront the peril of the warming planet.

Democrats unveil Green New Deal that would push government to make radical changes
The resolution would force lawmakers to take a position on the deal, and its goals of remaking the U.S. economy within a decade

A resolution outlining the goals of an ambitious progressive plan to overhaul the U.S. economy across all sectors, from finance to energy to social services, was rolled out Thursday with the aim of driving future legislation.

The Green New Deal resolution sponsored in the House by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and in the Senate by Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey cites urgent warnings in two recent major climate reports to compel the federal government to act urgently on the radical changes they say would make the U.S. resilient and sustainable across all sectors.

Wheeler EPA nomination advances on party-line panel vote
Wheeler, currently the agency's deputy administrator, has been leading the agency in an acting role since July when Scott Pruitt resigned

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-10 along party lines to advance the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to become administrator of the EPA.

He was among five of President Donald Trump’s nominees who moved a step closer to taking key administration jobs on Tuesday, including two for the EPA and one who would fill a two-year-old vacancy at the top of the Federal Highway Administration.

After delay, House Democrats to begin climate push
The hearings will build a foundation for legislation, although the party has yet to unify around an approach to tackle global warming

The partial government shutdown stalled House Democrats’ plan to address climate change out of the gate, but they’ll turn their attention to the issue this week with hearings in the two main energy and environment committees as pressure mounts from the party’s progressive wing to confront what it considers an urgent crisis.

Two committees will hold hearings Wednesday focusing on warming global temperatures and how to mitigate the catastrophe scientists are predicting.

Coal industry fought black lung tax as disease rates rose
Coal companies and industry groups lobbied against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families

While cases of black lung disease among miners were on the rise last year, coal companies and industry groups lobbied lawmakers against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families.

Mandatory disclosures show the coal lobby spent some of its influence money on discussions with lawmakers regarding the Black Lung Excise Tax and the trust fund that helps pay for the health and living benefits of sick coal workers whose employers have gone bankrupt, and their beneficiaries.

Shutdown ties up Trump’s fossil fuel agenda
94 percent of EPA’s workers are furloughed

The partial government shutdown has snagged progress on President Donald Trump’s ambitious agenda to boost fossil fuel use and extraction, including the administration’s repeal and replacement of the Clean Power Plan, which has a March deadline.

Over the last two years, the Trump administration set in motion an aggressive deregulatory agenda, easing emissions regulations and making it easier for energy companies to extract fossil fuels from public lands. Some of the regulatory rollbacks that have been in the works are due to be finalized in the next two months but are now facing delays — such as cessation of public hearings — because of the shutdown, now in its third week.

Pelosi stresses climate action, but activists push for more
Podcast, Episode 134

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls climate change "an existential threat" and has established a committee to look for solutions. CQ energy & envir...
Shutdown Effects: Breakdown by Department and Agency
Thousands of federal employees will be working without a paycheck

Thousands of federal employees face the prospect of working without a paycheck as the White House budget office Friday night directed the heads of government departments and agencies to begin implementing shutdown plans.

Funding for nine departments and other agencies lapsed at midnight as President Donald Trump remained in a standoff with Congress, his demand for funding for wall construction along the border with Mexico the sticking point in talks over appropriations and a stopgap funding measure.

Cracks on Display as Democrats Plan for Climate Action
Tension has caught the attention of House Republicans, who are already using it to paint the Democrats as a party of disunity

Democrats agree they want to act on climate change, but even before they take charge of the House, they are signs of cracks in their coalition over how to advance the cause.

On Tuesday, while in Washington for new member orientations, the most prominent of newly-elected Democrats, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined climate demonstrators at the office of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to demand more aggressive action on greenhouse gases.