Every week of every Senate session for the last six years, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has taken to the floor to urge his colleagues to “wake up” to the dire consequences of their inaction on climate change.
But the slumbering chamber keeps hitting the snooze button.
Russian social media meddlers tried to influence U.S. energy markets and undercut the country’s emerging domestic natural gas production capabilities, according to a report released Thursday by the Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
The report written by GOP committee staff cited data provided by major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for activity that occurred from 2015 through 2017.
The recent cold snap and “bomb cyclone” weather event that chilled much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this month appears to have showed the reliability and resilience of the electric grid as currently operated, energy officials said Tuesday at congressional oversight hearing.
But it also showed some of the vulnerabilities to the grid, especially as they relate to energy infrastructure, including natural gas pipelines, as wholesale market consumers saw high prices in response to record demand.
A series of energy- and environment-related nominees are stuck in limbo as procedural roadblocks, or “holds,” pile up over concerns by Republican and Democratic lawmakers about policy implementations by the Trump administration.
The holdups — five announced last week — have almost become a rite of passage for Trump nominees looking to take positions within the Energy Department, Interior Department and the EPA.
The Interior Department’s decision to remove Florida’s coasts from its draft five-year offshore oil and gas drilling plan because of staunch opposition from the state has opened a floodgate of coastal state governments demanding similar treatment.
A plan to open Florida’s tourism-dependent Atlantic and Gulf coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling was dropped by the Trump administration on Tuesday after a bipartisan backlash that also threatened to complicate a must-pass fiscal 2018 spending bill.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose department on Jan. 4 revealed a draft five-year plan for expanding the sale of federal offshore drilling leases to the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, announced Tuesday night on Twitter that Florida’s two coasts would not be included in the expansion.
There is a reason the last federal sale of oil or gas drilling leases off Florida’s Gulf Coast or California’s Pacific coast was in the 1980s: The local and congressional opposition is bipartisan and intense.
That’s also why the Trump administration can expect a fight over its new offshore strategy, which calls for drilling in areas once thought to be sacrosanct.
For years, federal regulation of the electric grid has focused on keeping prices low and competition stiff. But that could change with a recent proposal from the Trump administration to put more emphasis on what it calls resiliency.
According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the electric grid is more resilient — able to bounce back from disasters of the natural and man-made variety — when it has plenty of so-called baseload power that can run 24/7, with or without sunshine or wind and regardless of supply snags.
Renewable energy advocates are raising alarms that the House Republican tax plan released Thursday would sharply reduce a tax credit that has driven the rapid deployment of wind and solar power over the past two years.
The tax bill includes a provision that would remove an inflation adjustment from the renewable energy production tax credit, likely dropping it from 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour for tax year 2016 to 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour.
The Canadian government cares about its people — and its caribou. And to protect the latter, the government has come out against the U.S. proposal to open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, citing the feared impact on a caribou herd that migrates across the shared border.
Canada’s opposition, expressed by its embassy in an email to Roll Call, puts the United States’ neighbor on the side of Democrats and environmental groups, both of whom are looking to scuttle Republican attempts to open the refuge using budget reconciliation — a procedural maneuver that enables legislation to pass with only a simple majority in the Senate.
As the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee prepares for a high-profile hearing Thursday on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, Republicans are preparing to argue that improvements in drilling technology over the past decade will minimize potential damage to the environment.
That assertion will rile committee Democrats, who plan to raise the specter of oil spills as well as an invasion of drilling infrastructure and manpower in an area described by environmentalists as one of the most pristine habitats on the planet.
Republican lawmakers are trying to undermine the federal regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the safety and environmental concerns of offshore oil and gas operations, said Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee at a Wednesday hearing.
The complaints stem from a provision in the committee Republicans’ recently released draft bill that would direct the Interior secretary to look for potential “inefficiencies or duplication between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement,” which both regulate aspects of offshore drilling.
A House bill to restart the process of making Nevada’s Yucca Mountain a permanent repository for nuclear waste would increase spending by $260 million over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday in a report that acknowledges some uncertain numbers.
The CBO’s score could be a hurdle for the Yucca bill by forcing its backers to offset the cost by cutting other federal spending under pay-as-you-go budget mandates. The bill moved out of the Energy and Commerce Committee with surprisingly bipartisan support considering how the issue had divided Capitol Hill while Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada was majority leader. Reid didn’t seek reelection in 2016.
With lawmakers returning to kick off the fall working session, energy and environment policies won’t be high on their to-do list, but their champions aim to fill any floor schedule gaps with measures that could provide some legislative accomplishments.
Here are five priorities they will push this fall:
A House caucus that supports legislation to combat climate change may be joined by key Republican energy influencer who would raise its credibility among GOP lawmakers.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the former Energy and Commerce chairman who leads the committee's energy panel, is considering joining the bipartisan 48-member Climate Solutions Caucus, a group equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.
The House on Tuesday passed, 229-199, a bill to delay the compliance date for Obama-era ground level ozone standards.
The measure (HR 806) now heads to the Senate, where its fortunes do not appear as clear after Senate Democrats expressed strong opposition to similar language appearing in legislation before the Environment and Public Works Committee.
House Republicans plan to vote this week on a measure that would delay the compliance date for an Obama-era ground level ozone standard that they say would put an undue economic burden on industry.
The bill (HR 806) would also give legal cover to the Environmental Protection Agency as its administrator, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, looks to replace the current standards with levels more flexible for states and their economic development plans.
When President Donald Trump signed an executive order in April to impose a tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, the administration and its supporters heralded the move as an equalizing measure meant to bolster domestic timber production.
For Trump, the tariff was the latest move meant to build on his “America First” campaign platform. The action his administration took amounted to a tariff in the form of an import tax totaling around 20 percent for softwood lumber imports from Canada. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross estimated the measure could result in $1 billion a year from Canadian lumber imports, which make up about one-third of the U.S. lumber market.
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