OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House on cusp of blocking EPA, but Senate says no

Look for the issue to pop up on the campaign trail, where Republicans will likely hammer red-state Democrats.

“Unless this issue moves into an appropriations context, the votes today have likely become a 2012 campaign ad,” a refining industry lobbyist told E2.

The Senate rejected the GOP plan and several Democratic alternatives to limit or delay EPA while leaving its authority intact.

But supporters floated an argument after the Senate action that the sum of the amendment votes shows an appetite to limit EPA. See below for links to E2’s coverage of the battle Wednesday.


Breaking down the Senate EPA votes

While a series of amendments to block or limit EPA climate regulations failed in the Senate Wednesday, they all gained some support from Democrats.

Republicans quickly pointed to the Democrats' support to argue that there is broad Senate backing for reining in EPA. But the GOP fell short of their goal on the most important climate vote of the day.

An amendment offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump GOP senator threatened to hold up bill over provision to honor late political rival: report Paul: Shutting down government not my goal MORE (R-Ky.) — and based on legislation introduced by Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeHouse members urge Senate to confirm Trump's NASA nominee Senators to Trump: Keep pressure on North Korea while exploring talks Why did this administration back the Palestine Liberation Organization in terrorism case? MORE (R-Okla.) — to permanently kill EPA climate rules failed to get a majority of senators behind it. The Senate rejected the measure in a 50-50 vote.

The amendment needed 60 votes to pass. While Republicans never expected to reach that threshold, many were confident that they would get more than 50 senators to support the amendment.

Republicans vowed Wednesday to try and bring up their proposal again.

Here's a quick rundown of which Democrats supported the amendments:

Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusFarmers hit Trump on trade in new ad Feinstein’s trouble underlines Democratic Party’s shift to left 2020 Dems pose a big dilemma for Schumer MORE (Mont.), Kay HaganKay Ruthven Hagan2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Politics is purple in North Carolina MORE (N.C.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Russia report | House lawmakers demand Zuckerberg testify | Senators unveil updated election cyber bill Five takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg's media blitz Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill MORE (Minn.), Mark BegichMark Peter BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (Alaska), Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit MORE (S.D.), Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (Mich.) voted for the Baucus amendment.

Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSenators target 'gag clauses' that hide potential savings on prescriptions Nonprofit leaders look to continue work with lawmakers to strengthen charitable giving 10 Senate Democrats are up for reelection in Trump country MORE (Mich.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocratic senator: People don’t know what’s going on between Trump and Putin Power struggle threatens to sink bank legislation Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (Ohio), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyHouse GOP frets over Pennsylvania race Do the numbers add up for Democrat Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania? Poll: Five Senate Dems would lose to GOP challenger if elections held today MORE (Penn.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Ark.) voted for the Stabenow amendment.

Neither the Baucus nor the Stabenow amendments — which would have placed various limits on EPA rules while leaving the agency's regulatory power intact — got any GOP support.

Sens. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term MORE (W.Va.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Project Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible MORE (La.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCoal miners' union to endorse Manchin Washington VIPs gather to celebrate Mark Penn's new book Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp GOP Senate candidate slams McCaskill over Clinton ties Dems meddle against Illinois governor ahead of GOP primary MORE (Mo.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Jim Webb (Va.) voted for the Rockefeller amendment, along with three Republicans: Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: House passes .3T omnibus | Bill boosts funds for NIH, opioid treatment | Senators spar over ObamaCare fix | 'Right to Try' bill heads to the Senate Winners and losers from the .3T omnibus Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill MORE (Maine) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators introduced revised version of election cyber bill GOP senators push tougher sentencing for synthetic opioid Dems aim to turn ObamaCare hikes into election weapon MORE (S.C.).

The Rockefeller amendment would block EPA climate rules for two years.

Meanwhile, four Democrats supported McConnell's amendment to permanently prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. They include Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.). One Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), voted against the amendment.

House Dem defends Koch Industries

Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), one of three House co-sponsors of the Republican bill to block EPA climate regulations, defended Koch Industries Wednesday on the House floor, noting that a subsidiary of the company, Georgia Pacific, has a facility in his district.

"I’m proud of the work Koch Industries brings to my district and its record of environmental stewardship," Boren said.

Boren added that he wants to make sure "Koch can continue to invest in Oklahoma."

His comments came a day after Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDemocrats lay into Trump's pick of Bolton for national security adviser Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate Intel releases election security findings | Facebook to meet with officials on Capitol Hill amid Cambridge Analytica fallout | Orbitz admits possible breach Dem lawmaker: McCabe's firing part of conspiracy to undermine Mueller MORE (D-Va.) offered an amendment to the Republican bill to block EPA climate rules that would change the title of the bill to the "Koch Brothers Appreciation Act."

The billionaire Koch Brothers, who run Koch Industries, have become a major target of environmentalists' scorn, having contributed to a series of Republican causes.

Lawmakers introduce natural-gas vehicles bill

Reps. John Sullivan (R-Okla.), Dan Boren (D-Okla.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRepublicans open to targeted China tariffs despite steel flap GOP pushes for 'phase two' of tax cuts Lighthizer, Ross set to talk trade on Capitol Hill next week MORE (R-Texas) introduced a bill Wednesday that would offer tax incentives to encourage the development of natural-gas vehicles.

“Natural gas is a cleaner, cheaper, more abundant alternative to foreign oil, and it is in both our economic and national security interest to use the vast reserves we have right here in our own backyard as the bridge fuel towards energy security,” Sullivan said in a statement.

The bill comes after President Obama called for policies to encourage the development of natural-gas vehicles.


Here are a few highlights from the energy-related events around town ...

Biofuels in focus:
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to review Energy Department programs to boost biofuels and related infrastructure.

They’ll discuss Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law Orrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate MORE’s (D-Iowa) bill to boost ethanol by requiring increased manufacture of vehicles that can run on high ethanol blends, providing new federal grants for ethanol pumps, and several other measures to boost availability of biofuels.

House panel review economic effects of EPA rules: A panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will review legislation that would require new interagency analysis of certain EPA rules “in an effort to better understand how these policies are impacting America’s global economic competitiveness, electricity and fuel prices, employment, and reliability of electricity supply,” according to a GOP memo on the hearing.

The bill also calls for “analysis of the cumulative impacts of EPA’s rules on consumers; small businesses; state, local and tribal governments; labor markets; and agriculture.”


Here’s a quick round-up of Wednesday’s E2 stories:

— Senate Republicans called on Obama to review the administration’s drilling policies

— A House Democrat said climate change is a bigger health threat than AIDS

— Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Regulation: Omnibus includes deal on tip-pooling rule | Groups sue over rules for organic livestock | AT&T, DOJ make opening arguments in merger trial Overnight Energy: Winners, losers in omnibus bill | EPA funding stands at .1b | Lawmakers get wildfire funding fix Spending bill rejects Trump’s proposed EPA cut MORE (D-N.M.) and Mark UdallMark Emery UdallSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE (D-Colo.) introduced a renewable electricity standard

— Some House Democrats voiced support for a bill to block EPA climate regulations

— Obama called for bridging divides on energy policy

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Andrew Restuccia, arestuccia@thehill.com.

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This post was updated at 9:08 a.m. on Thursday.