Dems on spending bill: EPA riders out, study of agency regs in

“There are no riders involving EPA. That is my understanding. Period. Now when I say my understanding, it is because there is no deal [that is] final. But at this stage there are no riders,” she added.

Sen. Patty Murray, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, confirmed Democrats have agreed to the study.

Republicans have been seeking provisions in a six-month spending plan that would prevent EPA from implementing greenhouse-gas permitting rules, air toxics standards for cement plants and other regulations.

It’s not clear what the interagency study would look like, but many Republicans have long alleged that EPA analyses of various air pollution rules and other policies fail to adequately gauge their economic effect.

House and Senate Republicans are pushing legislation that would mandate a new interagency analysis of certain rules to better understand their effect on competitiveness, energy costs, employment and other issues.

Democrats also said the plan does not thwart regulation of mountaintop removal coal-mining practices.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said Friday morning that provisions on mountaintop-removal coal mining are among a number of sticking points in the negotiations. But he told reporters Friday afternoon a mountain-top removal rider had been dropped.

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