Cantor plans June vote on Alaska drilling bill, eyes summer action to thwart EPA

The bill, which won five Democratic votes in committee, would set new deadlines for EPA action on air permit applications, limit challenges and ease air pollution standards for offshore projects.

The memo said the summer floor agenda would be heavy on bills designed to reverse the White House’s “job-killing regulatory agenda.”

The July-August period, Cantor said, will include votes on legislation sponsored by Reps. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) that would set up a new interagency review of several Environmental Protection Agency rules to gauge their cumulative effects on the economy and jobs.

Also on tap: A separate bill – the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act” – that would require congressional approval of major regulations before they can take effect.  Cantor’s memo said these bills, and another that would weaken EPA’s Clean Water Act powers, would provide a “much needed check” on EPA.

“Most importantly, these bills will ensure that economic factors are evaluated during the rule-making process, something that is shockingly absent to date,” Cantor’s memo states.

Another bill on the House summer agenda would require the Obama administration to make a decision by Nov. 1 about whether to permit TransCanada Corp.’s planned Keystone XL project, a 1,700 mile pipeline that would bring crude from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.

Republicans call the controversial pipeline vital to expanding supplies from a friendly neighbor and creating jobs.

Democrats led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce panel, say it carries major environmental risks and could be a sop to companies including Koch Industries, which is helmed by billionaire brothers active in conservative politics.

Cantor says he’s eyeing late July floor action on that measure, which is winding its way through the energy panel.