By Andrew Restuccia - 07/25/11 10:44 PM EDT
Oil industry to press for speedy approval of pipeline: The American Petroleum Institute, the powerful oil industry trade group, is preparing to parry the White House’s criticism with a study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute that says delays in approving the project have cost jobs.
API will brief reporters on the study Tuesday morning.
The oil industry has long argued that the administration is taking too long to review the Keystone pipeline application.
TransCanada filed its permit application with the State Department at the end of 2008. The department issued a draft environmental impact statement in April of 2010 and a supplemental environmental impact statement in April of 2011. It will issue a final environmental impact statement in August, which will be followed by a 90-day comment period.
Environmental groups to slam bill: Environmental groups and others have long blasted the Keystone XL pipeline, pointing to the possibility of oil spills along the route and noting the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil-sands production.
Recent pipeline incidents at an existing TransCanada pipeline as well as an ExxonMobil pipeline in Montana have only increased environmental groups’ opposition to the project.
The National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council will blast the GOP bill Tuesday morning in a press conference. They will argue that API and others "greatly exaggerate" the jobs-potential of the Keystone XL project.
The House is likely to approve the Keystone XL bill Tuesday even amid objections from many Democrats. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
You can see the list of amendments to the bill that will receive a vote here.
House to continue debate on EPA, Interior spending bill: House lawmakers will continue consideration of the fiscal 2012 Interior and Environmental Protection Agency spending bill Tuesday amid objections from Democrats who have called the legislation an “assault on the environment.”
Democrats took to the House floor Monday to blast the legislation, conducting what they cast as a filibuster of the bill. Democratic leaders and senior committee members each took five minutes to criticize the bill.
Here’s a sampling:
"This is the most anti-environmental House in history," said House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). "The new Republican majority seems intent on restoring the robber-baron era where there were no controls on pollution from power plants and oil refineries and factories."
Earlier Monday, Democrats slammed the legislation at a press conference in the Capitol.
“If the bill were to pass, our air would be smoggier, our climate would be hotter, our water would be more polluted, our public land would be damaged and thousands of people would face serious illness and even death,” Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) said.
Democrats say they’ll offer amendments to strip some of the 39 policy riders out of the bill. House Appropriations Environment subcommittee ranking member Jim Moran (D-Va.) said Democrats will push to block language in the bill preventing new species from being added to the Endangered Species List and overturning a ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.
The bill includes a slew of environmental policy riders aimed at hobbling Obama administration regulations, including one to block funding for Environmental Protection Agency regulations for fiscal year 2012. Overall, the bill would provide $9.86 billion for the Interior Department, a $720 million cut from current spending. It would provide $7.1 billion for the EPA, well below the agency’s current-year funding of $8.7 billion.
The White House threatened to veto the legislation last week.
Read more about the bill, including a play-by-play of the floor debate as it happens, at E2 Wire.
Republicans blast White House over solar subpoena: Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are becoming increasingly frustrated by what they say is a lack of responsiveness from the White House to a subpoena request for documents associated with an administration loan guarantee to a California solar company.
Republicans on the panel’s Oversight and Investigations subcommittee voted last week to subpoena the White House Office of Management and Budget for documents related to DOE’s 2009 $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra Inc.
Top Republicans on the panel gave OMB until Monday at 9 a.m. to provide the requested documents. Republicans said late Monday that OMB did not provide the required documents by the deadline.
“The subpoena was clear and reasonably allowed OMB one week to provide the documents in question, yet OMB failed to turn over a single page,” a Republican committee aide said in a statement. “The committee has exercised extraordinary patience and its [sic] well past time for OMB to abandon the gamesmanship and finally turn over the documents that we have been seeking since March 14.”
OMB deputy general counsel William Richardson said in a letter to committee Republicans Friday that the White House is engaging in “good-faith efforts to comply with the committee’s subpoena.”
Richardson said OMB made 300 pages of documents available to committee staff in addition to the 1,800 pages it initially offered. The documents will be made available to committee staff for review, though copies of the documents will not immediately be offered without further discussion.
The 2009 Solyndra loan guarantee helped finance the construction of a new plant to manufacture solar panels.
Committee Republicans launched their investigation after Solyndra canceled plans to go public and closed down an existing plant. The GOP lawmakers argued that the moves indicated that the administration might not have properly vetted the company before approving the loan guarantee.
Solyndra has said that its financial outlook is strong.
EPA and AEP to face off at House Oversight hearing: A top Environmental Protection Agency official will come face to face with a representative of utility giant American Electric Power Tuesday at a hearing of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee.
AEP has bashed a slew of upcoming EPA air regulations in recent months. The company says it will have to close down five plants to comply with the regulations, an assertion environmental groups and some Democrats say is misleading.
Deputy EPA Administrator Robert Perciasepe will have an opportunity to respond to the utility’s allegations Tuesday afternoon during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending subcommittee. AEP Deputy General Counsel Janet Henry will testify at the hearing.
The hearing will focus on the effect of Environmental Protection Agency regulations on jobs and electricity prices.
Ohio Coal Association President Mike Carey and Joel Schwartz, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, will also testify.
ON TAP TUESDAY:
The House Natural Resources Committee’s National Parks, Forest and Public Lands subcommittee will hold a hearing on several lands bills.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing called, “Cybersecurity: An Overview of Risks to Critical Infrastructure."
The House Natural Resources Committee’s Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Oversight subcommittee will hold a hearing called "NOAA's Fishery Science: Is the Lack of Basic Science Costing Jobs?"
The American Petroleum Institute will host a conference call on a new study on the economic impacts of not approving the Keystone XL pipeline project.
Reps. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will join officials from Environment America and the Pew Environment Group to discuss the findings of a new report on the impact of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.
The Natural Resources Defense Council will release a report “that reveals the range of water-related vulnerabilities from climate change that are facing American cities — from drought to sea level rise to increased rainfall and flooding — regardless of region or size.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
Here's a quick roundup of Monday's E2 stories:
— House Dems filibuster GOP's 'anti-environment' bill
— White House: Bill to speed up pipeline review is 'unnecessary'
— House Republicans target EPA in environment spending bill
— Hastings unveils draft offshore drilling legislation
— House approves rule for Interior, EPA spending bill
— Dems: ‘Toxic’ environmental spending bill will spread heat, death
— Oilman Flores looks to nuclear, alternative fuels for energy future
— Amid opposition from conservatives, businesses defend greenhouse-gas accord