OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama's Keystone rejection unifies GOP


State of play: President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline rallied the increasingly divided House Republican caucus going into its yearly retreat.

The GOP, in a unified voice, blasted Obama Wednesday for rejecting the project, arguing he snubbed his nose at a valuable opportunity to create jobs and boost the ailing economy.

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Now, House Republicans will travel to Baltimore Thursday for their yearly retreat, where they will likely discuss how best to punish Obama politically for his decision, while at the same reviewing legislative options to reverse it.

House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRank-and-file Republicans fear lame-duck vote on pricey funding bill New Trump campaign boss took shots at Ryan on radio show Election reveals Paul Ryan to be worst speaker in U.S. history MORE (R-Ohio) told reporters Wednesday afternoon that the GOP is mulling legislation aimed at ensure the pipeline — which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast — gets built.

While he didn’t offer any specifics, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said Republicans are eyeing legislation authored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) that would move a final decision on the Keystone permit from the State Department to the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Upton's committee will hold a hearing on Terry's bill on Jan. 25.

House Republicans are also reviewing draft legislation authored by Sen. John HoevenJohn HoevenMajority of GOP senators to attend Trump convention Death threats against senators remained on Twitter for 2 weeks Senate panel approves funding boost for TSA MORE (R-N.D.) that would give authority to approve the pipeline to Congress, not the Obama administration.

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While the bills are very unlikely to become law (they will face major opposition in the Senate), they will nonetheless be used to bash Obama going into the presidential election.

Read more of our Keystone coverage here.


NEWS BITES and THURSDAY'S ACTION

House ‘fracking’ foe to retire: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) won’t seek reelection this year. The Hill has the story here.

Hinchey is among the most outspoken House opponents of hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural-gas drilling technique.

Hinchey, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, was also a persistent critic of oil-and-gas industry subsidies.

EPA air chief to dish on regulations:
Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyDem senator pushes EPA on asbestos regulations Feds make broadband push in coal country Chemical disasters: EPA plan would keep us in the dark MORE, who is Environmental Protection Agency’s top air-quality officials, will speak at a breakfast briefing hosted by ICF International.

There’s a lot to discuss.

The agency recently finalized long-delayed rules to cut mercury pollution from power plants, and is crafting greenhouse gas rules for power plants and refineries, among hot topics.

Environment conference rolls on:
The National Council for Science and the Environment’s big annual Washington, D.C., conference continues Thursday. Click here for the agenda.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

Here's a quick roundup of Wednesday's E2 stories:

— GOP mulls legislation to force Keystone approval
— Pelosi: GOP left Obama 'very little choice' on Keystone
— House GOP wants Clinton to testify on Keystone
— Obama rejects Keystone pipeline, blames ‘arbitrary’ GOP deadline
— Romney pounces on expected Keystone decision
— House Republicans rail against Obama's decision to reject Keystone
— Obama administration to reject controversial Keystone pipeline
— Report: Power plant mercury rule won’t cause power outages

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