OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA showdown on Senate floor

Inhofe and other EPA critics call the rules an overreach that will hurt the economy, drive power costs much higher and force many plants to shutter. EPA and the rule’s backers say Republicans are peddling inaccurate economic doom and gloom and tout projections that the rules will provide major public health benefits.

Across the Capitol ...


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The House takes up a broad GOP energy package Wednesday that’s designed to speed up onshore oil-and-gas drilling, and delay several EPA air pollution rules while an interagency panel reviews their cumulative effect on the economy.

The White House threatened to veto the bill Tuesday. There will also be a slew of votes on various amendments before final passage, which is expected Thursday.

Click here for a roadmap to the upcoming amendment battles.

Across the country ...


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be in New Orleans Wednesday to announce the results of the latest auction of oil-and-gas leases in the central Gulf of Mexico.

“This is the first offshore lease sale in the Central Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon incident and is part of President Obama’s goal of expanding safe and responsible domestic energy production,” Interior notes in an advisory.

Salazar will hold a press teleconference on the result of the sale.

Across the equator ...


The big United Nations Sustainable Development Conference in Brazil gets under way in earnest. Top officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are attending; President Obama isn’t, but a senior State diplomat says there’s nothing wrong with that.

Here’s Reuters on the lay of the land:

Diplomats from over 190 countries agreed on a draft text on green global development on Tuesday to be approved this week at a summit in Rio de Janeiro, but environmentalists complained the agreement was too weak.

The summit, known as Rio+20, was supposed to hammer out aspirational, rather than mandatory sustainable development goals across core areas like food security, water and energy, but the draft text agreed upon by diplomats failed to define those goals or give clear timetables toward setting them.

NEWS BITES:

New offer from Senate Dems in highway bill talks

The Hill’s Keith Laing and Russell Berman have the latest on the transportation bill talks, which have looked grim of late.

Senate Democrats made a new offer for a long-term highway bill to House Republicans Tuesday as leaders of both parties intervened in the stalled talks in a last-ditch effort to salvage them.

Republicans continue to push for the inclusion of provisions to authorize the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), a proponent of the project who is on the House-Senate negotiating team, insisted in a short interview that Keystone is “still in the mix.”

Republicans want answers on White House natural gas oversight


GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee say White House plans to coordinate oversight of booming natural-gas development are a little hazy.

They sent a letter to the White House and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking what’s up regarding several topics, including how EPA’s plans fit into the broader interagency efforts. Check it out here.

House panel takes up Interior-EPA spending bill

A panel of the House Appropriations Committee will mark up fiscal 2013 spending legislation that would slash funding for EPA and block several Obama administration environmental policies.

The Hill’s Erik Wasson has more on the bill here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

In addition to the links above, check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Tuesday ...

- House votes to waive environmental laws for border security agency
- Dem bill would halt new mountaintop removal coal mining projects pending health study
- Kerry slams ‘disgraceful’ climate denial
- GOP lawmakers allege cozy ties between Obama officials, solar project company
- Sen. Boxer proposes naming EPA building after ex-President Clinton

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

Follow E2 on Twitter: @E2Wire, @Ben_Geman