OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Carbon tax vote looms in House

ON TAP FRIDAY: A House referendum on carbon tax proposals.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) will offer an amendment that will put lawmakers on record on the idea.

He's tacking the amendment onto GOP legislation that requires congressional approval before the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies could issue many regulations.

Click here for more on the likely Friday vote on carbon taxes.

A House Natural Resources Committee panel will hold a hearing on GOP legislation that would prevent the Interior Department from toughening environmental restrictions on mountaintop removal coal mining.

Republicans allege Interior’s planned “stream protection rule” would burden the coal industry and cost jobs, while green groups say it’s needed to prevent mining wastes from continuing to bury Appalachian streams.

Click here for more information.


Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Thursday ...

– House votes to allow Energy Dept. to veto EPA rules
– House votes to thwart EPA on ‘social cost of carbon’
– Top Interior officials meet with oil execs after offshore accidents
– GOP lawmakers want GAO study on ‘social cost of carbon’ boost
– Energy Secretary: Natural gas helps fight climate change – for now
– House Dem: GOP doing ‘bidding’ of polluting industries’
– Obama orders review of US chemical plants
Showdown set in House on carbon tax


Coal-country Dems press White House on climate regs

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) led a delegation of Democratic officials from his state to press EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on proposed and forthcoming power plant emissions rules.

Manchin was joined by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Rep. Nick Rahall, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and representatives from the National Mining Association and the United Mine Workers of America, among others.

From The Washington Post:

In an interview, Manchin said he was particularly concerned with the administration’s proposal to impose the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions limit of new power plants, which EPA is set to propose in September.

“We don’t have the technology to meet the standards,” he said. “If it’s unattainable, it’s totally unreasonable.”

Click here to read the rest.

Energy Dept. official says he didn’t muzzle whistle-blowers

The Oregonian reports:

A key Obama administration official on Thursday told Congress he did nothing to muzzle employees at the Bonneville Power Administration who blew the whistle on claims that veterans were discriminated against in hiring.

"Absolutely not," said Daniel Poneman, deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Click here for the whole thing.

House chairman issues subpoena for data used by EPA 

House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued a subpoena Thursday for records and data used in studies that the EPA draws from to craft regulations.

The committee voted Thursday to authorize the action. Smith wants the EPA to hand over some of the data it uses to design air pollution rules that have incensed Republicans and industry.

“The EPA should not base its regulations on secret data. By denying the Committee’s request, the agency prevents Congress from fulfilling its oversight responsibilities and denies the American people the ability to verify EPA’s claims,” Smith said in a statement.

But it’s not clear whether the EPA is in a position to hand over all the information the committee is seeking. That’s because some of the request covers data and records from the studies EPA uses — not data gathered by the agency itself.

On top of that, some Democrats have raised concerns that acquiring such records would violate federal health privacy laws. The committee, however, has pledged to “de-identify” the information.

House Science Committee passes bill to change EPA ‘fracking’ study

The committee on Thursday passed GOP legislation that would change EPA’s marching orders for its ongoing study of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources.

Click here and here for more on the bill, which passed by voice vote.

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

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