OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House votes to kill EPA water rule

A WET BLANKET: The House voted late Tuesday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing its proposal to clarify which waterways its jurisdiction covers.

The vote was nearly along party lines, though some vulnerable Democrats up for reelection joined Republicans supporting it.

Rep. Lou BarlettaLou BarlettaRepublicans rush to help shape Trump’s infrastructure plan Overnight Finance: GOP makes case to fire consumer bureau chief | Republicans rush to shape infrastructure plan | Tax-writers urge Trump to fire IRS chief Trump transition members urge Rice to testify MORE (R-Pa.) said constituents told him the rule would force them to prove puddles and ditches are not subject to federal regulation.

“I support this bill because sometimes, a mud puddle is just a mud puddle,” he said on the House floor.

Democrats said the GOP was wrong, and the rule would not significantly expand the EPA’s authority.

Read more here.

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TEE OFF: The Golf industry joined the debate surrounding the EPA waters rule on Tuesday, claiming it would hurt golf courses across the U.S. 

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"We support the Clean Water Act and can see that there is a need to clarify some of the jurisdictional questions, but this proposed regulation goes too far," said Mark Johnson of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

The association and a handful of other golf industry groups joined a Waters Advocacy Coalition on Tuesday in the fight against the rule. 

 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on what it sees as a lack of transparency in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) response to committee subpoenas surrounding its enforcement of wildlife laws. 

The hearing, featuring FWS Director Dan Ashe and Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins, is being billed as a follow-up to a March hearing on the same subject. Interior Secretary Sally JewellSally JewellOvernight Regulation: Trump administration lifts Obama freeze on federal coal mining Trump administration ends Obama's coal-leasing freeze Interior secretary reopens federal coal mining MORE criticized the committee’s expansive requests for information and documents Tuesday, saying that complying with the requests has cost at least $2 million in less than two years.

 

Rest of Wednesday’s agenda...

The House Agriculture Committee will host a hearing Wednesday on the U.S. Forest Service’s groundwater directive. Republicans have criticized the proposed directive as a way for the federal government to assert authority over water under Forest Service land that should be under the states’ jurisdiction. Forest Services Chief Thomas Tidwell will testify, along with witnesses from Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. 

The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on a bill sponsored by Chairman Doc HastingsDoc HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE (R-Wash.) to loosen permitting requirements for surface water storage projects for the Bureau of Reclamation.

The Atlantic Council will host an exhibition on climate change in the Arctic. Archaeologist in the Arctic for the Smithsonian Noel Broadbent will participate with research geologist John Farrell of the U.S. Geologic Survey.

The Brookings Institution will host a conversation on how to make the management of U.S. fisheries more efficient.

 

NEWS BITES:

GOP bashes the EPA climate rule ... The chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee for House Energy and Commerce, Rep. Ed WhitfieldEd WhitfieldWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? Overnight Energy: Green group sues Exxon over climate science MORE (R-Ky.) said he doesn't see why the U.S. should lead on climate change, which he claims will only kill crucial coal jobs.

"Why should America be pushed out further than any other country in the world," Whitfield said Tuesday during a hearing on the EPA's carbon pollution rule with state regulators.

Electricity generation ... Natural gas power plants represented the largest chunk of the 3,450 megawatts of new utility-scale plants in the United States built in the first six months of the year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Tuesday.

Compared with last year’s same time period, wind and solar saw the largest increases in the rate of new capacity being built. 

 

AROUND THE WEB:

Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest MonizOvernight Energy: Trump signs climate order | Greens vow to fight back What we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Overnight Energy: Rough hearing for Tillerson MORE will visit Ottawa, Canada, next month, in the first official visit to Canada by a head of the Department of Energy since President Obama took office in 2009, the Globe and Mail reports.

Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft is cutting back staff and production levels as western energy sanctions hurt the firm, Reuters reports.

Much of the growth of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is due to the about $1 million to $3 million it earns daily from smuggling oil, NPR reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Check out Tuesday's stories ...

House passes bill to halt EPA water rule
Former Obama aide backs crude oil exports
Interior secretary: GOP requests cost millions
Greens sue feds for Keystone docs
US 'finalizing' new sanctions against Russia
Natural gas industry launches threat communication system
Senators air nuclear grievances at NRC confirmation hearing
Golf industry tees off on Obama's EPA
UN: Greenhouse gases hit record high in 2013
Players to watch: Energy
Feds move to prevent runaway oil trains
Poll: Voters skeptical of feds' energy agenda
Audubon: Climate change threatens hundreds of bird species

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