Energy & Environment

Week ahead: Senate panel to take up bill blocking EPA water rule

Senate Republicans will begin moving legislation to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rewrite a rule asserting regulatory power over small waterways.

The Environment and Public Works Committee will mark up Sen. John Barrasso’s (R-Wyo.) proposal on Wednesday.

The bill would withdraw the EPA’s waters of the United States rule and give the agency directions on how to rewrite it, with the goal of limiting the waterways the EPA can regulate.

{mosads}The committee held a hearing on the water rule in May, one week before EPA released its final version. Republicans have called the rule a “power grab,” warning that it expands the EPA’s regulatory jurisdiction to include small ponds and minor waterways.

Barrasso’s bill has more than two-dozen Republican co-sponsors, and three red-state Democrats have signed on as well. It’s the first bill on countering the water rule that the committee is marking up. The full House passed a bill repealing the rule in May.

The water rule isn’t the only item on the Environment and Public Works Committee’s agenda.

On Thursday, the committee will hear from three nominees for EPA assistant administrator positions. Ann Dunkin, Thomas Burke and Jane Nishida are scheduled to testify.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee will hold a hearing on a slate of energy accountability and reform bills on Tuesday.

Lynn Orr, the Energy Department’s undersecretary for science and energy, is scheduled to testify. Senators are writing a comprehensive energy overhaul bill.

The Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks will consider 10 bills on Wednesday. Among them is a bill from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to rename Mount McKinley as Mount Denali.

Over in the House, the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry will hold a hearing on the conservation programs included in the 2014 Farm Bill on Thursday.

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on the EPA’s proposed ozone rule.

Off Capitol Hill, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) will discuss a carbon emissions tax at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur will speak at the Energy Efficiency Forum at the National Press Club on Thursday.

The Heartland Institute’s seventh International Conference on Climate Change is on Thursday and Friday. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) are scheduled to speak.


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Tags Cory Gardner James Inhofe John Barrasso Lisa Murkowski Sheldon Whitehouse

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