Week ahead: House takes up coal ash bill

A Republican bill to alter a major Obama administration environmental rule is due to hit the floor.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday the House will consider a bill Republicans say would provide more regulatory certainty to power plants on national standards for coal ash disposal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the new rules in December.

The bill, from Rep. David McKinleyDavid Bennett McKinleyDivisions emerge over House drug price bills Key Republican says Dems left him out of process on drug pricing bills Representing patients’ voices MORE (R-W.Va.), would have states set up their own systems for permitting coal ash sites and block several requirements in the EPA’s rule. The bill attracted some Democratic support when it passed out of committee in March, and two senators proposed a similar bill on Friday.

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“If we do not act, the EPA will replace the existing successful state-based regulatory program with harmful new regulations that will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and result in billions of dollars in burdensome costs for job creators,” McCarthy said on Thursday.

The full House was originally scheduled to take up McKinley’s bill last month.

Elsewhere, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the “social cost” of carbon, a metric officials use to determine which carbon regulations to pursue. The Obama administration decided to lower the cost earlier this month.

A Natural Resources subcommittee will hold a hearing  Thursday to consider three conservation and species preservation bills.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on steps Mexico has taken to reform its energy sector. Carlos Pascual, a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, will testify.

In the Senate, members of the Commerce, Science and Technology Committee will hear testimony Wednesday from Marie Therese Dominguez, a nominee to be administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on threats from solar storms and electromagnetic pulses to the nation’s electric grid. Joseph McClelland, the director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Infrastructure Security, will testify. 

 

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