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 BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaFormer Trump officials eye bids for political office 10 bellwether counties that could signal where the election is headed Bottom Line 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.


What’s the right approach to make aviation greener? More alternative fuels? New emissions standards? Hear case studies from the FAA, U.S. Navy, environmental experts, and industry leaders at The Hill's Sept. 16 Aviation Policy Summit, sponsored by Airlines for America. Register here.


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. 


"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 JewellSarah (Sally) Margaret JewellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA declines to tighten key air pollution standards | Despite risks to polar bears, Trump pushes ahead with oil exploration in Arctic | Biden to champion climate action in 2021 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA proposes reapproving uses of pesticide linked to brain damage in children | Hispanic caucus unhappy with transition team treatment of Lujan Grisham | Schwarzenegger backs Nichols to lead EPA 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 HastingsRichard (Doc) Norman 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.



GOP bashes the EPA climate rule ... The chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee for House Energy and Commerce, Rep. Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldBottom Line Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? 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. 



Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizLobbying from the center Granholm: Biden wants to take advantage of 'economic opportunity' in fighting climate change Biden to select Granholm as Energy secretary: reports 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.



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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