Overnight Energy: House approves chemical reform deal

CHEMICAL SAFETY REFORM PASSES HOUSE: The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to pass a sweeping bipartisan compromise chemical reform measure after years of legislative work, negotiations and wrangling.

The 403-12 puts the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act in the Senate's hands. It will likely breeze through the upper chamber, and President Obama supports it.


"This is sweeping legislation, Mr. Speaker, with monumental benefits for virtually every man, woman and child in the United States," Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), the bill's lead sponsor in the House said on the House floor.

"There is a widespread acknowledgement and understanding that nobody is well-served by the current law," Shimkus added.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the top Democrat in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the bill is far from perfect, but a significant improvement over the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.

"Reforming this law is about preventing injuries and saving lives," Pallone said. "It is about protecting vulnerable populations -- infants, children, workers, the elderly, and communities that are disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals. It is about getting dangerous chemicals like lead, mercury and asbestos out of consumer products, out of commerce, and out of the environment."

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the subcommittee of authority, was not swayed by the negotiations, and said he opposes the bill.

"In some ways, this bill will improve current law," he said. "But for every positive step to protect public health and the environment, there are numerous steps back that undermine those goals."

Read more here.

HOUSE LOOKS TO BLOCK EPA RULES: Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released their 2017 Interior environment spending bill, looking to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and block several Obama environmental rules.

The bill would cut $64 million in spending from current levels and offers $1 billion less than what President Obama requested in his budget.

Republicans are looking to cut the EPA's budget by $164 million, a smaller cut than they've pursued in the past.

But the committee is targeting the agency's regulatory agenda, saying it's seeking a 6 percent funding cut. A host of Obama environmental rules, including those setting carbon limits on power plants, regulating methane emissions and defining bodies of water under the agency's purview would also be blocked.

The committee has looked to cut funding further in years passed, including a proposed $718 million cut last year. But a December spending deal kept funding for the agency flat.

The Interior and Environment appropriations subcommittee will mark up the bill on Wednesday. Lawmakers have not passed the appropriations bill through the House for several years. It hit the House floor last year but faltered amid a debate over the display of the Confederate flag at national cemeteries.

Read more here.  

SHELL REPAIRS LEAKING CALIF. PIPELINE: Shell has reportedly repaired a pipeline that spilled up to 21,000 gallons of oil in California.

A company spokesman told the Associated Press on Tuesday the leak has been repaired, and that the company is running some oil through the pipeline to test it.

The company's pipeline sprung a leak on Friday, and local officials say it spilled oil along a 250-by-40-foot area, according to the AP.

The spill happened in the city of Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles outside of San Francisco.

TOMORROW IN THE HILL: Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE travels to North Dakota this week to continue his courtship of the energy industry.

A key constituency for Republicans, Trump is looking to lock down energy-state support now and use a mostly mainstream conservative platform to attract voters in the general election.

But so far, he's offered just a few hard energy positions, and those have been plagued with some of the inconsistency found elsewhere in his policy platform.

Trump's Thursday speech could change that. Read how tomorrow in The Hill.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: The House continues amendment debate on the 2017 energy and water spending bill.

The $37.4 billion package contains a host of environmental policy riders likely to turn off many Democrats, who will look to amend the legislation.

Follow the bill's progress at TheHill.com.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: A House Appropriations subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Republicans' 2017 Interior and EPA spending bill.

Rest of Wednesday's agenda...

The Senate could begin considering the chemical reform bill as early as Tuesday night.

The House Transportation Committee will mark up its version of the Water Resources Development Act.  

Rick Knabb, the director of the National Hurricane Center, will testify at a Senate hearing on hurricane forecasting.

Industry experts will speak at a House Natural Resources Committee panel's hearing on mine safety.


Democrats and green energy advocates are celebrating Kinder Morgan's decision not to build a gas pipeline in New England, the Berkshire Eagle reports.

Parents in Portland, Ore., have voted to no longer use textbooks that question climate change science, The Guardian reports.

A suspect has been arrested in the death of Massey Energy and Arch Coal executive Bennett "Ben" Hatfield, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports.


Check out Tuesday's stories...

-House passes chemical safety overhaul
-House votes to loosen EPA pesticide rules to fight Zika
-GOP senator: Obama used Zika money for climate fund
-GOP looks to cut EPA funding, block Obama environment rules
-Report: Trump planning sea wall at golf course due to climate change
-How Congress got to yes on toxic chemical reform

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