Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy — Presented by the American Forest & Paper Association — House votes to extend flood insurance funding | Lawmakers unveil bill to end park maintenance backlog

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HOUSE VOTES TO EXTEND FLOOD INSURANCE FUNDING: The House on Wednesday passed legislation to extend flood insurance funding through the end of November.

Lawmakers voted 366-52 to pass the measure a day before House members are set to fly home for the August recess. The measure extends funding that was set to expire on July 31.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where leadership has expressed confidence that it will be passed.

“Now that the House has passed the extension, the Senate will pass it before our next State Work Period to ensure that the program does not expire. Senators will continue their work over the next four months on a long-term reauthorization that reforms the program,” said David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The bill received pushback from a handful of House Republicans who advocated for leadership to take up another short-term reauthorization bill that contained eight reforms.

“I’ve got a fiduciary duty to members and members of my conference, but I oppose the bill. It’s going to be the seventh time we have done a short-term reauthorization with zero reforms since the House acted,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told The Hill on Tuesday.

“So I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I’m unhappy because, you know, never underestimate the ability of the Senate to do nothing. So I mean the Senate is going to do what they’re going to do. I’ve made it clear to them I don’t support a reauthorization without some minimal reforms.”

Read more here.


Happy Wednesday! Welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill’s roundup of the latest energy and environment news.

Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com, and Miranda Green, mgreen@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama, @mirandacgreen, @thehill.



LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO FIX PARKS MAINTENANCE BACKLOG: The chairman and ranking member of the House committee that oversees the Interior Department teamed up on Wednesday to introduce a bill that aims to fix a multibillion-dollar national parks maintenance backlog.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act to address the roughly $12 billion dollars in maintenance needed at national parks across the U.S., including road and visitor center construction needs.

The House bill, largely seen as a companion to a bipartisan Senate bill introduced in June, would fund the needed construction projects by earmarking revenue made from energy production on public lands, including income from onshore and offshore oil and gas leases.

The House bill goes a step further than the Senate proposal, looking to spread funding not just to address backlogs in the National Park Service (NPS), but also at the Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management — a move that will likely be embraced by hunting and fishing groups who utilize those public lands.

“There is an equal problem with a same situation with a backlog. And all of those different elements once again, help people be able to access those areas. And if you can’t access them there is little value to us,” Bishop said of the expansion.

Under the House bill, 80 percent of the funding would go toward backlogs at the National Park Service and the remaining 20 percent would hit the other bureaus.

Read more here.



A group of companies in oil, natural gas, chemical manufacturing, utilities and others is praising a Republican lawmaker’s legislation to impose a carbon tax.

Companies including BP America, Shell, PG&E Corp., Dow Chemical Co., DuPont, Equinor US, National Grid and General Motors signed onto a letter Wednesday to Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) that stopped short of endorsing the bill, but called it a welcome development toward meaningful climate change legislation.

Curbelo’s bill, the Modernizing America with Rebuilding to Kick-start the Economy of the Twenty-first Century with a Historic Infrastructure-Centered Expansion Act, or Market Choice Act, would repeal fuel taxes and replace them with a $24 per metric ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) has also signed onto it.

“We welcome your demonstrated commitment to finding common ground on federal policies that can mitigate the effects of climate change,” the companies said, adding that the bill “represents an opportunity for both parties to engage in substantive dialogue on the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, and to craft legislative solutions that benefit citizens in many different areas of the United States.”

Read more.



AF&PA members improved their energy efficiency, leading them to purchase 11.6% less energy per ton of production in 2016 than in 2005—achieving their energy efficiency sustainability goal! Click here to learn more.



Park officials are closing parts of Yosemite National Park due to a nearby wildfire, NPR reports.

Researchers say Australian habitat for the endangered swift parrot is being destroyed, and they’re blaming government failures to act, the Guardian reports.

Russia is implementing the biggest overhaul in nearly two decades to its tax rules for oil producers, Bloomberg reports.



Check out Wednesday’s stories …

-Thousands of scientists endorse scientific study on border wall’s threat to wildlife

-House passes clean authorization to extend flood insurance funding

-Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to end national parks maintenance backlog

-Puerto Rico governor skips House hearing on island’s electric utility

-San Francisco board passes plastic straw ban

-Trump officials eye new attack on car rules

-Energy companies praise GOP lawmaker’s carbon tax bill

Tags Brian Fitzpatrick Carlos Curbelo EPA Flood Interior Jeb Hensarling legislation Mitch McConnell Parks Rob Bishop
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