OVERNIGHT REGULATION: EPA moves on airplane emissions

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington, and here's your midweek peek at what's going on in the regulatory world.



The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving to regulate pollution from airplanes, which remain the largest source of unregulated greenhouse gases.

"Today, we are proposing to find that greenhouse gas emissions from engines used primarily on commercial aircraft contribute to the pollution that causes climate change, setting the stage to potentially limit greenhouse gas emissions in future standards," an EPA spokesperson said Wednesday.


Airplanes account for 11 percent of the transportation sector's carbon emissions, while 29 percent of the world's airplane carbon emissions comes from the United States.


The Hill's Timothy Cama has the story:

"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed 'endangerment finding' Wednesday, which would formally conclude that carbon dioxide and any other greenhouse gases from commercial airplanes contribute to climate change and harm the public health and welfare.

"While the Obama administration is kicking off the process, any regulation resulting from it would not be made final until 2018 -- long after President Obama is out of office.

"The move is a major win for environmentalists; aircraft are the largest source of greenhouse gases that the EPA is not either regulating or planning to regulate.

"The EPA's action mirrors similar endangerment findings it made starting in 2009 regarding greenhouse gases from cars, trucks and power plants." Click here for the full story http://bit.ly/1e3z6TD



The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to discuss whistleblower retaliation at federal agencies. http://1.usa.gov/1HX2YYR

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee's Space Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss how to transform America's air travel. http://1.usa.gov/1KjypSj

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the future of housing in America and oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. http://1.usa.gov/1BZoDgW

The House Financial Services Committee will also meet to examine legislative proposals to preserve consumer choice and financial independence. http://1.usa.gov/1L1ZzOT

The House Small Business Committee's Agriculture, Energy and Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss the current challenges small citrus operations face. http://1.usa.gov/1IGAw3f

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine fraud, waste and abuse at the Export-Import Bank. http://1.usa.gov/1IvPx4Y



The Obama administration will publish 137 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to watch for:

--The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will propose new hunting and fishing regulations.

The new rules would increase the number of hunting and fishing activities available at more than a dozen national wildlife refuges around the country, the agency says.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1GzjCD7

--The Department of Energy (DOE) will recommend states move forward with new energy efficiency rules from the International Energy Conservation Code.

The Energy Department is issuing a determination that the international code's latest standards for 2015 would save slightly more energy than those issued in 2012.

States will be encouraged to adopt the new energy efficiency rules for certain buildings.

States have two years to respond. http://bit.ly/1Qptu7d

--The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will issue new drug-free workplace requirements.

The new drug-free workplace requirements for financial assistance stem from guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and are an attempt to streamline and consolidate similar rules among federal agencies.

The rule goes into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1GzjyDu

--The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will look into safety standards for portable bed rails.

The agency is extending an information collection request for portable bed rails.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1IvP9mV



Food flavors: Health groups are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban eight synthetic flavors in food that are known carcinogens. http://bit.ly/1dxktHm

Regulations: Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah) wants to eliminate the nation's most burdensome regulations. http://bit.ly/1B2TEFT

Greenhouse gases: The Obama administration wants to declare that greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes are harmful, which would set up regulations to limit the pollution. http://bit.ly/1e3z6TD

Waters: Lawmakers sparred Wednesday over the Environmental Protection Agency's "waters of the United States" rule, with Republicans blasting the proposal as overreach and their Democratic counterparts accusing them of hyperbole. http://bit.ly/1KquZx2

Train controls: The Obama administration warned lawmakers on Wednesday that most of the nation's railways will fail to meet a deadline for implementing an automated train control system that investigators have said would have prevented last month's deadly Amtrak crash. http://bit.ly/1I29U6Y

Abortion clinics: If the federal court of appeals ruling that upheld a Texas abortion law stands, abortion providers say another dozen clinics could close in the next few weeks, NPR reports. http://n.pr/1JK4CS5

Chicken recall: A Louisiana company is recalling some stuffed chickens sold nationwide because the label didn't include wheat, a protein allergen, the AP reports. http://bit.ly/1KqDYhP

Salt content: New York City's Health Department wants all chain restaurants to warn customers about products that are high in salt, the AP reports. http://bit.ly/1KUnYTh



$1.86 trillion: The total burden imposed on the economy by federal regulations.

$15,000: The total burden imposed on each household for federal regulations.

(Source: GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) who will introduce legislation to eliminate costly regulations.)



"Whether we're talking about environmental, consumer or financial regulations, today's Republican Party, unlike previous Republican parties, seems determined to roll back important public protections and often on very misleading terms," Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee MORE (D-R.I.) said Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on regulatory overreach.


We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and@wheelerlydia.

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