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Congress

House Panel Drops Plan To Preempt EPA Power To Regulate Vehicle GHGs

Leaders of the House Energy & Commerce Committee have dropped, for now, a controversial plan to preempt EPA regulatory authority over motor vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other controversial items, clearing a path for the panel to mark up a slimmed-down energy bill.

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Senate Weighs Options For Mandatory EPA Greenhouse Gas Registry

Senators are weighing a slew of legislative options that would require EPA to develop a mandatory, economy-wide registry for companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions, proposals that could set up a clash with the Department of Energy's (DOE) existing voluntary registry.

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Bill Seeks Sewer Overflow Monitoring To Bolster Infrastructure Funds

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers, together with environmentalists, is pushing legislation to require wastewater treatment plants to quickly notify the public when there is a sewer overflow that could contaminate recreational waters, which proponents say could help long-term efforts to increase water infrastructure funds.

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Appropriators Seek To Terminate EPA IG's Oversight Of Chemical Board

House appropriators are pushing to end the EPA Inspector General's (IG) oversight role of the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), but the move is sparking a push back from EPA and activists who say that there are no other existing alternatives to provide sufficient oversight of the panel.

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Bush Order May Give New Boost In Push To Limit Vehicle GHG Emissions

President Bush's recent executive order coordinating EPA and other agencies' activities to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could provide proponents of strict regulations new ammunition in their efforts to limit GHG emissions from vehicles.

States and environmentalists are citing the order to challenge auto industry arguments in litigation aimed at preventing Vermont from implementing a GHG vehicle rule first adopted by California.

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Revised Senate Bill Could Prompt House Clash Over EPA's Vehicle GHG Rules

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has added language to his energy legislation, which is scheduled for floor debate May 12, that preserves EPA and states' authority to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from motor vehicles, language that could prompt a clash with House lawmakers considering proposals to narrow the authority.

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Boucher Offers To Give EPA New GHG Authority To Offset Fuels Concern

Rep. Rick Boucher, chairman of a key House air quality subcommittee, is defending his panel's draft legislation that limits EPA's role in regulating motor vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in part by offering assurances to panel Democrats that EPA could receive additional authority over GHG vehicle emissions in subsequent legislation later this year.

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House Geothermal Bill Would Expand EPA Role On Environmental Impacts

A House panel has approved a bill that would expand EPA's role in assessing the environmental impacts of geothermal energy production --- including the potential for drinking water contamination --- as part of an initiative to fund expanded research into the renewable energy source.

Geothermal energy is produced when water heated by the Earth's hot core is tapped to produce electricity without any greenhouse gases or other emissions, but the energy source could have other environmental impacts.

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Appropriators Cite High Court To Require Quick EPA Action On CO2 Rules

Citing a recent Supreme Court decision on climate change, the House Appropriations Committee is moving ahead with developing federal greenhouse gas (GHG) controls, by approving an EPA spending plan that includes language requiring the agency to devise regulations for global warming emissions from a slew of industries, including the transportation and utility sectors. The spending legislation also urges EPA to decide soon on whether to allow California to regulate GHGs from automobiles.

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Boucher's Draft Fuel Bill Draws Early Democratic Criticisms

Rep. Rick Boucher's (D-VA) draft legislation requiring EPA to regulate greenhouse gas levels in transportation fuels is drawing early criticism from Democrats and environmentalists, who charge it would undermine state efforts to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and "nullify" the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on the issue.

"If we aren't careful we could end up making our situation worse, not better," Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming, warned in a June 4 statement on the draft bill.

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