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Congress

DOD's Environmental Exemptions Fail To Win Senate Panel's Backing

Defense Department (DOD) efforts to win exemptions for the military from a host of environmental requirements appear to have suffered a major setback after a key Senate panel failed to include the exemptions in the defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2006.

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House Democrat Claims Bipartisan Support To Strip LNG Provision

Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) plans to reintroduce an amendment to strike a liquefied natural gas (LNG) provision from a House energy bill, which proponents say is gaining bipartisan support, with at least one prominent Republican, Rep. Christopher Shays (CT), expected to support the proposal in an upcoming floor vote.

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Congress May Revisit Nuclear Waste Law After NAS Suggests New EPA Role

Key lawmakers may push to revisit controversial legislation enacted last year that expands the Energy Department's (DOE) authority to reclassify highly radioactive nuclear waste as less hazardous after a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report said EPA should have additional regulatory oversight of DOE, environmental and congressional sources say.

The study, along with a related study the academy is conducting on nuclear waste management, could also complicate efforts by DOE to win expanded authority to reclassify the waste at other sites, the sources say.

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Senate Budget Vote Unlikely To End Hill Fight Over ANWR Drilling

Supporters and detractors of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) say the Senate's vote to retain language in the budget blueprint that assumes revenue from the project is unlikely to end legislative debate on the issue.

Nevertheless, the vote removes a major hurdle for advocates to see drilling in ANWR become a reality and is a major blow to environmental opponents of the effort.

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House Announces Move To Shift EPA To Interior Funding Panel

The House Appropriations Committee has announced its planned reorganization that would create a new subcommittee with jurisdiction over EPA and the Department of Interior, according to a Feb. 9 announcement from Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA). But it was not clear whether key senators have agreed to the move. The proposal, which trims the total number of subcommittees from 13 to 10, still requires ratification by the full Appropriations Committee, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 15, after which the House and Senate must approve the plan.

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New EPA Correspondence Database May Be Slowing Congressional Inquiries

A new EPA database for managing correspondence may be delaying responses to members of Congress about the agency's budget, policies and other inquiries, according to agency sources who say the system is difficult to access and use.

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Democrats Eye Technology To Overcome 'Gridlock' On Environment Debate

A host of Democrats claim they can overcome Republican opposition to stricter pollution controls by arguing that pollution could be cut and jobs could be created by increasing investment in new environmental technologies, which some EPA officials say need additional funding to address the next generation of environmental problems.

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