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Congress

Budget Proposal Heightens Tensions Over Water Infrastructure Bill

EPA's just-released fiscal year 2008 budget proposal is seeking to bolster private investment in clean water infrastructure, a development that is likely to heighten tensions with House lawmakers, who appear likely to approve legislation later this week to increase federal investment in the agency's clean water state revolving fund (SRF).

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Bush Seeks To Cut Core EPA Programs By Millions In FY08 Request

President Bush is seeking to slash millions of dollars from core EPA programs while freezing state and local grant funding in his fiscal year 2008 budget request released Feb. 5, continuing his trend of cutting EPA's overall budget each year.

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Key Senator Sees House Taking Early Lead In Hill Climate Change Debate

Senate energy committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) says the House is likely to move faster on climate change legislation than the Senate, signaling a shift in the process that many congressional and other sources had previously believed would start in the upper chamber.

"The House looks like they are on a pretty fast track," Bingaman told reporters Jan. 30 in response to a question about whether the Senate or House will move first on climate legislation.

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U.S. Noncommittal On Mercury Strategy Ahead Of Key Treaty Talks

The State Department is emphasizing its continued support of voluntary partnerships to curb global mercury pollution rather than a binding treaty, while leaving the door open to consider more stringent options, according to a letter the department sent to two senators this week that previews the U.S. position ahead of a highly anticipated United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) meeting on the issue.

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Dingell Proceeds With Climate Agenda Amid House Panel Uncertainty

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) is proceeding with efforts to position his committee as a central player in the debate over climate change emissions, even as Dingell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are still at odds over her plan to create a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate Change --- which Dingell has criticized as superfluous.

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Lawmakers Eye Quick Passage Of Meth Lab Cleanup Standards Bill

Congressional lawmakers are eyeing quick passage of a bill that would require EPA to develop cleanup guidelines that states could adopt to address often-remote methamphetamine labs that can explode and contaminate nearby land and water.

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Clinton Vows To Push For Broader Testing Of Lower Manhattan

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), the chair of the Senate Superfund and environmental health subcommittee and a 2008 presidential candidate, is vowing to press for a more expansive program to test for contamination stemming from the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers in 2001.

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Pelosi Climate Panel Aims To Pressure Senate, Boost Democrats In 2008

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) plan to create a select committee on global warming appears in part to be an attempt to put pressure on the Senate to speed its development of climate legislation, while at the same time keeping the issue alive for Democratic candidates in the 2008 elections, sources say.

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State Of The Union Energy Proposals Prompt Democratic, Activist Criticism

Democrats and environmentalists are strongly criticizing air quality and energy proposals announced in President Bush's State of the Union address as falling short of what is needed to address climate change and increase alternative energy use -- suggesting these proposals will meet a tepid reception in the Democratic Congress.

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Bush Focus On 'Alternative Fuels' Spurs Fears Of CO2 Emissions Boost

President Bush's State of the Union focus on developing "alternative fuels" -- rather than "renewable fuels" -- as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil as well as help address climate change is prompting concern from Democrats and activists that the administration will encourage controversial coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuel projects that they warn would lead to a significant increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and actually worsen global warming.

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