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  1. GOP members of Congress look forward to reforming federal policies

    US Senate and House Republicans anticipate working well with President-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration to reverse energy and environmental policies and regulations they believe were imposed unconstitutionally during Barack Obama’s presidency and earlier, four GOP federal lawmakers said on Dec. 8. “The government soon will be under the unified control of the Republican Party, and I for one can’t wait,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Member Mike Lee (Utah) said. “If there’s one word that describes the Obama administration’s approach to energy, it’s been centralization,” Lee said during a day-long conference cosponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation . “For 8 years, he and his foot soldiers have worked to centralize how energy producers run their businesses. The question that needs to be asked is who decides—state or federal regulators, elected officials, or unelected bureaucrats.” Speakers directed much of their ire at the US Environmental Protection Agency, which they said has imposed regulations without going through the required rulemaking process or explaining the underlying science. They also applauded the president-elect’s selection a day earlier of Oklahoma Atty. Gen. E. Scott Pruitt as the next EPA administrator ( OGJ Online, Dec. 7, 2016 ). “It’s a commonsense appointment. With Texas AG Ken Paxton, he fought to try and control those people,” said Rep. Pete Olson (Tex.), who will become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee in the 115th Congress. “I will be excited to have him come before our committee because he’ll say things I’ve been waiting for an EPA administrator to say.” LaMar Smith (Tex.), House Science, Space, and Technology Committee chairman, said, “The American people have every right to be suspicious when EPA uses dubious science to reach conclusions it wants. Americans are tired of the administration’s scare tactics, particularly efforts to link weather events to carbon emissions. They showed this in last month’s elections.” Noting that his committee issued EPA a record 25 subpoenas for information during Obama’s presidency, Smith said the administration showed contempt for Congress as it tried to implement its environmental agenda. “The Clean Power Plan’s heavy-handed regulations and arbitrary emissions limits will do lasting damage to our economy. Regulations should be based on sound science, not science fiction,” he asserted. Make reforms permanent It also will be important not just to reform federal policies, but also make the reforms permanent, speakers emphasized. Science, Space, and Technology Committee member Gary J. Palmer (Ala.) noted that HR 5499 , which he introduced on June 16 as the Agency Accountability Act, would require any federal agency which receives a fee, fine, penalty, or proceeds from a settlement to deposit the money in the general treasury and not spend it without a congressional appropriation. Lee introduced a similar bill, S. 3199 , on July 13. “If an agency is spending money that Congress didn’t appropriate, it’s operating outside the Constitution,” Palmer explained. “We have identified $385 million in fines which have been collected, but we haven’t had a hand in how the money has been used. I think we need to restore constitutional authority. This could be the single most important thing to come out of this next administration. Otherwise, agencies will continue to find ways to bypass Congress and turn us into a bunch of elected bystanders.” Smith and Palmer both said that EPA resisted providing the committee information about the science behind its regulations during the last 8 years. “Having a guy like Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator means we’ll get documents we ask for. But if we pass this Agency Accountability Act, we’ll be able to make them accountable and keep Congress able to work for the people,” Palmer said. “For years, administrations have taken power away from elected representatives and giving it to bureaucrats. For President-elect Trump, this means undoing several Obama administration regulations under the Congressional Review Act. These include the Interior Department’s methane emissions rule, which conflicts with new requirements that Utah has put in place already,” said Lee. “Much of this can be accomplished within the administration’s first 180 days, but it also will require an attitude adjustment within the federal agencies,” Lee told his Heritage Foundation audience. “That’s why I’m so encouraged by Scott Pruitt’s selection to be EPA administrator. As Oklahoma’s AG, he’s been pushed around by Washington regulators. I’m confident he will remind EPA regulators that they need to work more closely with states.” Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com .

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    Thu, 8 Dec 2016

  2. U.S. House stalling Energy Policy Modernization Act as Congressional adjournment approaches

    Efforts to enact the Energy Policy Modernization Act during the waning days of the current Congressional session seem to have been thwarted as the House of Representatives awaits the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.  

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    Thu, 8 Dec 2016

  3. Alaska’s delegation asks Obama not to take a parting OCS policy shot

    Alaska’s three-member congressional delegation—US Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young—reiterated their strong opposition to US President Barack Obama’s possibly withdrawing more of the state’s offshore acreage from future oil and gas leasing under Section 12(a) of the Outer ...

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    Fri, 9 Dec 2016

  4. Nuclear Power: Illinois Gov. Rauner signs bill sparing 2 nuclear plants

    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has approved a plan providing billions of dollars in subsidies to Exelon Corp. to keep two unprofitable nuclear plants from closing prematurely.

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    Thu, 8 Dec 2016

  1. Oil Pipeline: Stay or go? Tribe gives conflicting messages to protest camp

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    Sat, 10 Dec 2016

  2. Cantwell states concern after Canada approves Trans-Mountain line

    US Sen. Maria E. Cantwell (D-Wash.) expressed concern over a possible crude-oil spill in waters between her state and British Columbia after Canada’s federal government approved Kinder Morgan Canada’s proposed pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, BC, near Vancouver.

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    Wed, 7 Dec 2016

  3. Donald Trump to Pick Scott Pruitt to Lead EPA

    Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key figure in the legal battle against President Barak Obama’s climate change policies, including the Clean Power Plan.

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    Wed, 7 Dec 2016

  4. Viewpoint: Trump does away with EPA by appointing Pruitt as EPA administrator

    Hydro Group editor Michael Harris looks at President-elect Donald Trump's appointment of Scott Pruitt to administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and what that could mean for the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

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    Thu, 8 Dec 2016

  5. Energy Industry: Ohio Senate panel rejects Kasich utility panel appointment

    An Ohio Senate panel has rejected the governor's pick for a seat on the state's utility regulatory board.

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    Sat, 3 Dec 2016

  6. 14 States Issue Working Group Report on Carbon Capture

    The new report – “Putting the Puzzle Together:  State & Federal Policy Drivers for Growing America’s Carbon Capture & CO2-EOR Industry” – includes detailed analyses and federal and state recommendations.

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    Mon, 5 Dec 2016

  7. 14 states issue working group report on carbon capture

    The Great Plains Institute staffs and facilitates the work group

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    Mon, 5 Dec 2016

  8. Senate panel splits on cause of renewable fuel quota shortfalls

    A US Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee divided over two reports the Government Accountability Office issued 2 days earlier about the US biofuels industry’s ability to produce enough supplies to meet future Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) quotas and to reach the RFS’s ...

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    Fri, 2 Dec 2016

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