The Hill- Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have turned their focus to the Obama administration’s environmental agenda. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) issued subpoenas to two Obama administration agencies this month, demanding information about the president’s delayed Keystone XL pipeline decision and deliberations leading to the release of a sweeping new water rule.The subpoenas come after Chaffetz vowed in February, shortly after taking the gavel of the investigative panel, to probe management problems and the pace of rule-making at the Environmental Protection Agency. The subpoenas suggest Chaffetz’s focus has broadened to include the State Department and the White House itself.
The Hill- The United States' status as a global leader in preventing overfishing and in rebuilding depleted populations of ocean fish is in jeopardy from an unexpected source: the U.S. House of Representatives.Last month, the House passed H.R. 1335 to reauthorize and amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary law that governs management of U.S. ocean fish. The law was originally enacted in 1976 and was most recently reauthorized in 1996 and 2006, passing with overwhelming bipartisan support following reasonable compromises made in the long–term interests of U.S. fishermen and the health of fish populations.
The Hill- More than eight in 10 hunters and anglers surveyed support one of the Obama administration’s most controversial environmental rules, according to a new poll released Wednesday. The poll commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation found that 82 percent of hunters and anglers support the Environmental Protection Agency’s "Waters of the United States" rule, which gives the agency the authority to protect wetlands, headwaters and small water bodies from pollution under the Clean Water Act.
The Hill- The Senate highway bill unveiled Tuesday assumes that crude oil prices will rise by nearly 90 percent in the next 10 years in order to raise money for infrastructure.The bill, introduced Tuesday afternoon, proposes selling oil from the federal government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It’s the result of a deal hashed out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).Lawmakers project that selling 101 million barrels from the 693-million-barrel stockpile would raise $9 billion if the federal government sells the oil between 2018 and 2025. In the bill, the price of crude oil is estimated to average $89.10 per barrel. But crude oil prices settled at $50.68 at the end of the trading day Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, far below what would be needed to hit the $9 billion mark.
The Hill- A group of Democratic senators is pushing to renew a conservation program and a funding stream for communities with federal land. The Democrats, led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), wrote a letter to the ranking members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week suggesting the panel tie together the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the federal land funding program and pass them together before the LWCF expires at the end of September. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund is in urgent need of a legislative solution that renews the program in its current form and reverses the annual diversion of the program’s authorized funding from its intended conservation purposes,” the senators wrote.
The Hill- The Obama administration’s new rule granting it regulatory power over certain bodies of water earned two new legal challenges on Wednesday, this time from green groups and conservationists.The Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity are among the groups that announced lawsuits against the "Waters of the United States" rule, arguing it gives away too much to industry groups that looked to minimize the rule’s reach.The Center for Biological Diversity’s lawsuit centers around a rule provision that protects small water bodies if they are within 4,000 feet of a stream or river. Water beyond that limit is not protected, and the group argued that could put some endangered species at risk.