Republicans in the House of Representatives approved dozens of amendments to a spending bill over the weekend, stripping funding for critical environmental protections and climate change initiatives at the federal level.
The marathon session of voting stretched through the night Friday and into Saturday morning. As expected, the Republican-controlled House voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. The tally was 249-177.
In addition to the amendments noted here on SB.com over the last few days, others have come to light.
13 Democrats joined with Republicans in voting to eliminate the
salary of the country's envoy to international climate negotiations.
U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern is just one of the
positions singled out in the amendment, which also cuts funding for
Obama's climate advisor position, formerly held by Carol Browner.
Democrats supporting the bill include Dan Boren (Okla.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Jerry Costello (Ill.), Henry Cuellar (Tex.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Gene Green (TX), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Jim Matheson (UT), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Ed Pastor (Ariz.), Heath Shuler (N.C.), Nick Rahall II (W.Va.) and Mike Ross (Ark.).
The House also voted 261-168 to block infrastructure subsidies for the ethanol industry. In recent months, the industry itself has called for a shift from incentivizing the production of ethanol to subsidizing the installation of blender pumps at gas stations across the country. Currently, the number of pumps is not sufficient to disperse the levels of ethanol mandated by Congress in the coming years.
In the Senate...
While Republicans in the House are moving one way on the environment and clean energy, Democrats in the Senate are heading the other.
They have rolled out a plan to "win the future" of clean energy development, picking up on the president's new motto.
The plan includes extending tax credits for clean energy manufacturing and increasing financing for low-carbon energy projects through a Clean Energy Deployment Administration, or "green bank."
The green bank is an idea that has been kicked around for several years now, and its purpose would be to offer a variety of financing tools and guidance to assist the development of clean energy projects.
Compromise in the Works
Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) unveiled a compromise bill at the end of last week that would improve energy efficiency standards for consumer products like furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dryers, and dishwashers
Read New York Times coverage at the link below.