Friday, September 19, 2014

House Republicans Combine All Their Anti-Environment Legislation into One Big Bill. 9 Dems Join Them

Yesterday, while the Senate was busy voting for war, the House took a vote on destroying the environment.

The American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act is basically a rehash of bills that already passed the House and will go nowhere in the Senate. The House Republicans basically threw together all of the anti-environment legislation they've voted for into one bill:
The bill would declare that a presidential permit is not required for TransCanada’s revised proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline — which would allow construction of the pipeline across the U.S.- Canadian border to proceed. Further, it would eliminate the current requirement that proposed oil and natural gas pipelines and electric transmission line projects that cross the U.S. border with Mexico or Canada obtain a Presidential permit and create a new approval process that requires only the cross-border segment of a project to be subject to a National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) review. It would also require the Secretary of State (for oil and gas pipelines) and the Secretary of Energy (for electric transmission lines) to approve a project unless the narrow segment that crosses the border is deemed “not in the public interest of the United States.”
Additionally, the bill would open huge new portions of our coastlines to offshore drilling, and ignore other important uses of public lands, including conservation and recreation. The bill would severely limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act. It would also prohibit the EPA from finalizing regulations estimated to cost more than $1 billion if the Energy Department determines that the regulations will cause significant adverse effects to the economy.  This would effectively prevent EPA from finalizing any regulations and would give the Energy Department a veto over EPA's air and water pollution rules or any other rule interpreted to be "energy-related." The measure could also indefinitely delay EPA energy-related rules because there are no deadlines for EPA to submit its report or for the Energy Department to complete its study.

The bill would also block the Department of the Interior from issuing rules to protect streams from the impact of mountaintop removal coal mining and force states to adopt a Bush Administration rule vacated by the courts – while also prohibiting the federal government from establishing baseline standards for the safe conduct of hydraulic fracturing on public lands.
The House voted for it 226 to 191. The vote was largely on partisan lines, but with 9 Democrats voting for it and 7 Republicans voting against it. 

Here are the 9 Democrats that voted for it:

John Barrow (GA-12)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Bill Enyart (IL-12)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)

Here are the 7 Republicans that voted against it:

Rodney Frelinghysen (NJ-11)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
Jon Runyan (NJ-03)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)

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