Spending priorities for energy, nuclear and agriculture programs and scores of water projects will come into focus this week as fiscal 2017 funding bills work their ways through both the Senate and House. The first test of a Senate bipartisan truce to move ahead with the annual appropriations measures will come this week with planned action on the energy and water spending legislation. It is the first such bill to move to the floor in either chamber this year.
If last year’s landmark Paris climate agreement enters into force this year or early next year, it will likely do so without the help of one of its strongest supporters. That’s because the European Union, which carried the torch for international climate action for two decades before playing a leading role in brokering the agreement last year, is not to be found on the growing list of countries pledging early adoption ahead of next week’s signing ceremony in New York City.
The Senate’s nine-year drought in passing comprehensive energy reform legislation appears poised to end as soon as today. Senate leadership aides say the bipartisan package — S. 2012, which was passed by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last summer — will resurface this afternoon. Last night, senators overwhelmingly voted to end debate on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. They will likely vote on final passage at around noon. The energy bill will return after that, aides said.
he Senate is due to take up the fiscal 2017 energy and water development spending bill tomorrow, after it completes work on separate energy policy legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced yesterday evening that he had a deal with Democrats to call up the spending bill tomorrow without needing a cloture vote. His announcement suggests that a fragile truce among party leaders to move ahead with appropriations bills, provided they follow the overall spending cap set in last year’s budget deal, is holding.
Rhone Resch is leaving his post as president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association after 12 years. The association will name an interim leader and begin a search for its next president after Resch’s departure May 31, it said in a statement.
The wind energy bill sponsored by Omaha Sen. John McCollister overcame a filibuster for the second time to pass on a 34-10 vote, and now awaits the governor’s OK. Many chose to support the change for economic reasons, not because of an environmental agenda. They said the measure eliminates an unnecessary impediment to wind energy developments, allowing Nebraska to become more competitive in the regional power market and potentially reducing energy costs and luring green-minded businesses to the state.
Friday marked the deadline for the roughly 150 parties suing over the regulation to reply to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Obama administration last month submitted its defense of what it called an “eminently reasonable” regulation to cut power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions (
SunEdison, which grew from making chemicals and components for solar modules to become a giant of the renewable energy business, is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a filing with regulators on Friday. The filing signaled the potential end to SunEdison’s ambition to become the world’s leading renewable energy development company. And it comes after the fall of another clean energy company, Abengoa, which is going through proceedings in the United States and Spain as it seeks to avoid becoming that country’s largest corporate failure.
Idaho leaders and other critics say BLM’s proposal sacrifices greater sage grouse habitat and private property to avoid crossing the sanctuary — and ignores the recommendation of the agency’s own advisory council. BLM’s plan could delay the line for years or even doom the final two segments of the nearly-1,000-mile-long Gateway West Transmission Line Project, they warn.
Senate appropriators jump-started work on the annual spending bills Thursday by agreeing to hold off on adding controversial amendments in committee. But that bipartisan truce may only last until the first measure hits the floor this week.