Of the 403 amendments offered on the House budget measure, the 2011 Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1), many are focused on climate change, energy policy, and environmental protection. Republican amendments, if fully enacted, would eliminate the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Special Envoy for Climate Change, the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the NOAA Climate Service, and would block rules for cement plant pollution, coal ash, industrial boiler pollution, water quality, climate change, climate change adaptation, energy-efficient lighting, mountaintop removal, atrazine, and water conservation.
The following list was compiled by E&E News and by Hill Heat.
Administration environment programs
- Amendment No. 202 from Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) to defund the White House Council on Environmental Quality, which advises the president on environmental issues.
- Amendment No. 203 from Labrador to stop the administration from using its funding to designate new monuments under the Antiquities Act. The administration downplayed that authority last summer after Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee released a leaked Interior Department memo listing 14 possible sites for future monuments.
- Amendment No. 344 from Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) to stop the federal government from reimbursing attorneys’ fees that were incurred while seeking enforcement of the National Environmental Policy Act.
- Amendment No. 204 from Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) to stop the White House from using its funds to pay for an assistant to the president for energy and climate change, a special envoy for climate change or a special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation. The first of those posts is held by departing climate czar Carol Browner.
- Amendment No. 257 from Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), also to stop the White House from paying for an assistant to the president for energy and climate change, the position held by Carol Browner.
- Amendment No. 165 from Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) to stop EPA from using its funding to implement new air pollution rules for cement kilns. Carter has recently drawn fire from environmentalists for introducing a resolution to block the standards, which would set limits on mercury and other types of toxic air pollution.
- Amendment No. 201 from Labrador to stop EPA from issuing or enforcing final standards for air pollution from industrial boilers. EPA sought an extension after industry groups and many lawmakers in Congress slammed the rule that was proposed last summer, but a court ordered the agency to issue a final rule by Feb. 21. The agency sent its draft to the White House for review last month, saying it would open up a reconsideration proceeding after issuing a final rule.
- Amendments No. 65 and 66 from Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) to allow EPA to limit greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if it is deemed “necessary to protect the public health or prevent severe environmental degradation.”
- Amendment No. 198 from Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) to stop EPA from creating a cap-and-trade program or enforcing any other regulations for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Poe introduced a similar bill last month, as well as during the previous Congress.
- Amendment No. 348 from Pearce to stop Interior from putting funding toward climate change adaptation.
- Amendment No. 29 from Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to reduce funding for the International Fund for Agricultural Development by $2.599 million. Also reduces funding for Contributions to International Organizations account by $44 million, Global Environmental Facility by $4.6 million, International Development Association by $136 million, Enterprise for American Multilateral Investment by $2.9 million, and African Development Fund by $19.5 million.
- Amendment No. 149 from Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-Mo.) to prohibit funding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- Amendment No. 378 from Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas) to prohibit the establishment of the NOAA Climate Service (NCS).
- Amendment No. 94 from Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) to stop EPA from using its funding to implement its decision to allow the ethanol content of gasoline to be increased from 10 percent to 15 percent. EPA issued a rule in October that said E-15 could be used in vehicles made after 2007, and in January, the agency followed up with another rule allowing cars made between 2001 and 2006 to use the fuel.
- Amendment No. 241 from Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) to stop the Department of Energy from using its funding for the Oil and Gas Research and Development Program.
- Amendment No. 181 from Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to bar the use of federal funds to implement the section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that phases out incandescent light bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient alternatives. Republicans have gone after the provision, citing it as an example of an overreaching federal government.
- Amendment No. 251 from Scalise to stop Interior from using any funding to delay the approval of a plan or permit for energy exploration on the outer continental shelf. The agency has been rebuked twice by a federal court for slowing new oil and gas drilling as part of its response to last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Amendments No. 300 through 320 from Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) to make a variety of changes to the appropriations given to DOE for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, including eliminating solar energy, water power, building technologies, vehicle technologies, fuel cells, geothermal energy, and biomass technologies.
- Amendment No. 329 from Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) to bar additional funding for the operations and maintenance of the Southeastern Power Administration, which operates hydroelectric power projects in the southeastern United States.
- Amendment No. 27 from Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to stop Interior from issuing new oil or natural gas leases on the outer continental shelf if they do not include limitations on royalty relief based on market price.
- Amendment No. 228 from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to prevent the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center refurbishment, and to reduce the DOE nuclear budget by $20 million.
- Amendment No. 13 from Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) would stop EPA from using its funding to implement, administer or enforce new water quality standards for Florida’s lakes and flowing waters, which were issued in November. They have been challenged by the state of Florida (E&ENews PM, Dec. 7, 2010).
- Amendment No. 109 from Griffith to stop EPA from using its funding to implement or enforce new guidance for the review of possible water pollution from proposed coal-mining projects. The guidance was challenged last summer by the National Mining Association, which claims EPA has enforced the guidance as if it were a final rule without going through the usual notice-and-comment process (Greenwire, July 20, 2010).
- Amendment No. 216 from Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) to stop EPA from administering or enforcing the sections of the Clean Water Act that govern dredge-and-fill permits. Those are the permits needed by mountaintop-removal operations such as the Spruce No. 1 coal mine, a West Virginia project that had its water quality permit revoked by EPA last month.
- Amendment No. 218 from Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) to stop EPA from issuing new rules for the circumstances under which mining may be conducted near streams or from conducting an environmental impact statement on the impact of the rules.
- Amendment No. 289 from McClintock to stop Interior from issuing grants under the WaterSMART program. The conservation initiative, which was created by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last year, is intended to find solutions for the water shortages in many areas of the West.
Chemicals and toxics
- Amendment No. 10 from Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) to stop EPA from developing or issuing standards that list coal ash as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. After issuing a proposal last year, the agency has not signaled when it might make a final decision on coal ash, which was thrust into the public eye after a massive spill at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in late 2008.
- Amendment No. 217 from McKinley, also to stop the coal ash rules.
- Amendment No. 279 from Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) to stop EPA from using its funding to re-evaluate the possible health effects of the approved herbicide atrazine. In late 2009, the agency started a new review of atrazine, which is widely used by corn and sugar cane growers, to investigate whether the herbicide can have effects on the human endocrine system.