By Ari Natter
May 5 --A White House official indicated May 5 that President Barack Obama would veto energy efficiency legislation slated for the Senate floor this week if Republicans succeed in attaching environmental riders deemed unacceptable to the administration.
The remarks of White House counselor John Podesta come as Senate Republicans seek amendments to S. 2262, including measures backed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would limit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions from power plants.
“If it passes with unacceptable riders, it will be headed to the watery depths,” Podesta said during a White House briefing about the energy efficiency legislation sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
Congress has found “various ways, particularly in the House, to try to stop us from using the authority we have under the Clean Air Act,” Podesta said. “Those have zero percent chance of working.”
In floor remarks, McConnell said, “my constituents in Kentucky should be able to weigh in on an EPA rule that would negatively impact existing and future coal plants.”
He said, “Kentuckians deserve a say in ongoing regulatory efforts to tie up mining permits--and the red tape that's stifling the creation of good jobs in coal country.”
Other amendments that Republicans are seeking are one by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) requiring the Energy Department to approve liquefied natural gas exports to all World Trade Organization member countries and a measure by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) designed to impede congressional implementation of a carbon tax.
As of late May 5, Republican and Democratic leaders were still negotiating a deal concerning amendments that would be allowed to the bill, including ones that would provide incentives for energy savings and increase energy conservation in federal buildings. The action likely would be paired with a separate vote on legislation (S. 2280) that would approve the Keystone pipeline .
However, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated Republicans weren't going to get votes on their amendments, characterizing talks that occurred May 1.
“We'll see what happens this week,” Hoeven said.
Reid scheduled a procedural vote on the Shaheen-Portman efficiency bill that is likely to occur May 6.
“I think you'll see we vote to proceed to the bill,” Hoeven said. “The issue is if we vote to get off the bill if we don't get some kind of agreement on those four amendments.”
The legislation, supported by energy-efficient lighting maker Cree Inc. and appliance maker Whirlpool Corp., would require the Energy Department to provide assistance to states adopting energy standards.
It also would require the development of new Tenant Star and Supply Star energy efficiency recognition programs and facilitate a third-party certification process within the existing Energy Star program.
With assistance from Andrea Vittorio in Washington
To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Natter in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).