What You Missed in Environmental Policy News: Week Ending Nov. 20

Capitol Hill

The most prominent actions in Congress this week may have been votes Wednesday by a Senate majority to block the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and to thwart a separate regulation setting carbon dioxide emission limits for new and modified power plants. There was no expectation that either measure could find enough support to overcome promised vetoes.

Here are some of the other environmental news stories we covered this week:

Environmental activists and industry jockeyed for position to influence the multiyear highway bill that will be sorted out by a House-Senate conference. Environmentalists were worried—and industry advocates heartened—because the Senate version included the Portman-McCaskill Federal Permitting Improvement Act, while the House version included other regulatory streamlining ideas. (Story by Bloomberg BNA reporter Rachel Leven for subscribers.)

It will be a long hard slog for the Agriculture Department to complete an overhaul of its regulations on genetically modified organisms, according to the department’s top biotechnology regulator. (Free story by Bloomberg BNA reporter David Schultz.)

Members of Congress are preparing to go to Paris for the international climate talks set to begin there Nov. 30. Reps. Pelosi, Barton and Whitfield were among those planning to go. (Free story by Bloomberg BNA reporters Dean Scott and Anthony Adragna.)

Industry is looking to Congress for relief from the EPA’s stricter ozone standards of 70 parts per billion. Industry officials say they like a bill introduced by Rep. Flores that would delay the designations process under the new ozone standards several years. (Story by Bloomberg BNA reporter Patrick Ambrosio for subscribers.)

Republicans preparing for an omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2016 discussed what riders they might add to the bill. Provisions to block the administration’s Clean Power Plan and a Clean Water Act jurisdictional rulemaking were among the more ambitious possibilities. (Story by Bloomberg BNA reporter Anthony Adragna for subscribers.)

By Alan Kovski