What You Missed in Environmental Policy News: Week Ending Feb. 26

flint water tower

This week the Senate energy bill (S. 2012) took center stage in Washington. Bloomberg BNA reporter Ari Natter took you through the twists and turns of the Senate efforts to bring the bill and a related aid package for Flint, Mich., to the floor. At the end of the week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and other senators had placed a hold on a unanimous consent request to expedite the measure’s consideration, and the Senate Budget Committee took issue with the means used to pay for the Flint aid.

In other news this week:

The Senate is likely to pass next week its pipeline safety reauthorization bill (S. 2276) that would authorize these programs through 2019. Meanwhile, the House began its deliberations for its likely-to-be-introduced reauthorization bill, and some deliberations would contradict the Senate’s bill, I reported.

Rebecca Kern reported on oral arguments this week at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Most of the justices appeared convinced that a Maryland subsidy program to encourage new electricity generation in the state crossed into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authority over the wholesale energy markets.

As Donald Trump gained a stronger foothold in the Republican presidential race, Anthony Adragna took a look at what a Trump presidency would mean for the environment. The answer? Trump’s a ‘complete wild card.’

Patrick Ambrosio reported that 20-state coalition asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay implementation of a multibillion-dollar Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit mercury emissions from power plants. Attorneys told Ambrosio that this development will test the high court's willingness to provide petitioners with administrative relief from environmental regulation.