It’s been a dynamic past 12 months on the energy front. The massive Gulf oil spill dominated much of the news cycle. And while Democratic efforts to pass comprehensive climate change legislation in the Senate failed, the Obama administration is moving ahead with plans to use its existing powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.Attempts to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate regulations:
With the end of the year drawing close — the 111th Congress is over and President Obama is in Hawaii with his family for the holidays — it seems only fitting to turn our attention to next year.
Without further ado, here are five things to watch out for in 2011:
On Thursday, just hours before most people in Washington left town for the holidays, the EPA made two major announcements in its efforts to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The agency laid out a timetable for phasing in emissions standards for power plants and refineries, and announced it would issue greenhouse gas permits in Texas, where the governor had refused to align with federal rules. On top of that, beginning in January the EPA will, on a case-by-case basis, begin phasing in rules that require large new industrial plants and sites that perform major upgrades to curb emissions.
The move is certain to fuel the fire of opposition against the Obama EPA’s efforts. Republicans, emboldened by their majority in the House and swollen numbers in the Senate come next year, have promised to fight the EPA. While Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) effort to delay the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by two years failed, he’s promised to try again next year. Other Republicans have promised to get in on the action.HT: Dr. Hazlett
All eyes are on the new Republican House and energy and enivornment committee chairmen: Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) will chair the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Doc Hastings (Wash.) will chair the Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Ralph Hall (Texas) will chair the Science and Technology Committee. All three lawmakers are planning to turn a critical eye toward the Obama administration’s climate change policies....Four MORE