7.1.2019 Legislative Brief
House Natural Resources Committee Advances National Parks Legislation JUNE 26 — By a 36-2 vote, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, H.R.1225, will advance to the House floor. The bill has more than 290 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, and a Senate version led by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), S.500, has 40.
Three Bipartisan Senators Introduce Save Our Seas 2.0 JUNE 26 — Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are leading efforts to combat marine debris with the introduction of S.1982. This legislation aims not only to reduce plastic use, but also find innovative uses for plastic waste so that it does not end up in oceans. The original Save Our Seas Act was signed into law last October.
Bipartisan Senate Duo Reintroduces Tax Credit for Offshore Wind Projects JUNE 26 — Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE) have reintroduced the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, S.1988, to provide tax credits for projects that begin prior to January of 2027 or before the United States reaches 3,000MW of offshore wind capacity. The legislation was initially introduced in the fall of 2017.
Senate Holds Hearing on Geothermal Development and Innovation JUNE 20 — Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) chaired a hearing to examine geothermal energy production in the United States. In her opening statement, Senator Murkowski noted that “These resources are constant and reliable. There is no such thing as fluctuating, intermittent earth heat, and that’s a big advantage.”
UN Ambassador Nominee Says Climate Change “Poses Real Risks” JUNE 20 — Kelly Craft, the current U.S. Ambassador to Canada, previously stated her belief that, “there are scientists on both sides [of climate change] that are accurate.” In recent hearings for the UN ambassadorship, however, Craft broke with the White House and offered a different perspective by saying that “human behavior has contributed to the change in climate, let there be no doubt.”
EPA Releases Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule JUNE 19 — The Trump EPA released its alternative to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan to establish new state standards for greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA characterized the new guidelines as returning regulatory power back to the states in a way that “diversified energy resources while protecting our environment.” ACE has been criticized for not being strict enough on emissions, with some Democrats dubbing it “The Dirty Power Plan.”
Land & Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act
What to Know: This legislation would permanently fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund by removing it from future appropriation considerations. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) chaired a hearing to examine the program at large on Tuesday. Some top Republicans, including Senator Murkowski, do not support the legislation because it lacks oversight. The LWCF was permanently reauthorized in legislation signed by the President in March.
Sponsors & Co-Sponsors: Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (D-NJ) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), both with bipartisan cosponsors.
Important Dates: Introduced to the House on June 19, 2019 and to Senate on April 9, 2019.