continuing resolution

Post image for “Grassley would swallow anti-ethanol measures to cut deficit” – DeMoines Register

The hand writing was already on the wall last December even though Congress extended the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) for another year.

As explained here, ethanol’s policy privileges lost their perceived legitimacy. Beef, hog, poultry, and dairy farmers objected that ethanol policy inflates livestock feed costs, making their products less competitive in global markets. Humanitarian organizations objected that ethanol policy aggravates world hunger by driving up grain costs. Environmental groups objected that corn ethanol production damages water quality and, on a life-cycle basis, probably emits more carbon dioxide than the gasoline it replaces. Budget hawks objected to Congress lavishing billions on a favored few in the midst of a budget crisis. Free market groups objected to the fleecing of consumers compelled to buy a product that delivers less bang for buck than gasoline.

The corn lobby could rally its congressional patrons one last time, but the ideological climate had shifted against them, with even Al Gore recanting his earlier support for ethanol subsidies. If the VEETC had come up for renewal in Dec. 2009, Congress would likely have extended it for five years, not just one. But in 2010 a broad-based Left-Right coalition arose to challenge King Corn, and the tide turned. [click to continue…]

Post image for Hitting EPA’s Pause Button – What Are the Benefits, Risks? (Updated)

Yesterday (Feb. 16), House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) engaged in a colloquy with Interior and Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) on Sec. 1746 of H.R. 1, the One-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.

Sec. 1746 of H.R. 1 states:

None of the funds made available to the Environmental Protection Agency by this division or any other Act may be expended for purposes of enforcing or promulgating any regulation (other than with respect to section 202 of the Clean Air Act) or order, taking action relating to, or denying approval of state implementation plans or permits because of the emissions of greenhouse gases due to concerns regarding possible climate change.

Sec. 1746 would block EPA regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which ends on September 30. “The funding limitation will allow Congress to carefully and thoroughly debate a permanent clarification to the Clean Air Act to ensure it remains a strong tool for protecting public health by regulating and mitigating air pollutants, and that it is not transformed into a vehicle to impose a national energy tax,” explains Chairman Whitfield’s press release. Whitfield is a co-sponsor of the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which would overturn the legal force and effect of EPA’s Endangerment Rule, Tailoring Rule, and other rules imposing greenhouse gas permitting requirements on state governments and stationary sources.

In the colloquy, Chairman Simpson states: “EPA’s GHG regulations need to be stopped in their tracks, and that’s what section 1746 does – it provides a timeout for the balance of the fiscal year, during which time EPA will be prohibited from acting on them or enforcing them.” In Whitfield’s words: “This CR [Continuing Resolution] provision is Congress hitting the pause button during the very brief period of the CR, allowing time to go through regular order and pass the Upton-Inhofe bill.”

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