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Is Congress Finally Learning How to Spend Our Money? Is Congress Finally Learning How to Spend Our Money?

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Is Congress Finally Learning How to Spend Our Money?

Is Congress Finally Learning How to Spend Our Money?

The $1 trillion spending bill unveiled Monday night shows glimpses of rare compromise on both sides of the aisle when it comes to energy and environment policies (among others).


After years of forcing spending stalemates over the Keystone XL pipeline and EPA's climate rules, Republicans appeared to have finally learned they're not going to win on that front. To be sure, they still tried, but neither EPA's climate rules nor Keystone became a major sticking point in the bill.

Democrats took some concessions, too. The bill waters down new executive rules aimed at stopping U.S. funding for overseas coal plants, and it also ensures taxpayers get paid ahead of private companies in case an Energy Department loan recipient defaults ( remember Solyndra?)

This compromise is refreshing after years of polarizing déjà vu. But will it last? The looming debt-ceiling fight will be the next test.


Amy Harder



By ( @ckmarie) and ( @Ben_Geman)


NORTH DAKOTA OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION REGISTERS NEW RECORD. Though oil output in the state has yet to reach the 1 million barrels per day threshold, it shot up to 973,045 barrels a day in November, according to preliminary data.

  • Our take: The recent derailments of trains carrying crude oil will increasingly prompt the question: Is it time to slow down?

AFL-CIO PRESIDENT OPPOSES LIFTING BAN ON CRUDE-OIL EXPORTS. Richard Trumka said Tuesday he is against lifting the ban but supports construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

SENATE PANEL PROBES WEST VIRGINIA SPILL. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., plans to hold hearings on chemical safety next month that will focus on how regulators can improve safeguards even without new legislation.

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DEMOCRATS TO TV NETWORKS: PUT CLIMATE ON SUNDAY SHOW AGENDA. Senate Democrats pledging to get more aggressive on climate change will soon pressure the major TV networks to give the topic far greater attention on the Sunday talking-head shows.

WEST VIRGINIA DEMS HESITANT TO CALL FOR STRINGENT REGS. Democrats from the state's congressional delegation have held off on calling for legislative reforms in the wake of a massive chemical spill.

OMNIBUS THWARTS OBAMA ON OVERSEAS COAL-PLANT FUNDING LIMITS. The fiscal 2014 spending bill would limit administration efforts to reduce funding for coal plants in developing nations.

MURKOWSKI TO OBAMA: LIFT OIL-EXPORT BAN. The top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is asking President Obama to lift the decades-old ban on exporting crude oil.

GREEN GROUPS: ACCIDENTS MAKE CASE FOR STRICTER REGS. Environmental advocates say a recent series of high-profile accidents, including the West Virginia chemical spill, make it clear that tougher environmental protections should be enacted.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE HEADS OFF ENVIRO CRITICISM. John Boehner said conservative efforts to roll back environmental regulations will continue.

WAXMAN RAILS AGAINST BILL TO BLOCK CLIMATE-CHANGE RULE. The House Energy and Commerce Committee's ranking member called the bill a "recipe for disaster" at a markup held Tuesday.

U.S. NATURAL GAS OUTPUT AND USE ON RISE SINCE 2005. During the same time period consumption and production declined in Europe.

SENATE PANEL TO TAKE UP SLATE OF ENERGY, INTERIOR NOMINATIONS. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider nominees on Thursday for key administration posts.


U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO UNVEIL ENERGY PLAN. The powerful business group will unveil its "Energy Works for US" policy platform that's slated to include a call to remove the ban on crude oil exports.

ENERGY OUTLOOK RELEASE. Black & Veatch holds a briefing to preview the 2014 Energy Market Perspective, which provides an integrated long-term outlook of the U.S. energy market.

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