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The Biggest Backer of Biofuels: Boxer The Biggest Backer of Biofuels: Boxer

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The Biggest Backer of Biofuels: Boxer

The Biggest Backer of Biofuels: Boxer

"As chairman of this committee, and I have the gavel for now, I'm not going to let us reverse course," Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said today at what was the Senate's first hearing on the renewable-fuel standard in more than two years. Without mincing words, she added: "I'm just not."


Boxer, a staunch environmentalist representing the greenest state in the country, is unlikely to relinquish this chairmanship any time soon and is next up for reelection in 2016.

Consequently, proponents of even moderate revisions in the biofuels mandate, which includes Democrats like Sens. Ben Cardin of Maryland and Dianne Feinstein of California, will probably not get far in their efforts given that Boxer's panel has primary jurisdiction over the RFS.

Chances for congressional action on the increasingly controversial mandate—which relies almost exclusively on corn-based ethanol to reduce oil consumption in the transportation sector—rest in the House, where Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and ranking member Henry Waxman, R-Calif., who have been working together on the issue since March.


Here's your chance to work together and lead, Upton and Waxman.

Amy Harder


By Clare Foran (@ckmarie) and (@Ben_Geman)

SENATORS MAKE PUSH TO CRACK DOWN ON RFS. Sens Ben Cardin, D-Md., and David Vitter, R-La., touted legislation they are working on to amend the biofuels mandate during a hearing.


BUDGET DEAL BREAKS LOGJAM ON DRILLING PACT. The new Capitol Hill budget plan clears the way for a U.S.-Mexico offshore drilling agreement to proceed, signaling the apparent end of a House-Senate impasse that has stalled implementation of the 2012 accord.

OUTLOOK CLOUDY FOR EPA GOOD NEIGHBOR PROVISION. Arguments before the Supreme Court on Tuesday did little to clarify the future of the Obama's administration's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

PODESTA TO SIDESTEP KEYSTONE DECISION. John Podesta, who will serve as an adviser to Obama on energy and climate change issues, has asked not to be involved in a final determination on the pipeline.

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WHITE HOUSE: THERE WAS NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST. The administration is saying that Podesta's request does not constitute a recusal because that would indicate a conflict of interest.

DEMS PUSH FOR REINSTATEMENT OF TRANSPORT RULE. Democrats voiced support for a reinstatement of EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution rule, otherwise known as the Transport Rule.

DEMAND FOR OIL WILL RISE NEXT YEAR. The International Energy Agency is out with new data saying that global demand will increase 1.3 percent in 2014.

DOMESTIC CRUDE OUTPUT AT QUARTER-CENTURY HIGH. The surge in oil production is due to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology.

CAPITO TAKES AIM AT EPA. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., introduced legislation that would put travel plans for Gina McCarthy on hold until the agency holds listening sessions in states that get most of their electricity from coal.

EPA PLANS CUTBACKS TO INSPECTIONS. The agency will police only the biggest polluters.


YUCCA MOUNTAIN HEARING. The House Energy and Power Subcommittee and Environment and Economy Subcommittee hold a joint hearing on oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission management and the need for legislative reform.

ENERGY NOMINEES HEARING. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider a slate of nominations for key posts in the Energy and Interior departments.

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