The End to Waxman-Markey
It's a sign of the end of times (at least for now) when liberal Democrats drove Washington's climate agenda.
Waxman-Markey was the simultaneously fabled and infamous climate-change bill the House narrowly passed in June 2009 only to go nowhere. With Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey in the Senate and Henry Waxman announcing his retirement today, the bill's authors are going their separate ways.
Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are talking about this issue, but they're not influencing the congressional agenda like their colleagues did.
Who will step up—and when—to drive change on climate action again in Congress is less clear than ever. It's what matters most to Waxman.
"It's more important than the budget, sequestration, the debt ceiling," Waxman said last year. "Ten years, maybe five years from now, people aren't going to say, 'What did we do on those issues?' They're going to say, 'What did Congress do on climate change?'"
P.S. – Take the National Journal energy poll: Do you think the U.S. ban on crude-oil exports should be changed? Respond here
TOP ENERGY NEWS
GROUPS SEEK STATE DEPT. REVIEW OF MULTIPLE OIL-SANDS PIPELINES. Environmentalists battling the Keystone XL project are pressing for a federal review of the cumulative effect of multiple pipelines on greenhouse-gas emissions.
- Our take: The groups' petition signals that activists will pursue a range of administrative and legal channels to try and thwart Keystone.
LONGTIME GREEN ADVOCATE WILL RETIRE FROM CONGRESS. Rep. Henry Waxman, who has played a major role in crafting environmental statutes and pushed for action against climate change, announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection this fall after four decades in the House.
CANADIAN OFFICIALS BULLISH ON LOOMING KEYSTONE XL FINDING. Canadian officials like what they're hearing about an upcoming State Department report that will provide a crucial hint about whether the White House will approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
EPA CHIEF: CLIMATE-CHANGE REGULATION 'DONE DEAL' DESPITE SUPREME COURT REVIEW. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is confident that the Supreme Court won't throw a wrench—at least not a big one—into her agency's power to limit carbon-dioxide emissions.
INDUSTRY COALITION SEEKS TO SHAPE EPA'S CLIMATE RULES. A new coalition launched on Thursday that brings together stakeholders from a number of different sectors—including the mining, agriculture, natural gas, and oil industries—in an attempt to influence the administration's greenhouse-gas regulations.
GAS PRICES LOOM LARGE OVER CRUDE-OIL EXPORT DEBATE. For all the debate over whether Washington should lift the nation's decades-old ban on exporting crude oil exports, the thing that matters most may be prices at the pump.
BOXER SLAMS NUCLEAR REGULATORS OVER SAFETY DELAYS. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., thinks the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is moving too slowly in review of nuclear reactor safety.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO GREGORY JACZKO? After being ousted as Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman in 2012, Jaczko has kept a low profile.
SHELL BACKS OFF ARCTIC DRILLING AFTER LEGAL BLOW. The announcement follows a court ruling that cast doubt on the status of drilling leases.
INDUSTRY PLEDGES TO REIN IN NATURAL-GAS FLARING. Companies are coming together in North Dakota to limit the amount of gas released through flaring involved in drilling operations.
NEW YORK GOVERNOR ACTS ON CRUDE-BY-RAIL SAFETY. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for stricter oversight of rail shipments of crude oil in the state in light of recent accidents.
NATIONAL JOURNAL ENERGY POLL: Do you think the U.S. ban on crude-oil exports should be changed?
A) Yes, lifted entirely.
B) Yes, but not lifted entirely.
C) No, not at all.
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING…
WHAT'S THE STATE OF OBAMA'S ENERGY AND CLIMATE AGENDA? How important is the president's State of the Union address to his climate and energy agenda?
"I'm glad the President failed to mention the expired wind production tax credit last night, but I expect we'll see him attempt to resurrect it when he sends his budget to the Hill in March. It's a shame his advisors don't realize how subsidized wind is hurting our existing homegrown energy sources like natural gas and nuclear, which provide cheap clean power to millions of Americans." -Don Nickles, chairman and CEO of the Nickles Group LLC
"President Obama forcefully reaffirmed his commitment to curbing carbon pollution in the State of the Union Address last night. He said unequivocally that climate change poses significant threats to our environment, our health, and our economy. And he repeated his call to have the Environmental Protection Agency implement carbon pollution limits." -Frances Beinecke, president, Natural Resources Defense Council
FISHERY CALL. Pew Charitable Trusts holds a conference call on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the principal law governing U.S. fishery management.
WORLD BANK DISCUSSION. American University holds a book discussion on Foreclosing the Future: The World Bank and the Politics of Environmental Destruction.