The White House issued veto threats Tuesday to a pair of House bills that would limit the federal government’s ability to regulate energy production.
The administration’s opposition comes as no surprise, and neither proposal is likely to pass the Senate. One bill, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., would limit the government to 60 days to reject onshore drilling permits before they are considered automatically approved. Other provisions would require more area to be made available for leasing and impose fees on protests of drilling projects.
That proposal “would undermine the nation’s energy security; roll back policies that support the continued growth of safe and responsible energy production in the United States; discourage environmental analysis and civic engagement in federal decision-making; direct that federal lands be managed for the primary purpose of energy development rather than for thoughtfully balanced multiple uses; and undermine public resource management plans that establish a balance between energy development and resource protection,” the White House said in a release.
The other bill would limit the Interior Department from mandating hydraulic-fracturing regulations in states that already have their own standards. That legislation is sponsored by Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas.
The plan “would prohibit the Bureau of Land Management in the Department of the Interior from ensuring that hydraulic fracturing activities taking place on federal and Indian lands are managed in a safe and responsible manner,” the White House said in a second release.
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The Department of Justice announced today it's charged "61 individuals and entities for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that has victimized tens of thousands of persons in the United States through fraudulent schemes that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. In connection with the scheme, 20 individuals were arrested today in the United States and 32 individuals and five call centers in India were charged for their alleged involvement. An additional U.S.-based defendant is currently in the custody of immigration authorities."
Evan McMullin, the independent conservative candidate who may win his home state of Utah, is quietly planning to turn his candidacy into a broader movement for principled conservatism. He tells BuzzFeed he's "skeptical" that the Republican party can reform itself "within a generation" and that the party's internal "disease" can't be cured via "the existing infrastructure.” The ex-CIA employee and Capitol Hill staffer says, “I have seen and worked with a lot of very courageous people in my time [but] I have seen a remarkable display of cowardice over the last couple of months in our leaders.” McMullin's team has assembled organizations in the 11 states where he's on the ballot, and adviser Rick Wilson says "there’s actually a very vibrant market for our message in the urban northeast and in parts of the south."
One of the main reasons for the recent Obamacare premium hikes is that many potential enrollees have simply decided to pay the tax penalty for remaining uninsured, rather than pay for insurance. More than 8 million people paid the penalty in 2014, and preliminary numbers for 2015 suggest that the number approaches 6 million. "For the young and healthy who are badly needed to make the exchanges work, it is sometimes cheaper to pay the Internal Revenue Service than an insurance company charging large premiums, with huge deductibles."