The Energy Debate That Wasn’t

None

Key Conservative Stance: Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) cast one of the two votes against confirming New York Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, although her qualifications for the job were not an issue. Vitter has opposed much of the Obama administration agenda.
National Journal
Amy Harder Clare Foran
See more stories about...
Amy Harder Clare Foran
Sept. 12, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

The second day of the Sen­ate’s first floor de­bate on an en­ergy bill in six years was marked by ob­struc­tion, op­pos­i­tion, and frus­tra­tion.

Sen. Dav­id Vit­ter, R-La., held firm in his re­fus­al to al­low de­bate to move for­ward to an en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency bill un­til Sen­ate lead­ers agree on a time to vote on his amend­ment re­lated to Pres­id­ent Obama’s health care law. Vit­ter first in­terfered with the en­ergy de­bate Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, shortly after Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., moved to the bill in place of the Syr­ia res­ol­u­tion that was put on hold.

Vit­ter’s stance put an un­con­tro­ver­sial meas­ure with broad sup­port on a dif­fi­cult le­gis­lat­ive obstacle course.

“Sen­at­ors who have talked about en­ergy policy for years and years now say they want to have their is­sues that are un­re­lated to en­ergy ad­vance today, even though they have the po­ten­tial to un­der­mine this bill,” Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Chair­man Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said on the floor, show­ing clear frus­tra­tion. “I don’t know how that adds up, if you give a lot of speeches at home about sens­ible en­ergy policy and then take steps to un­der­mine it.”

Wyden didn’t name any names, but he didn’t have to.

“Since they were all dir­ec­ted at my activ­ity, I want to re­spond,” said Vit­ter just mo­ments after Wyden con­cluded his com­ments. “I have noth­ing against this bill, I ap­plaud that work. I did hear a lot this sum­mer — quite frankly, I didn’t hear about this bill or any pro­vi­sion of this bill. But I’m not den­ig­rat­ing it.”

Vit­ter isn’t the only Re­pub­lic­an seek­ing to pivot the de­bate. Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky., also filed an amend­ment to the en­ergy bill seek­ing to delay a key part of Obama­care. He spoke about the amend­ment Thursday morn­ing but didn’t men­tion the en­ergy bill at all.

A num­ber of oth­er Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors also used floor time to voice op­pos­i­tion to the health care law, in­clud­ing John Bar­rasso of Wyom­ing, Dan Coats of In­di­ana, and Jeff Flake of Ari­zona.

Among the GOP voices, Vit­ter’s was the loudest. Wheth­er sen­at­ors will ac­tu­ally get to de­bate en­ergy — even con­tro­ver­sial is­sues like the Key­stone XL pipeline and cli­mate-change reg­u­la­tions — now hinges on wheth­er Vit­ter either backs down from his amend­ment or comes to an agree­ment with Sen­ate lead­ers on an­oth­er path to vote on it down the road.

Even if a deal is reached with Vit­ter, more obstacles await. Sens. John Ho­even, R-N.D., and Mary Landrieu, D-La., in­tro­duced an amend­ment Thursday that would de­clare the Key­stone pipeline to be in the na­tion­al in­terest. A de­cision on a per­mit for the con­tro­ver­sial pro­ject is still pending at the State De­part­ment.

On an­oth­er thorny is­sue, Sens. Joe Don­nelly, D-Ind., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., in­tro­duced an amend­ment that would ban the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency from re­quir­ing costly car­bon-cap­ture and se­quest­ra­tion tech­no­logy to be used in or­der to com­ply with cli­mate-change reg­u­la­tions. The amend­ment would in­stead re­quire the EPA to de­vel­op tech­no­logy stand­ards for dif­fer­ent fuels and dif­fer­ent sources of emis­sions.

Bar­rasso is also push­ing an amend­ment to block the agency’s up­com­ing cli­mate rules un­less they are ap­proved by Con­gress. The EPA is ex­pec­ted to is­sue reg­u­la­tions lim­it­ing car­bon emis­sions for new power plants very soon.

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
1 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
14 hours ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×