After the election, the House of Representatives passed five bills that would help the fossil fuel industry. Included in this episode are a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a bill to sell off oil-rich public land to a private corporation, and three bills that make life harder at the EPA. Finally, we end with a sound clip straight out of 1984.
CD085: November Bills
H.R. 5682: Approves the Keystone XL Pipeline
- Approves the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline, specifically approving any route through the State of Nebraska.
- Forces anyone who want to challenge the Keystone XL pipeline in court to go to Washington D.C. to do it.
Written by Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisana, who has taken over $377,000 from the oil and gas industry for the 2014 election alone. In total, he has taken over $646,000 from the oil and gas industry over the course of his career.
H.R. 5167: Sell Property in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to a Corporation
- Forces the sale of 1,518 acres of Federal land in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to the Olgoonik Corporation.
- Allows the Olgoonik Corporation to begin construction before the sale is complete.
- The land sale will be exempt from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Written by Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who has taken over $1.2 million from the Oil and Gas Industry.
- US: Little Big Companies. How did corporations like Halliburton get millions in government contracts designated for small minority businesses? Michael Scherer, Mother Jones, January/February 2005.
H.R. 4795: “Promoting New Manufacturing Act”
- The EPA would have to issue implementation regulations at the same time they publish or revise air quality rules.
Written by Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana’s 1st district.
H.R. 4012: “Secret Science Reform Act”
- The EPA must publish all their scientific and technical information online before they can propose, distribute, or finalize assessments or regulations.
Written by Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona’s 6th district.
H.R. 1422: EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act
- Changes the make-up of the Scientific Advisory Board to allow some people with conflicts of interest to serve.
- Makes all information used by the board available to the public.
- The EPA and the board will have to respond in writing to all public comments.
- The board will be discouraged from making policy recommendations.
Written by Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah’s 2nd district, who has taken over $111,000 in the last four years from Oil & Gas – his top contributing industry.
- Rep. Susan Bonamici of Oregon: HR 1422 would add an extra comment period during which the government would have to give commenters written responses.
- Rep. Susan Bonamici of Oregon: HR 1422 would loosen rules on recusing oneself when there are financial conflicts of interest.
- Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts: I thought we’d be debating war in Iraq during the lame duck session.
- Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas and Rep. Chris Steward of Utah: Rep. Pete Sessions wears a fighter jet lapel pin because it fits one of his favorite sayings: “Peace through Superior Fire Power”
- Loretta Lynch’s Wall Street friends: What you should know about AG nominee’s finance past by David Dayen. Salon. November 2014.