In today's Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Kyoto Protocol, Dana Rohrabacher calls federally funded climate scientists "scientists on the dole." Read that and more from my coverage of the hearing.
In other news, the Science and Technology Committee delayed dealing with HR 2337, an energy policy bill, in today's markup.
Also from CQ, Baucus predicts the successful package of the clean energy tax package that was filibustered in June.
Further details from CQ below the break.
A broad and contentious energy bill approved last month by the House Natural Resources Committee has stalled because of a jurisdictional tangle with the Science and Technology Committee.
The Science panel was scheduled to mark up the bill (HR 2337) on Wednesday, but Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., said it probably will head to the floor without a vote by his committee.
The Natural Resources panel approved the measure June 13 after debating it for several days. It would tighten environmental regulations for new energy projects, including guidelines for siting wind turbines. It also would address alternative fuels development; energy efficiency; greenhouse gas capture and storage; the impact of climate change on fish and wildlife; and other topics.
The two committees are disputing which sections of the bill fall under the jurisdiction of the Science panel. Gordon said he originally asked the House parliamentarian for jurisdiction over seven sections, but the Natural Resources panel opposed the request.
Gordon said that "bipartisan, bicommittee" negotiations are now under way with House Natural Resources staff in an effort to work out the panels’ substantive differences on the bill. Any compromise would be codified in an exchange of letters, Gordon said, and the measure would be amended accordingly on the House floor.
A parliamentary call on whether the panel could also take up section 441 was pending at markup time Wednesday. That section of the bill, which would authorize an interagency commission on climate change, was deemed to be under the panel’s jurisdiction later in the day, committee staff said.
Baucus Says Energy Tax Package Can Be Revived, but Details Are Sketchy
By Richard Rubin, CQ Staff
The sponsor of a $32.1 billion energy tax package says the bill has enough votes to clear the cloture hurdle that blocked it last month.
"We have the votes. It’s going to come back up," predicted Baucus, D-Mont., saying 64 senators now support the bill.
"I think it’s really important, when you get something that has that many votes, to bring it back," said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
But Reid did not commit to any procedural steps or include the tax proposal among items he listed Tuesday as priorities before the August recess.
If Baucus’ 64-vote prediction holds, that would be seven votes more than the package received June 21, when a 57-36 cloture vote prevented it from being added to the broader Senate energy bill (HR 6). Note from TC: Boxer was missing and Reid voted against it for procedural reasons, so it's actually only five more votes.
The package, which the Finance Committee approved, 15-5, would extend tax incentives for using wind, biomass and other alternative sources of energy to produce power. It would provide new incentives for conservation and plug-in hybrid cars.
Meanwhile, most of the revenue-raising offsets in the measure would affect the oil and gas industry, which would lose a deduction for domestic manufacturing and face a new tax on operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
However the measure changes or reaches the floor, the Senate package is expected to have to be reconciled with the $16.1 billion House version (HR 2776), which is smaller but similar in composition to the Senate bill.
The House Ways and Means Committee approved the House tax package last month, and it is expected to be folded into a broader energy bill headed for the House floor this month.