Energy And Environment Update -- February 12, 2012

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In This Issue:

Energy and Climate Debate; Congress; Administration; Department of Energy; Department of Interior; Department of State; Environmental Protection Agency; Government Accountability Office; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; States; and International.

Excerpt from Energy and Climate Debate

Multi-year, comprehensive highway and transit reauthorization legislation will dominate both chambers this week as debate is scheduled in both the House and Senate. The Senate has been working on a two-year, $109 billion reauthorization bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (S. 1813), since February 9, when the body voted 85-11 to cut off debate on the motion and proceed to the bill, that Majority Leader Reid would like to see passed before Congress adjourns for the Presidents' Day recess. On February 7, the Senate Finance Committee approved the bill’s tax portion while the week before the Senate Banking Committee adopted the transit and public transportation provisions, both of which will be offered as amendments to S. 1813.

The House version, the $260 billion American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Financing Act (H.R. 7), will be taken up this week, with debate beginning as early as the middle of the week. The bill, with a five-year timeframe, would extend the Highway Trust Fund's authority, in addition to motor fuels and transportation taxes that in-turn feed that fund. In place of the guaranteed transfer of 2.86 cents per gallon of each of the federal motor fuel and gas taxes earmarked for transit programs, there would be a one-time transfer of $40 billion from the general fund.

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