Missouri governor delays state energy plan deadline

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has pushed back the deadline to craft a comprehensive statewide energy plan by a few months, easing the concerns of one Republican lawmaker who said the Legislature needed to have more input. Read the rest of the article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch here.

Rep. Wagner statement on EPA power grab

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In reaction to the White House’s sweeping regulation, the EPA’s final “waters of the United States” rule, Congresswoman Ann Wagner issued following statement. “In true bureaucratic fashion, the Environmental Protection Agency and Obama Administration just created more problems than solutions for hardworking farmers across our country. Earlier this month the House passed legislation preventing implementation of this rule. I urge the Senate to take it up with haste, and stop this damaging power grab that threatens the economy and Americans’ personal freedom,” Rep. Wagner said.

Graves issues statement after EPA moves to finalize ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today finalized the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule. WOTUS dramatically expands federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and threatens to allow the EPA to regulate small bodies of water on private land. “It is outrageous to me that the EPA thinks it can rewrite standing law and assume control over our private property,” Rep. Graves said. “What’s almost worse is that the Obama administration has continued to pursue Waters of the U.S. despite the American public’s overwhelming rejection of the rule,” Rep. Graves continued. “Very simply, the White House refuses to acknowledge the impact that its regulations have on rural America,” Rep. Graves said. “Despite the EPA’s announcement today, this fight is not over.” The move by the EPA comes just weeks after the House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R.

read more Graves issues statement after EPA moves to finalize ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule

White House delays new rules on power plant emissions opposed by AIM and Blunt

Last Thursday, just as members of Congress and Americans across the country were getting ready to begin the Memorial Day weekend, the White House quietly announced that new rules to reduce carbon emissions from new, modified and existing electric power plants would not be finalized until August, at the earliest. The rules require fossil-fuel burning power plants, most notably coal-fired plants, to reduce emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels over the next 15 years. Read the rest of the article from St. Louis Public Radio here:

EPA issues final rules protecting drinking water, streams

The EPA Wednesday afternoon issued its final rules on the “Waters of the United States”. CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL RULE. Read this article from the Associated Press from the Kansas City Star’s website: WASHINGTON – Drinking water for 117 million Americans will be protected under new government rules shielding small streams, tributaries and wetlands from pollution and development, the Obama administration said Wednesday. The rules issued Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are designed to clarify which smaller waterways fall under federal protection. Two Supreme Court rulings had left the reach of the Clean Water Act uncertain. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the rule will only affect waters that have a “direct and significant” connection to larger bodies of water downstream that are already protected. The EPA has said 60 percent of the nation’s streams and waterways are vulnerable, and these rules clarify which of those waters are protected. The regulations would

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NAM: Ex-Im Bank’s renewal prospects boosted by deal that got TPA through Senate

The Business Journals (5/27, Hoover) reports from Washington that despite the difficult path through the House that TPA legislation faces, the deal that saw the measure clear the Senate last Friday “also improved the Export-Import Bank’s chances of survival.” The story explains that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “promised a handful of Senate Democrats that he would allow a vote in June on reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank” in exchange for “these Ex-Im Bank supporters [voting] in favor of a procedural motion that led to TPA’s passage” in the upper chamber. A previous strategy whereby Congress would allow the Bank’s charter to lapse upon its June 30 expiration “appears to be in jeopardy now,” thanks to the pledge from McConnell — a frequent Ex-Im critic — and House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) “promise” to bring reauthorization up for a vote in the House if it passed the Senate. Ex-Im Chief Hochberg On The Road, Selling Bank’s Virtues. The Hill (5/27,

read more NAM: Ex-Im Bank’s renewal prospects boosted by deal that got TPA through Senate

Senate passes trade bill, votes down currency manipulation amendment

The U.S. Senate Friday night (5/22) past important foreign trade legislation, but left out an important change that AIM feels is necessary to make deals with countries that can manipulate their currencies unfairly. The so-called Portman-Stabenow amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority bill would have required new currency manipulation standards to be part of any future trade bills. AIM supported the amendment and in a last ditch calling effort, urged Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill to support the amendment. McCaskill was the last Senator to record a vote on the amendment which came up just short of passage, 51-48. It is AIM’s contention that new trade agreements without some kind of agreement to not do business with countries that can change currency rules to benefit themselves are a hollow victory at best. There is still time to get the manipulation standards into the TPA as it makes its way through the House of Representatives, where the bill faces a rough ride

read more Senate passes trade bill, votes down currency manipulation amendment

NAM: Administration expected to issue bevy of high-profile regulations this Summer

According to a rule-making schedule released by the White House on Thursday, this summer is expected to be “busy for the Obama administration’s energy and environmental regulators, with numerous high-profile rule releases planned,” The Hill (5/22, Cama) reported. The schedule revealed that “regulators hope to fill out” the administration’s agenda “with major rules on greenhouse gases, the oil and natural gas sectors, coal production, and other policy priorities.” The Daily Caller (5/22, Bastasch) characterized the release of the administration’s “spring regulatory agenda” — containing “more than 2,300 regulations in various stages of planning” — as being done “stealthily” on the eve of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. “While this spring’s regulatory agenda has fewer regulations than the agenda from last fall,” the latest plan “includes what could be the costliest regulation in U.S. history: the EPA’s proposed national ozone standard.” The Daily Caller cited a NAM study that found that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to lower the acceptable threshold

read more NAM: Administration expected to issue bevy of high-profile regulations this Summer

Former PSC commissioner calls on governor to opt out of Clean Power Plan

Former Public Service Commission member Terry Jarrett is calling on Governor Nixon to opt out of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The governor would have that power should Congress pass Sen. Roy Blunt’s bill that would give state governor’s the ability to opt out of the Clean Power Plan if they feel it would harm their state’s economies. Jarrett’s argument is laid out below in a letter to the editor of the Kansas City Star printed over the holiday weekend. “If it becomes the law of the land, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan would drive up the price of electricity in Missouri and lead to the destruction of good-paying jobs in energy-intensive industries such as manufacturing. More than that, it would radically reshape the relationship between federal and state governments, relocating decision-making about how a state generates electricity from the state capitol to EPA headquarters. Understanding the threat that Clean Power Plan poses to Missouri’s economy, Sen.

read more Former PSC commissioner calls on governor to opt out of Clean Power Plan

Blunt calls on trade agreement to include currency manipulation language

Debate over the latest trade agreement legislation is in limbo at the moment on Capitol Hill. But whatever agreement comes out of the Senate and House, it must have language that puts into effect enforceable rules prohibiting currency manipulation. That’s the opinion of former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Blunt is currently president of the American Automotive Policy Council, a group made up of U.S. automobile manufacturers. You can read Blunt’s statement here. Blunt’s association policy mirrors the thoughts of the Associated Industries of Missouri, which feels that new trade agreements without some kind of agreement to not do business with countries that can change currency rules to benefit themselves are a hollow victory at best. The so-called Portman-Stabenow amendment is one of a long line of changes to the bill the Senate will take up as they begin debate on the President’s major, 12-nation Pacific trade accord, an integral step toward approval of a key piece of the president’s ambitious trade agenda.

read more Blunt calls on trade agreement to include currency manipulation language