WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 1,603-page government spending bill unveiled on Tuesday contains dozens of policy measures to thwart new Obama administration environmental regulations, ranging from mining waste to the Greater Sage Grouse.
The bill funds most of the government through September 2015, except for the Department of Homeland Security, which gets an extension only through Feb. 27, setting up a showdown between Republicans, who will then control the U.S. Senate, and President Barack Obama, over his immigration order.
Here are some of the specific proposals in environment, energy and water areas.
ENVIRONMENT: The House bill cuts the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by $60 million and includes a number of provisions intended to “rein in regulatory overreach,” according to Republican appropriators. It exempts livestock producers from some greenhouse gas emissions regulations, bolsters congressional oversight of EPA’s review of mining permits, and blocks the Department of Interior from designating as endangered two species of sage grouse, a move that could hamper oil and gas exploration and production in western states.
The bill also blocks funds for clarifying the legal definition of “fill material”, a move that would curb the mining industry’s ability to dump waste in valleys and streams.
It also prohibits funding of the Energy Department’s enforcement of controversial light bulb efficiency standards, which ban higher-wattage incandescent bulbs.
Language in the bill also requires the Obama administration to report its spending on climate change programs.
WATER AND ENERGY: The House spending bill will provide $10.2 billion to Department of Energy programs, including more than $500 million for research related to fossil fuels and more than $900 million for nuclear energy, more than Obama requested. Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs would get $1.9 billion, or $380 million below the president’s request.
The bill also instructs the EPA and Army to withdraw a rule that would have narrowed a Clean Water Act exemption for agricultural areas, which tend to produce more fertilizer runoff.
It also bars the U.S. Export-Import Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corp from withholding funds from coal-fired other power-generation projects that do not cut greenhouse gas emissions, a move Republicans say will help boost U.S. exports of equipment and coal.
Reporting By Amanda Becker and David Lawder