There’s no doubt that the 2015 GOP ascendency in the Senate will affect the country’s energy policy. Inside Energy takes a comprehensive look at what the 114th Congress could mean for Keystone XL, EPA regulations, energy efficiency standards and renewable energy generation.
Here are two of the stories from IE’s report.
Wyoming Coal vs. The EPA
When Congress heads back to Washington in 2015, one of their first agenda items will be to block, delay or otherwise damage the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
With the new Republican majority in both houses, and the GOP takeover of key energy committee positions, doing so could be a real possibility come January.
Energy was a crucial topic in the 2014 midterm elections, even if it wasn’t always at the forefront of the conversations leading up to the vote. Here’s a look at the Inside Energy team’s breakdown of America’s changing energy landscape and a recap of what happened in Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming.
114th United States Congress: 2015-2017
With a new Republican majority in the Senate, we’re expecting plenty of opposition to President Obama’s climate change agenda, including the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a proposed rule aimed at cutting carbon emissions from power plants.
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is positioned to become chairman of the Environment and Public Works committee. Inhofe speaks openly about his doubts regarding the human role in causing climate change, having published a book titled The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.
Climate change science and its place in the classroom was a widely debated issue this election season and, according to InsideClimate News, Inhofe is one of many “climate deniers” who will be taking their seats in the Senate next year, along with Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
Now, the Senate will likely have the votes necessary to push forward decisions like the Keystone XL pipeline, which the House has voted in favor of several times in the past. Keystone will, however, still be subject to presidential approval, unless the Senate can garner a veto-proof 67-count thumbs-up vote. The construction of the controversial Keystone pipeline requires permitting from the State Department because it is an international project. However, its proposed span (1,660 miles) would be a fraction of the other new and planned oil and gas pipeline construction happening across the country. Learn more about U.S. pipeline infrastructure from Inside Energy’s Pipeline Network series.