Here are some highlights of the most recent Policy News Update, written by ESA’s Policy Analyst, Piper Corp. You can read the full update at ESA’s Policy News page.
Details of Waxman-Markey climate bill: On March 31, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Ma.) released their draft climate change and energy bill — the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009″ — reiterating plans to hold a final committee vote on the measure before the Memorial Day recess. The Policy News has an in-depth summary of the titles within the bill.
Greenhouse gas endangerment finding: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in an internal presentation that she plans to sign a document stating that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health — known as an “endangerment finding” — on April 16. The White House has begun its review of the report, which EPA sent over on March 20th. If finalized, it could trigger a series of Clean Air Act regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
Drilling opponents consider ocean zoning: The Obama administration plans to make drilling part of a broader energy strategy, so some opponents of offshore drilling are eyeing zoning plans as a way of protecting key marine resources and habitat from drilling, wind and wave energy projects. Senior members of the House Natural Resources Committee have said that zoning language should be incorporated into any new energy legislation brought up this year.
Upcoming legislation: Bills considering mountaintop coal mining, black carbon reduction, illegal fishing, international science and technology coordination, e-waste reduction research and water research have been referred to or passed by their respective committees.
Approved legislation: The House approved the Clean Energy Corps program as part of the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, an Obama-endorsed bill that would triple the number of AmeriCorps volunteers while increasing the educational reward for service. President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, a bipartisan measure representing the most significant piece of conservation legislation in the last 15 years.