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House Approves Omnibus Spending Bill With Environmental, Energy Policy Riders

December 24, 2011 in World Climate Change Report · Leave a Comment 

By Amena H. Saiyid

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The House Dec. 16 approved a $1.043 trillion, nine-bill omnibus package to fund the federal government for the rest of 2012, including provisions that would place restrictions on environmental and energy regulations and prevent the White House from using funds to hire an assistant to the president for energy and climate change.

The omnibus spending bill passed by a vote of 296-121, clearing the way for a Senate vote. The Senate was expected to pass the bill either late Dec. 16 or Dec. 17.

As adopted, the spending package (H. Rept. 112-331) includes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior and Energy departments for fiscal year 2012. It would replace the interim stopgap funding measure that is due to expire at midnight Dec. 16.

The bill would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from livestock operations and from requiring greenhouse gas reporting from manure management systems. It also would prevent the Energy Department from tightening light bulb efficiency standards, among other provisions.

In addition, the bill contains language that would prevent the White House from using FY 2012 funds to hire an assistant to the president for energy and climate change. It also would require the administration to provide a detailed report to House and Senate Appropriations committees on all climate change programs, activities, and actions with reference to specific plans.

The number of environmental riders in the omnibus bill is far fewer than the nearly 40 riders contained in a House appropriations bill (H.R. 2854) to fund Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies that failed to advance after an agreement was reached in July on the debt ceiling. (See related story; 149 WCCR, 8/1/11.)

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